The Lego Movie
Facts and Figures
Run time: 100 mins
In Theaters: Friday 7th February 2014
Box Office USA: $257.8M
Box Office Worldwide: $373.1M
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Production compaines: Village Roadshow Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Comics, LEGO, Animal Logic, Warner Animation Group
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Fresh: 192 Rotten: 9
IMDB: 7.9 / 10
The Lego Movie Review
Inventive visuals and a seriously deranged script make this animated adventure far more enjoyable than we expect, especially as it brings out the childish creativity in everyone watching. Filmmakers Lord and Miller are experts at finding offbeat comedy in the most surprising places (see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs or 21 Jump Street). And this movie is often jaw-droppingly entertaining.
It's set in a Lego city where construction worker Emmet (voiced by Pratt) follows instructions to the letter. Like everyone else, he has been lulled into complacency by President Business (Ferrell), whose inanely catchy pop songs (the insanely hummable Everything Is Awesome!) and mindless TV shows (Where Are My Pants?) keep people from thinking creatively. He's also concocting an insidious plan involving a secret weapon called the Kragle. Then Emmet inadvertently discovers the Piece of Resistance and is declared "The Special" by the underground rebel alliance led by Wyldstyle (Banks) and Vitruvius (Freeman). With help from Batman (Arnett), a patched-up pirate (Offerman) and a groovy kitty (Brie), they go off-grid to save their civilisation, pursued by the president's vicious enforcer (Neeson).
As the story spirals from the city to the Wild West and Cloud Cuckoo Land, it develops an insane, free-wheeling tone that can't help but spark our imaginations. And the sassy 3D animation adds to this by evoking surreal stop-motion classics like Gumby or The Magic Roundabout while referencing other movies and playing merrily with iconic characters. Hill, Smulders and Tatum turn up as a trio of frustrated superheroes, while Daniels and Williams offer a bit of Star Wars silliness. All of the vocal cast members dive into their characters with energy, bringing out the warped humour and pulling us into the action and even some emotional moments.
Visually, the film looks astonishing, as everything seems to be rendered in Lego, including water and smoke. This may make the film look blocky, but it also adds a blast of imagination that reminds us that creativity is unlimited when you get your hands on a pile of Legos. Some action sequences are too frenetic for us to follow, and the general insanity of the plot sometimes wears us down. But it's such a riotous ride that we hang on and laugh, engaging with the characters in ways that bring out much bigger themes without resorting to sentimentality. Most of all, the film reminds us that no matter how old we are, we can still tap into our childhood curiosity.