Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Lego Movie Review

The Lego Movie Review
Directors: Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Cast Headliners: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman 

Original Release Date: Febuary 7th, 2014

            Legos are probably one of the best types of toys ever.  If one follows the instructions, they can re-create scenes and things from favored movie/comic/other worlds.  Even more exciting is that they are customizable.  Slap any combo of bricks together and you can make something to call your own. Imagination is the only limit.   The Lego Movie does this amazing franchise justice and shows what the power of imagination can do. Because it is so much more than mere bricks in a computer generated film.
            Emmet, voiced by quintessential average joe Chriss Pratt, is a construction worker in the Lego City. It’s a clever stereotype of our world, with its expensive coffees and daily hustle and bustle.   It’s ruled over by President Business (Will Ferrell) who at first seems mostly genuine but he is quickly established as an nefarious evil mastermind.  He is perfect for this character The characters are all so great in this, something I knew to expect as a fan of Lego media.   There’s the humble Emmet, the cool Wildstyle (Elizabeth  Banks) ,  an crazed 1980’s era space astronaut Benny (Charlie Day),  an fairy cat unicorn Unicat (Allison Brie),  wise sage Vitrivius (Morgan Freeman, of course he’s a god-like character),  cyborg pirate Metalbeard (Nick Offerman), and….. Batman (Will Arnett).  Each is brimming with personality and good moments. How do these various odd people come together?
            One of this movie’s strengths is its mash up of several different Lego worlds.  Like 2012’s Wreck it Ralph, Emmet’s calling as “The Special” transports him between various dimensions.   There’s the basic City,   the Wild West, the Castle medieval era, and so much more. There is an incredible amount of cameos and surprises, both from visual sights to celebrities, that it really is a multiple times must see.  You can tell a lot of heart went into these jokes.  The Batman riff’s are especially great. He’s made into the jerk character you always might of thought of him as.   The humor provides constant chuckles from both its zaniness to its 4th wall breaking intricacy and allusions. It really can be enjoyed by all ages, since it is so well made. There is something for everyone. One certain cameo segment almost makes the movie worth seeing alone.  Like….oh my.
            It’s not just the mash-up factor of Legoes. The visuals are revolutionary.  The CGI emulates what real physical toys look like quite amazingly well.   The stop-motion style resembles those on YouTube, but on super steroids.  At times it feels like the directors built acres of sets out of legos and moved in close with a camera.  It also seems like at times that is true, with a few live action props seamlessly blended in.  It is mind boggling how they were able to achieve this unique look.
            There is some really great laughs, visuals, and adventure but what really makes The Lego Movie important is its messages.   It could have been just fine as a silly adventure, but the surprises do not just come in the form of cameos. It has an surprisingly deep meaning to its plot which makes itself known in the last segment.  It’s almost a bit of a jarring shift from the rest of the movie. However when it starts to sink in it blows your mind.  Overall it has some great lessons about individuality, imagination, and courage through the whole film. It’s not often I can say this about a CGI movie and especially a Lego movie, but this one made me laugh often, made me awed, made me tear up, and even made me think deeply.  As they say so much in the film, everything is awesome (about it). 8.7 out of 10

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