A lot of oddball properties have made their way to the big screen over the years, with mixed results. For every Pirates of the Caribbean there’s a Battleship. Not to mention Disney’s failed attempt to cash in on the Pirates films with The Haunted Mansion. Considering Lego already has an established direct-to-video market revolving around Star Wars and DC Comics characters, it was only a matter of time before a theatrical release. With the directors of the first Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Phil Lord and Christopher Miller) — who also directed the hysterical 21 Jump Street, with a sequel coming in June — the year’s first fantastic all-around film has arrived with The Lego Movie.
Here we are quickly thrown into a prophecy made by the wizard Vitruvius (voiced by Morgan Freeman) to Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell) as Lord Business takes possession of the all-powerful “Kragle.” Eight and a half years later, we meet our protagonist Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt), who stumbles upon Wyldstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks) at his work construction site. Emmet soon has the Piece of Resistance stuck to his back and is told he is the Special and he is the only one who can stop Lord Business from destroying their world on Taco Tuesday. Now, Emmet, Wyldstyle, and some friends picked up along their adventure — including Batman (voiced by Will Arnett), Unikitty (voiced by Alison Brie), spaceman Benny (voiced by Charlie Day), and a pirate named Metalbeard (voiced by Nick Offerman) — must save the day in hilarious fashion.
To say any more about the plot would be to say too much. A surprising thing when it comes to a family-oriented film, I know, but directors Lord and Miller (also credited with the screenplay) have packed the film to the gills with hilarious one-liners and sight gags. They’ve truly outdone themselves with The Lego Movie. The look of the film is a hybrid of stop-motion and computer animation done by Animal Logic and it is top notch. I only wish I had seen the film in any other 3D theater; I had the unfortunate travesty of watching it in Dolby 3D and yet it still looked amazing. Be warned though, it is a lot to take in upon first viewing. There is so much to look at that even when you have the movie at home on Blu-ray, it will still take who knows how many viewings to find all the Easter eggs.
Be on the lookout for some hilarious cameos from within the Lego universe itself along with a lot of their licensed properties. You want funny, you got funny. You want heartwarming, it has that too! There’s a huge surprise towards the end of the film that makes total sense when you think back upon some of what happened earlier and there’s no way I’ll give it away. Let’s just say that a character called “The Man Upstairs” works brilliantly. But enough chit chat, all you need to know is you cannot miss The Lego Movie! The year’s first must see film is here, and will undoubtedly go down as one of the year’s best as well. To quote the film’s theme song, Everything Is Awesome, and they couldn’t be more right.
Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures
*Article first published as Movie Review: ‘The Lego Movie’ on Blogcritics.