Is everything awesome?
Director: Christopher Miller, Phil Lord
Running time: 100 minutes
Cast: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Arnett
When I was growing up i loved Lego more than anything in the world. Sticklebricks were for idiots and toddlers, and Meccano was for those weird nerdy kids. But Lego was for everyone and if you threw me a bag of pieces right now I’d be on the floor, building whatever my tiny brain could dream up.
So I went into The Lego Movie with trepidation. How do you create a film about a toy that has no back story, no characters, no structure other than to be an outlet for your imagination? My big worry was that it would be an annoying, generic story of friendship and believing in yourself with Lego only crammed in as the canvas to write this tale on. I couldn’t have been more wrong (although there’s a bit of the believing in yourself going on but I digress). Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have taken the essence of Lego and poured all of the crazy random pieces onto the big screen.
The story is basically The Matrix but with Lego. That isn’t a criticism and it’s something the film is well aware of with nods to the sci-fi classic occurring throughout. We seen ordinary, boring guy Emmett being sucked into a mission to save the world while meeting all sorts of crazy Lego people, some of which you’ll immediately recognise. However to tell you more of the plot would be to spoil the surprises in it.
The Lego Movie has possibly the greatest voice cast of any animated film ever with fantastic and memorable performances by Chris Pratt as Emmett, Will Arnett as the second best Batman in screen history, Charlie Day as Benny the overenthusiastic spaceman, and Big Liam Neeson as the chair hating Bad Cop (it’s always nice to hear Big Liam use his natural Norn Iron accent onscreen). With so much going on it would be easy to get lost amongst the craziness but the world is created so well it all makes sense in a strange way.
Credit is also due to the animators who have done a supremely amazing job of creating the visuals. The Lego world is presented with animation that looks real and not glossy and perfect dovetailing brilliantly with one of the themes of the film. These imperfections give it a lovely handmade feel which perfectly capture the spirit of Lego.
You’ll notice the words ‘perfect’ and ‘perfectly’ have been used a lot during this review. Sadly I can’t say the whole piece is perfect. This may be due to too much being revealed in the trailers and that the third act over-eggs the metaphysical pudding a bit too much (that line makes sense in my head, OK?). However that doesn’t diminish the achievement of The Lego Movie. It’s charming, touching, thoughtful, inventive and best of all hilarious. In a word it’s awesome. What other movie could turn the word ‘SPACESHIP!!!’ into a classic movie quote?