Let me start off by saying Everything is Awesome! My wife and kids are awesome. My mom’s spaghetti and meatballs are awesome. Paris, France is awesome. A ballpark hotdog is awesome. And guess what else, “The Lego Movie” is pretty awesome! Yes even a picky old fogey like me, who finds it hard to find a satisfying animated picture, loved this crazy film based on (of all things) toy building blocks. Who says you can’t make a great movie out of almost anything?
“The Lego Movie” comes from the multifarious minds of Phil Lord and Chris Miller. A Lego movie in some form has been in the works at Warner Brothers since 2008. In 2011 Lord and Miller were brought on board to both write and direct the project. The two had previously worked on the brain-dead “21 Jump Street” and the fairly fun “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”. But “The Lego Movie” reveals a sharp and clever wit that stays consistent throughout the entire film. So many animated movies start promising but loses their focus in a deluge of schizophrenic slapstick or dumbed down humor (I’m looking at you “Wreck-It Ralph”). That’s never the case with this film. It occasional gets close but ultimately the same charm and humor runs consistently through the movie.
The story centers around a very average construction worker named Emmet Brickowski (voiced wonderfully by Chris Pratt). He is an ordinary by-the-book guy who has no interesting or unique qualities at all. He lives in a Lego city named Bricksburg where everyone follows the same routine, everyone watches the same TV show (think Benny Hill), and everyone sings what must be the national anthem “Everything is Awesome”. Emmet is a lonely fellow but he is too busy following the instructions on how to live to even notice.
But one afternoon by sheer chance he stumbles upon a mysterious object called the Piece of Resistance and an even more mysterious woman named WyldStyle (Elizabeth Banks). Eventually he learns that the Piece is the key to stopping the dastardly Lord Business (Will Ferrell) who is actually a wealthy businessman and tyrannical President of Bricksburg. His ultimate goal – world domination by squashing the independent creativity of the people and maintaining the world in his image alone (oh yes, the evil capitalist corporation jab). Emmet discovers that he may be the fulfillment of a prophecy which states that one known as the “Special” would use the Piece to thwart Business’ plans. In other words, Emmet’s undistinguished life could be changed forever.
Emmet’s adventure takes him to a number of far away lands. It also introduces him to an number of different people voiced by a host of Hollywood names. There is a policeman with Multiple Personality Disorder (Liam Neeson). There is a blind wizard who first tells of the prophecy (Morgan Freeman). There is the one and only Batman who also happens to be a Master Builder (Will Arnett). There is such a fun assortment of other characters voiced by the likes of Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, Shaquille O’neal, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Charlie Day, Will Forte, Cobie Smulders, etc. etc. etc.
But what separates this from the usual, run-of-the-mill animated feature? I get back to the goofy yet sharp wit of the script and the consistency it maintains from start to finish. I also think it does a marvelous job of straddling the line of comedy aimed at adults and comedy aimed at children. I laughed just as much as my two kids. In fact, we watched it in a packed theater where the boisterous laughs of children were rivaled by the laughs of their parents. That’s not an easy feat for a filmmaker to accomplish. And then there is the entire look of the film. Everything is Lego from the opening and closing credits to the vast colorful landscapes. The motions make you think Lego and even the action sequences stay within the crazy building block bounds. I loved the visual flare.
There are a few things in “The Lego Movie” that I could nitpick, but honestly those minor gripes did nothing to dampen my overall experience. For me this was a rare animated treat but more than that it was a rare modern comedy that actually delivered the goods. Great voice acting, sharp writing, and a wonderful story all the way down to its core. With the bazillions of dollars this movie is making, a sequel is all but guaranteed. I only hope it’s as funny and infectious as this first one because this is a hard act to follow.
Great review, Keith. I totally agree. The flaws are minor and the flick is excellent.
Thanks man. I forgot to bring it up. Did you see it in 3D?
I did. I was impressed with the way it mostly used 3D to create depth, instead of to shoot things at our face. But I certainly didn’t feel 3D was necessary.
We saw it in 2D and it was a full house. But I have heard where the 3D was pretty good. I was curious if we had missed out on a rare example of good 3D.
Good review Keith. It was a very fun movie that I could definitely see myself being content with checking out again, if I just so happened to stumble into the same theater-lobby it’s playing at.
I’m with you man. Would you consider it a February surprise? I certainly would.
I definitely would! Especially since this season, so far, has been nothing but junk!
Well I was a big fan of The Monuments Men also. But I’m just about the only one. 😉
Awesome review 😉 The humour is great and so many loveable characters. Even the water and smoke is lego which is cool. I also have some nitpicks but it’s still an enjoyable movie.
