Just when you thought Frozen, a formula cash-vacuum, would go down as the best animated feature the industry could offer in the foreseeable future, along comes the best animated film the industry will offer in the foreseeable future. It isn’t perfect, thanks to an ending that begins to fizzle, but it is the most awesome experience to be had in a movie theater. The LEGO® Movie is in theaters this February 7th, 2014; rated PG for mild action and rude humor.
I’m not going to build your interest in this film by stacking pun after pun, from fear of you throwing bricks at me. That would be too easy….like Duplo® easy. Instead I had hoped we could interlock our interest for an amazing brand by constructing only the details. So, block out any distractions and enjoy this well-assembled formation of words. Respect the pun, kids.
This frenetically-paced flick stars Emmet Brickowoski, voiced by an energetic and likable Chris Pratt. He’s your everyday ordinary LEGO® minifigure. He’s got an apartment, a double-decker couch, and a good job working construction for President Business (Will Ferrell). He’s so ordinary, that nobody knows Emmet, except Emmet. One day on the job, he notices a peculiar minifigure snooping around the construction zone and intervenes. His chance run-in with the intrepid Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), results in mistaken identity, as an ancient prophecy (fabricated by Morgan Freeman as Vitruvius) names Emmet, the Master Builder to save all of LEGO® universe from an evil dictator, and bring balance to the realms.
Emmet plays along for a while, enjoying the attention he’d never before experienced, but would eventually be outed by his own admission. Life outside the regimented dystopia that Emmet knows, is a vast and uber-creative universe populated by individuals not-living-by-the-manual, they’re called Master Builders. There’s Batman (a scene-stealing Will Arnett) and Metal Beard (Nick Offerman), Superman (Channing Tatum) and Wonder Woman (Cobie Smulders), even Abraham Lincoln (Will Forte) and Lando Calrissian (yes, voiced by Billy Dee Williams himself). They’re all unique and brilliant, a revelation that inspires Emmet to live up to his true potential.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street reboot) ditched the manuals to create this LEGO® vision, a theme just as important to the narrative. It’s charming, clever and ridiculous. A hodgepodge of jokes and bricks that relentlessly assaults the funny bones of both children and their giddy parents sitting next to them. That’s where the essence of this film lives, in our imaginations and love for the brick-building empire. That sentimental cornerstone weakens when the concluding act carry’s on too long, but overall, it doesn’t disappoint.
I want to drive this point home, pack-up your kids and go see this movie. There’s plenty of fun to be had for everyone.