Sunday, 9 February 2014

The LEGO Movie (2014)

The Lego Movie poster.jpg
Assembling the Audience

An ordinary LEGO minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together.


Through each of their films, Phil Lord & Chris Miller have taken concepts which make audiences scoff and turned each of them into an outstanding film with smart writing and hilarious moments. The LEGO Movie is no different, showing how the duo have gone from strength to strength with each release, to this, their best film yet. They've managed to take a concept which could have easily become simply a film designed to sell toys, and instead turned it into a film which appeals to all ages, and even makes grown ups want to play with LEGO once more.

Emmett, the main character, is a typical figure who wants to be important and matter to people. When he discovers he could be the chosen one, things truly explode for him as he discovers an opportunity to mean something and be somebody, as opposed to just another blank figure in a world full of them. He discovers not to follow everything the media tells him and to start thinking for himself, showing an underlying satire.

The world hopping could have easily become an eye-rolling example of promoting the many sides of the brand, but instead, it manages to play well into both the laughs and the plot, and also bring a wave of nostalgia to the viewers. The LEGO license has been used to it's fullest, seeing Dumbledore and Gandalf sit beside one another, with Abraham Lincoln, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and many members of the Justice League sat in the same room. And just wait until a certain appearance comes, from a Galaxy far, far away.

"Can you believe they hired Ben Affleck to play me?"

Made with a mixture of stop-motion animation and CGI, the directors have done a fantastic job of crafting this world. The attention to detail that went into making this a believable LEGO world is impressive, with small items like water and clouds being compiled with LEGO bricks, and even dirt made of LEGO splattering onto the camera at one point. The inventive ways that the characters turn random bricks into LEGO vehicles is impressively imaginative, adding greatly to the already well done scenes of action.

The cast all perform exceptionally well. Chris Pratt proves to be a formidable lead as Emmett, delivering the lovable innocence well. The entire cast prove to have wonderful talent and comedic timing, especially the well known veterans like Will Ferrells megalomaniac antagonist, Liam Nesson's schizophrenic Good Cop/Bad Cop and Morgan Freeman's wise old wizard. But its the stars of cult comedies who shine the brightest. Alison Brie's adorable Unikitty proves to have a darker side that she wishes to suppress, Charlie Days hyperactive shtick goes well with his spaceman character. Will Arnett does a fantastic take on Batman, which is unlike what previous incarnations of The Caped Crusader have shown, and Nick Offerman threatens to steal the show, proving unrecognizable as the pirate known as Metal Beard.

But the film truly reaches another level of amazing with a final act reveal, where things get surreal and even a little meta. What happens really shouldn't work, but it's thanks to the smart writing that it manages to deliver a level of emotion you never see coming, with many viewers being able to relate to what happens.

In short, three words can be used to describe The LEGO Movie: Everything is Awesome! But to be more descriptive, Phil Lord and Chris Miller took what could've been 'Product Placement: The Movie!' and turned it into a thoughtful, hilarious tale full of heartfelt moments, and some brilliant characters. What a bricking achievement.

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