The Lego Movie review

By Max Maier | Feb 09, 2014

I can't believe I'm saying this, but The Lego Movie is one of the best animated movies I've ever seen. And this is coming off the heels of seeing Frozen. This movie came out of nowhere with its announcement last year, and nobody knew what to expect going into it. A CGI animated movie using Legos? How would that work? How do you create a good story for it? The Lego Movie answers all of these questions in full.

 

We start the story in an underground cave, where an old wizard named Vitruvius (voiced by Morgan Freeman) is trying to take an ancient weapon called the Kragle. Before he is successful, our villain, President Business (nominee for best villain name ever and voiced by Will Ferrell), storms in with his army of robots to take the weapon for himself. Vitruvius warns Business that a "special" master builder will rise up from a life of boring and plain to find the "piece of resistance" and stop him from his evil plans. Flash forward 8 and a half years later, where we meet our hero, Emmet, an ordinary guy who may be too normal. He blends in and doesn't really make an impact, and he wants to change that. When he goes to his job one day, he accidentally stumbles upon the piece of resistance. The piece bonds to his back when he wakes up, and he meets Wyldeside, a girl masterbuilder who is part of a group of beings who stand against president business, who have been waiting for the special to arrive with the piece of resistance to stop President Business once and for all. This group includes Abraham Lincoln, Batman, Leonardo Da Vinci and many, many more. So, does Emmet become the true special and stop President Business?

 

Unfortunately, I can't go further than that with the story, because there are so many hints that lead to a giant plot twist, that changes everything about the story. It is incredible how the movie you think you are watching, turns into this whole other thing all together. It becomes something so much bigger and meaningful, that it is hard not to heavily ponder it after the viewing. Here I am several hours later and it is still making me think about it. Once you see the movie, you will understand, but trust me when I say, that this is one of those rare movies that tells such a great and well-written story, it leaves you thinking about it long after you watch it. And, The Lego Movie, is one that delivers that kind of story. The Lego Movie. Did not see that coming. Although, I have one nitpick to point out, but non-spoilerish. Right before the climax, and the huge plot twist. Emmet is in a sticky situation, and he does something that breaks the boundaries of this new status quo that the twist establishes. I mean, it's not a huge deal considering all that is going on, but at the same time, it goes against the message the movie is trying to deliver. But like I said, a nitpick.

The movie not only tells a great story, but it is funny. And this is marketed to kids, but the jokes in this movie never cop out with potty humor or child-like jokes for a vast majority of the humor. The jokes are well written and perfectly timed, more so than most adult comedies that have come out in a long time. A good chunk of the jokes comes from the parodies of the familiar faces we see amongst these characters. Like Batman trying to be dark and brooding, even when he quite isn't, or mixing up Dumbledore and Gandalf, or a what if the Millenium Falcon didn't have a hyper-drive? There are a ton of familiar faces amongst the cast, and that is the movie's other strong point.

This movie has one of the best ensembles of characters recorded on film. We have several DC superheroes, a teenage mutant ninja turtle, classic horror monsters, Abraham Lincoln, and many others, amongst new characters created for the film that are an absolute delight as well. Emmet is one of the most likeable characters I've ever seen. He is so funny and so nice, you really pull for him this whole time, and when he succeeds, it feels wonderful. Our main group of heroes that travel with Emmet include Wyldeside, Batman (voiced by Will Arnett), Vitruvius, Benny the astronaut, Unikitty and Ironbeard the pirate. It's a group of characters you would never expect to see together, but they are all so well-written and work together so well, you'd never question it. A big chunk of the humor comes from these funny character's voices. This Batman is voiced by Will Arnett, and he is as funny as he is badass. Morgan Freeman as the sometimes silly but always wise Vitruvius is just perfect, and Will Ferrell as President Business is one of the funniest cartoon villains you will ever see. Also, Liam Neeson plays Business' right hand man, Bad Cop, who rotates from good cop to bad cop. One of the oldest jokes in a show suddenly becomes a really funny character. And the fact that Neeson is the voice, only makes it funnier. All of the cast does a great job, and it really is a great cast. It reminds me of Wreck-it Ralph if it went one stop further with its recognizable characters.

On top of all of that, the animation is incredible. You can't tell if it's stop motion mixed with CGI or just CGI, but everything is done with Legos, whether CGI or not, and it is just impressive. This isn't Disney animation, and it is isn't trying to, yet it is a beautifully animated film, and it has a set a bar for what CGI can do.

What else can I say, this is an overall delight of a movie. It is well written, well voiced, beautifully animated, with great and sharp humor, and has a cast with tons of likable characters. Don't overlook this movie as a kids movie, this may have been marketed to kids, but any age of people can enjoy this movie. And while I can spoil how the story pans out, it has a really heart-warming message at the end, 2 as a matter of fact, and it'll leave you with warm fuzzies all over. This is simply one of the best animated movies of all time, and should not be missed.

 

I give The Lego Movie a perfect 5 out of 5 and my highest recommendation

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