That’s right – this baby is SPOILER-FREE!
OFFICIAL SILVER SCREENER REVIEW
– THE LEGO MOVIE –
IMDB Rating: 8.3 out of 10 (63,513 votes)
Director: Chris Miller and Phil Lord
‘The Lego Movie’ is pure insanity. The idea is one of brilliance – at least it appears that way now – but it would be ignorant to think that in the beginning, it was realistic to think such an awesome film would come from the concept. The imagination required; the attention to detail needed; before it seemed like the job was too great. It turned out to be not only achievable – the film is a downright piece of magic.
The sheer audacity of directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord (‘21 Jump Street’, ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs’) is not to be underestimated. This film is a mammoth piece of exploratory imagination, and they must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel for some of the ideas here – a time and space portal doesn’t seem like a massive breakthrough concept, but considering what other devices are involved in this plot, the brains of these two men had surely been cleaned out.
Yet these two men manage to juggle batty concept on top of batty concept beautifully. The end of film accepts the very likely possibility that this will become a franchise – ‘Lego Movie’ number 2 is scheduled for a 2017 release – and I’m fine with that, because the pure joy and wonderment ‘The Lego Movie’ induces can only be better in higher quantities.
For background’s sake, ‘The Lego Movie’ tells the story of Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt), a regular, everyday Lego guy in a regular, everyday Lego world. His life revolves around following instruction manuals to get through his daily routine, along with many others, making him somewhat of a nobody. But after a confrontation with a girl named Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), he discovers that he may be the “chosen one” – Vitrivius (Morgan Freeman) preached a prophesy involving a chosen one saving all mankind earlier in the film.
Typical, everyday, kid’s action movie trash right? Absolutely not. As the plot develops, things take a turn towards the crazy side. All of a sudden, Emmet finds himself in multiple Lego worlds, being flown around by Batman (Will Arnett) whilst learning about the phrase “master builder”. That’s not even the end of it. I won’t spoil anything, but just to prove how mad this film is, let me give you a word:
If you had seen the movie, you would find THAT word – yep, Kragle – absolutely hilarious.
The beginning of the film is absolutely infectious. It is impossible not to have a smile on your face throughout the first 10 minutes of ‘The Lego Movie’. And I’m not talking about some sheepish grin. I’m talking a full-blown, ear-to-ear kind of smile, one that simply won’t go away no matter how hard you try. It’s the kind of opening that makes you happy to be alive, happy to be enjoying life. Reading that, it may come across as shallow and sentimental, but let me assure you, that’s not the case. It’s creative, beautiful to look at, and perhaps above all, absolutely laugh-out-loud funny. I saw this in a near-empty cinema with a few pairs of adults with children, and the fact that I was out-cackling the both of them throughout the film is undeniable proof that this film is 100 minutes of non-stop glee.
I will admit, I do have a soft spot for animated films. The three ‘Toy Story’ films rank among my favourites, animated or not. ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘Monsters Inc.’ are not far off and, I will admit, there’s something endearing to me about films like ‘Frankenweenie’ and ‘Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs’. The imagination and fun involved in the creation of animated films gets me every time. Is it the most artistic genre of filmmaking? Maybe. Is it one of the best? Possibly. These questions need not be directly answered, just thought about, because there truly isn’t much like an incredibly funny, warm-hearted animated film. And ‘The Lego Movie’ fits the bill. In fact, it passes the test in flying colours. Flying, coloured blocks, actually.
The animation is truly superb in ‘The Lego Movie’, but that’s to be expected. Visuals aren’t a problem with these two directors – ‘Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs’ is one of the most distinct animated films of the past decade because of it’s massive scale and brightly-coloured, smooth animation. Here, it’s a little more difficult, because the characters have to move in choppy, quick steps, rather than smooth, realistic animation. But the execution is terrific. As soon as you see Emmett walking around his apartment, you realize there’s a new level of detail in this animation compared to other films.
So what exactly is ‘The Lego Movie’ about? There are multiple answers to this question. Sure, it’s about the importance of believing in yourself, about trust, about maturing, and about childhood. But more than that, it’s saying something important about fitting in, which is an idea more aimed towards young adults (don’t be fooled, though – this film is for absolutely every age bracket.) Yet the idea is explored fittingly, because of what the basic concept of Lego is. Lego is meant to fit together; it’s meant to work according to the manual. Emmet himself lives in a world where living by your own rules flags you as an outcast. The first thing Emmet does in the morning is greet everything in his apartment and then head straight for his instruction manual bookshelf just to know what to do next.
But Lego is very often subject to a child’s imagination, and so the tables are turned. Heads are displaced, random uniforms are assorted, and heroes in completely different stratospheres all of a sudden become allies. As is the nature of Lego, though. Imagination turns out to be an agent of change. That’s where ‘The Lego Movie’ steps up and becomes something more. The main characters, animated or human, are all forced to undergo a necessary change. It is Emmet’s real goal, obvious to viewers or not, to become independent. He wants to be his own guy, not what the instructions say he should be. And I guess that’s an idea we’re all very conscious of, child or not, and reading the film as an exploratory piece on the nature of independence, ‘The Lego Movie’ just gets better.
MY RATING: 9 out of 10.
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