The Lego Movie: Movie Review
Voice cast: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, Liam Neeson, Alison Brie, Morgan Freeman
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
And so, a most unexpected animated "block"buster hits the screen.
The Lego Movie has been a smash hit worldwide - it's the story of ordinary LEGO construction worker Emmett (Chris Pratt), who lives his daily life trying to fit in and conform to the instructions within his life manual.
However, when he inadvertently is believed to be a prophesied "Special" who can help bring down Lord Business (Will Ferrell), he's recruited into a quest to save the LEGO Universe. Along on this quest is Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and her boyf the self-absorbed Batman (Will Arnett) and the Gandalf like Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman).
Soon, Emmett finds himself in a world of adventure and part of a team - but on their trail is Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) who's determined to stop them saving the day....
The LEGO Movie is absolutely insane, a fast-paced mix of fast edits and hyper-kinetic cuts that's likely to give a headache to some adults but suits perfectly the short attention spans of youngsters everywhere. Inf act, about half way through, it appears that the frenetic pace and general randomness of what's going on would appear to indicate those in charge have simply lost the plot and just thrown ideas at the wall to see what would stick.
But that's the clever thing about The LEGO Movie - it throws in a third act reveal that borders on cinematic genius (and a twist that's right up there with some of the best) that puts everything that's gone before into perfect context and shows that the non stop gags and general silliness have all served a hitherto unrevealed purpose.
The animation is splendidly top notch, pulling together the old school feel of the bricks and the reasons why you loved spending hours crafting together Lego pieces; there's no nostalgia at play here (a la Muppets) but simply a free-wheeling feeling of joy and zaniness.
Of the vocal cast, Liam Neeson channels his special set of skills as the Good Cop/ Bad Cop persona; Banks brings an affability to Wyldstyle; Pratt channels the ordinariness for his Emmett, but makes him likeable and a hero for all; Freeman is the Gandalf we never had but are reminded of why his silky smooth tones are reassuring in any situation - and Arnett is the star as the self-absorbed Batman, the brooding hero who puts himself before others.
The LEGO Movie deserves to be a blockbuster hit - it's a family film that appeals to kids of all ages (much like the toy, a fact acknowledged in a savvy aside) but it manages to do more than just that. It brings a depth and a smartness that combines with a loopy overall tone to make you feel its theme song "Everything is Awesome" is cleverly prescient of how you'll feel when you leave.