With surprisingly clever writing and an A-list class delivering the lines, The LEGO Movie is very much, and quite appropriately so, greater than the sum of its parts. In short, The LEGO Movie is Toy Story meets Transformers with the plot of The Matrix if The Matrix were really, really funny. And just so you know, I thought The Matrix was hilarious.
Catering to a younger audience, the plot of The LEGO Movie is decidedly simple. It follows Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt), the prototypical reluctant hero, as he is thrust into the role of ‘The Special,’ the prophesied ‘master builder’ destined to stop President Business’ (Will Ferrel) diabolical plan to superglue everything into place. Along the way, Emmet is joined (saved really due to his staggering incompetence) by Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks), the supremely talented LEGO vixen, Vitruvious (Morgan Freeman), the sage wisdom, prophesy reading, Morpheus analog, and a host of others including Batman (Will Arnett), Superman (Channing Tatum), Green Lantern (Jonah Hill), Shaq (Shaq), 1980’s space guy (Charlie Day), and many more.
The action spans several different LEGO-themed kingdoms highlighting the incredible diversity that LEGO has become famous for. The story beings within the limits of a skyscraper-strewn metropolis, complete with traffic-jammed roadways, coffee shops, construction projects, dark back alleys, and a seemingly infinite list of other small, visual touches that combine to create to an awesome sense of scope and completeness. As the story progresses, Emmet and company make appearances in the Wild West, a pirate-themed ocean world, a medieval land with knights and dragons, a bizarre, hyper-glittery Hello Kitty-esqe world, and back again. Every domain is as thoughtful and nuance-packed as the last, keeping your eyes hopelessly pinned to the screen, hoping to soak up every last, glorious bit of eye candy.
The visuals are CGI but capture the essence of the real life LEGOs they are emulating. Using a computer generated pseudo-stop motion, the action is reminiscent of that brick by brick process by which every LEGO creation is made. Even the individual pieces themselves aren’t perfectly-glossed computer images but have the appropriate wear and tear indicative of being built up and torn down, built up and torn down, again and again.
The LEGO movie is part epic, part romance, part comedy, part action flick combined impeccably into a fun, creative, and hilarious romp through your childhood. Though it will surely be labeled a ‘kids movie,’ the fact of the matter is that whether your childhood started in ’78 or ’08 there is something in The LEGO Movie for you to enjoy.
But what if you read this far and you’re still skeptical? What if the entirety of your love for LEGOS could fit into a pack of ketchup? Or maybe your fondest LEGO memory is stepping on one of the tiny interconnecting bricks bear-footed, the pain so fierce and acute that you felt justified in cursing them all so thoroughly as to be redundant. Or maybe you’ve been wronged one too many times by pieces pressed so firmly and irreversibly into one another that ‘hopelessly stuck’ is the only appropriate description. Well, in the unlikely event that anybody could actually dislike LEGOs even a little bit, the number of wet blankets out there never ceases to amaze me. Yet even with that, The LEGO Movie may offer a reprieve to the most pessimistic LEGO misanthrope, if not for the simple fact that everyone loves a good movie. Also Liam Neeson (Neeesons) is in it. Go watch it.