Thanks a lot. And I know what you mean about the water and smoke. Do remember the big scene in the ocean? It was so surreal (in a sense). It was an amazing visual. Loved it.
This movie was great as was the review. All the characters were played perfectly, Will Arnett is Batman.
Thanks so much. Could you believe Arnett??? He really nailed the Caped Crusader.
Really glad you liked it mate! This was the most fun I’ve had in the cinema in ages. I’d easily go back and see it again!
I’d could easily see it a second time as well. Animated movies rarely stand out to me. This one absolutely did!
Great review. Loved this movie. I would be nervous about a sequel though as they have already set the bar so high!
I understand what you’re saying. Unfortunately today’s Hollywood works under the mindset of “If it makes us a ton of money, a sequel will make us a ton of money”. I think I’ve read where the sequel has been confirmed.
Money makes the world go round. Let’s just hope they make it a good one…
Yep, I’m with you. So often they aren’t nearly as good as the first film. This one does feel perfectly fine with just one movie. I guess we shall see.
I can’t wait to see this!! Is it acceptable to go without children?!!
Completely! In fact I saw several adult couples coming in totally kidless! GO FOR IT! 😉
When my grands come to visit next week, I hope they haven’t seen this yet. I’d love to take them. 🙂
Hey, you don’t have to use them as your cover. If they have seen it, don’t worry about it. There were several adults (without kids) at our screening. People shouldn’t laugh at you too much. 😉
I enjoyed this but appear to be the only person who wasn’t completely sold. I do still have Everything is Awesome stuck in my head though.
Ugh! “Everything is Awesome” has been steadily flowing out of our kids’ mouthes since we saw it. And get this, I was at work yesterday walking back to my office when I just randomly saying out “Everything is Awesomeeee”. I quickly caught and chastised myself. What was I thinking? 🙂
I’ve been playing it at work on Spotify. It’s hard not to dance at my desk though.
Nice review. I’m a big fan of Pratt and Offerman on Parks and Rec and am eager to check this out.
I’ve never watched “Parks” but they a hoot here. I still say its one of the better comedies (animated or not) of late. Definitely worth checking out!
I’m not that into animated movies, in fact the last I saw was Brave but I may check it out just for Nick Offerman 🙂
I hear ya. As I mentioned in the review I’m pretty hard to please when it comes to animated movies. This one really hit a home run though.
Nice review. I’ve heard the batman jokes are brilliant.
Batman is pretty freaking awesome. But wait until you see the other DC characters and their gags. Funny stuff!
Glad you liked it. It’s so silly that i’m still chuckling looking at the screenshots!
Yep, VERY silly. But I love silliness when it works this well. Just like you I also get cracked up looking at some of the shots.
Fun intro Keith! And guess what, YOU are awesome too 😀 Glad you love this as much as I did. It’s good clean fun for a change, no raunchy innuendos and the likes, and the characters are so hilarious. LOVE this one, can’t wait for the inevitable sequel! 😀
Wow Ruth, thanks a bunch. It was such a good time and it was so nice to sit back and laugh with good humor that didn’t depend on the usual garbage.
For most of the review I had this movie at 4 stars. But when I finished I asked myself why it wasn’t a 4.5 star movie. I bumped it up because it was just so much fun! Can’t wait to see it again.
I liked it so much I actually went back and brought my nephews to see it. I NEVER see movies at the theater twice but with a movie like this, you gotta. 🙂
I hear you. Although you didn’t have to use your nephews as cover! 😉
In all seriousness I could easily watch this movie again. It’s so well-written and the humor actually works. A lot of live-action “comedies” should take notes!
Everything is awesome! Loved this little flick. Took the kids and grinned from ear to ear throughout. You can’t go wrong with a little reminiscence and a razor sharp script. Great review bro! (Like the new little ratings badge too) 🙂
LOL, thanks bro. That was a ratings badge made special for the Lego review. Unfortunately it didn’t come out exactly as I hoped but oh well. 😉
As for the movie, it was a really nice surprise wasn’t it. Some great voice work as that sharp script. Other writers attempting comedy should take note.
Loved Lego as a kid. Loved it as an adult. Now, it looks like I’m ready to love it as a film.
Have you had a chance to see it yet? I think you’re exactly right. You will love it as a film. Just a clever little movie altogether that really works both as an animated feature and as a comedy.
Nice review, been hearing a lot of praise surrounding this movie.
I’m not a big animated movie guy but this thing really surprised me. It was funny, I was laughing just as much as my two kids sitting next to me.
Great review, loved this film. The cast the story where great and the ending was surprisingly deep. Chris Pratt is going to have a very promising career 😀
I think you’re right. Great movie and much better than I expected.
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