Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Lego Movie (2014)


Directed by: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Voices of: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, others.
Release date: February 06, 2014 (UAE)

Everything is indeed awesome in The Lego Movie, a charming yet madcap animated comedy set in a world entirely constructed of legos – those little play bricks that children (and adults) build out their imagination with. In the movie, the legacy of lego-building is coupled with a modern and pop-culturally hip storytelling, all visually depicted in the bright-coloured cuteness of legos. Therefore, children and adults alike will have lots to enjoy in the film, regardless of whether one has indulged in these little play-things or not.


Regular lego-guy Emmett (Chris Pratt) is a construction worker who only knows to follow instructions. When he stumbles on to the Piece of Resistance, he is identified as the “special” one who will save all of Lego land from the villainous Lord Business (Will Ferrell). Lord Business has imprisoned many master-builders, those who can build without instructions, and he plans to bring monotonous stability in all of Lego-land. Without any special powers or the ability to build without instructions, Emmett must somehow take the assistance of other master builders to fulfil the prophecy and defeat Lord Business.

Directors-Writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who wrote and directed the equally inventive Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and surprisingly funny 21 Jump Street, capitalize on the one thing that makes lego a success across generations: imagination. Splendidly actualized, the movie plays out like the pictures in one’s mind when play-acting with their toys – the action scenes, the bizarre visual mish-mash of different genres (a city cop flying a space-ship in the wild-west!) and simple everyday objects taking on a completely different meaning in the world of legos. The characters are in fact so stereotypical, that they are at the same time genuine yet a parody of themselves. From Batman (a fantastic turn by Will Arnett) to Good Cop/Bad Cop (both sides voiced by Liam Neeson), the multitude of supporting characters with large or bit parts enrich the story with their individual quirks, something that can now be recognized as a staple trait of the directors.

Remarkably, what elevates the movie from a standard-fare fun animated movie to a truly memorable film is the context given to Emmett’s world-saving task. The Lego Movie is, in fact, second only to Toy Story 2 as the perfect toy movie, which is a huge accomplishment by itself. It may have been easy for the directors to run wild with their imagination given the scope of what legos and CGI technology can accomplish, but the brilliance of Lord and Miller is in providing the movie and its main characters, including villain Lord Business, with a wonderfully poignant perspective without ever being heavy-handed about it. Neither do Lord and Miller make the movie about the marketing – this isn’t a shallow attempt to sell more of those toys. Instead, it is a means to tell a well-balanced yet rambunctious tale. The Lego Movie is that rare movie: it is made of plastic, but with real feelings.

Rating --> 4.5 of 5

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