The Lego Movie
by Hope Madden
Legos! Has there ever been a cooler toy? It’s ideal for unbridled creativity as well as meticulous attention to directions and every tendency in between, so basically, it’s perfect. And it’s a weirdly apt building block for a movie.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller – writers and directors behind the surprise hit Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs as well as the even more surprising 21 Jump Street – return to animation with this artistic gem that pleases on all fronts.
Regular guy Emmett, construction worker and follow-the-directions type, falls into an adventure with wild idea creatives who are fighting to keep evil Lord Business from ending the Lego world as they know it.
It’s a solid, even familiar premise, and it offers these talented filmmakers a lot of opportunities. The tone is fresh and irreverent, the direction endlessly clever, and the voice talent spot-on.
Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell and Morgan Freeman anchor the tale, with great cameos (Jonah Hill and Billy Dee Williams are the biggest hoot) and talented supporting turns helping to keep every scene interesting.
A clear love of Legos infects the entire proceedings, with hilarious Lego pieces and familiar characters and creations popping up everywhere. But the core ideas are even stronger and more thoughtful, the satire bright and evident, and the final themes appropriate for the kids you took with you as your excuse to see this movie.
Lord and Miller manage to entertain every possible audience here, poking fun at modern blockbusters and reveling in youthful creativity. They are aided immeasurably by animators who offer vivid, imaginative action sequences that embrace the themes of the film and mirror the energetic fantasy world of childhood.
The result is a joyous voyage, a perfect match between content and presentation, and a super cool movie.