The Lego Movie review: Brick-tacular
Film: The Lego Movie
Release Date: Feb. 7
Studio: Village Roadshow Pictures
One of my fondest memories is getting a big Lego set for Christmas each year and putting it together with my parents.
When I inevitably stepped on it or knocked it down, the destruction always allowed for a new creative interpretation of the instruction guide that we previously followed but lost. Eventually, all of the Legos that once went into making the giant castle or Boba Fett's ship from Star Wars went into hundreds, if not thousands, of different creations.
The Lego Movie rebuilt these childhood memories for me piece by piece, and like any good Lego set, the final product is nothing without all of its pieces.
Combining the stop-motion-styled animation and enormous cast, the film evokes the sense of playing with an enormous Lego set that is constantly moving and the endless possibilities the brand provides.
From the film's onset, everything on screen looks like it was made entirely out of Legos, which is not only visually stunning and entertaining, but makes it feel like there isn't anything you can't build with Legos.
The result is a film that looks as sharp, entertaining and meaningful as its script, story and voice acting.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) direct the exuberant adventure. It follows Emmet (Chris Platt, Her), an average construction worker who is mistaken for The Special - a master builder who can finally put an end to Lord Business' (Will Ferrell, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues) evil schemes.
The script and story are impeccably well written and intelligent, creating a film full of wit, charm, heart and humor. At times, it's a commentary on our world, and at others, it's a commentary on Legos themselves - and it includes satire of both.
The movie is incredibly self aware, especially in the third act, which brilliantly ties the whole picture together while emphasizing its message - occasionally undermined by the familiar territory on which the story treads.
Emmet isn't alone in this larger-than-mini-figure journey and receives plenty of help from Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks, Little Accidents), Batman (Will Arnett, The Nut Job) and Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman,Last Vegas), along with the rest of the film's colossal cast - all of whom feel far more human than their mini-figure appearance suggests, but never do anything that their real life counterparts can't.
Though the film is PG and geared toward a younger audience, the endless stream of jokes and pop-culture references will fly right over youngsters' heads, making the film more enjoyable for older viewers.
With astonishing visuals that make Legos come to life, an ingenious script and plenty of humor, The Lego Movie is fun for all ages and in the end reminds everyone that being special just means being creative in their own way.