Film Pulse Score

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Release Date: February 7, 2014
Directors: ,
MPAA Rating: PG
Film Pulse Score: 9/10

You’d be hard pressed to find someone in this country who hasn’t played with Legos at some point in their life.  Those little plastic blocks of joy have been keeping kids creative since 1949, but is it necessary to turn these toys into a movie?  The answer to that question is an emphatic yes, especially when in the hands of Chris Miller and Phil Lord.  The Lego Movie is as creative as the toys themselves, building a hilarious and fully realized world where pop culture franchises live together in harmony and everything is awesome.  Behind the incredible stop-motion/CG hybrid animation and hilarious dialogue however, lies a surprisingly strong message.

Chris Pratt voices Emmet, a generic worker bee building towers and skyscrapers for the malevolent President Business (Will Ferrell), a man who demands conformity and order.  After spotting a beautiful girl named Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) poking around at the construction site after hours, Emmett mistakenly, or by fate, finds what’s known as the “piece of resistance.”  This marks Emmet as the chosen one who will save the world from the clutches from the evil Lord Business.

Along the way Emmet gets guidance from Wyldstyle as well as many other master builders such as Vitruvius, the wise old wizard (Morgan Freeman), Batman (Will Arnett), Unikitty (Alison Brie), and Benny the 1980’s spaceman (Charlie Day).  These are just a few of the ridiculous number of characters and voice actors lending their talents to the film.

The comedic aspects of the film are a generous blend of pop culture references, amazing dialogue, and silly Lego gags.  Seeing Batman hop in the Millennium Falcon with Han Solo and gang is incredible to witness, even in Lego form.  This movie has everything from Lord of the Rings, to Harry Potter, to The Simpsons, to the 2002 NBA All-Stars with a cameo from Shaq.  While they don’t all share the same amount of screen time, it’s always used wisely.

Goofball comedy aside, The Lego Movie really tells a story of a man learning to march to the beat of his own drum.  It’s a film that encourages creativity and not simply blindly following the “instructions.”  The moral of the story is much like the goal that Lego always had from the beginning.  If that seems a little too on the nose the final act of the film introduces an interesting twist that results in the entire dynamic of the film changing slightly.  This adds a whole new layer onto the film and is what really makes an already great movie superb.

The animation is another aspect of The Lego Movie that everyone should be talking about.  Almost entirely made with actual Legos, this is an absolute marvel to look at.  The painstaking detail that went into creating the various locations and bringing this world to life is impressive to say the least.  In an interview before the film came out Lord and Miller stated the CG elements were indistinguishable from the stop motion, and they were correct.  Other than the facial movements, it’s difficult to spot the CG parts in the film.  Most of us have seen some pretty impressive Lego structures and even some stop motion videos online, but this is pretty incredible and worth seeing for the animation alone.

Turning a popular toy into a film seems like a pretty bad idea but Phil Lord and Chris Miller pulled it off in a big way.  The Lego Movie made me feel nostalgic for a time when I didn’t have to rely on a video game screen to explore new worlds and go on adventures.  It encourages you to throw away the instructions and be creative, but it does so in a clever and hilarious way.  Just do your inner child a favor and go see The Lego Movie right now.

One Response to “THE LEGO MOVIE Review”

  1. Brings back memories of Toys R Us and trying to figure out the biggest, coolest Lego set we could afford every Christmas. Glad you still love them!

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