The Lego Movie, Batman

Movie Review: The LEGO Movie (2014)

The Lego Movie, Chris Pratt

I went into The LEGO Movie expecting to like it.  I’m pretty much the ideal audience for it as I’m a guy who grew up on LEGOs, fell in love with them all over again through the LEGO video games and was really looking forward to this as a fun diversion.  I was not in any way prepared for what I actually got: the most fun I’ve had in a movie in years and the best family film in recent memory.  The LEGO Movie is smart, funny, relentlessly imaginative and utterly joyful.

Will Ferrell, The Lego MovieLike the best films that appeal to audiences of all ages, TLM operates on a number of levels.  There’s an extremely smart plot to the film operating on Orwellian themes and genere-bending quests, but it’s also just plain fun.  The adults in the theater were enjoying this film as much if not more than their kids were.  TLM takes full advantage of the number of licenses LEGO owns to bring in so many diverse characters from so many different worlds that you never know who is going to pop up next.

The main characters of the film, though, are wisely all new creations.  Emmet (Chris Pratt) is a construction worker in the utopian society of Bricksburg ruled by the not-so-subtly evil President Business (Will Ferrell in his best movie since Stranger Than Fiction).  Emmet’s life is turned upside down when he runs into a “master builder” named Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks) who is searching for a secret relic that will be the key to President Business’ downfall.  Emmet actually finds the relic, fulfilling the prophecy of “The Special” who will save all the LEGO lands from tyranny.  Emmet and a band of eclectic followers set out on a journey that ends in a way so unique that I can’t ruin it for anyone.

Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pratt, Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, The Lego MovieTLM isn’t just occasionally funny, it’s pretty hysterical the entire film.  It’s a love letter to toys, to play, to imagination and to fun.  The animation style really pops in 3D and I’ve seen the film twice already in both two and three dimensions so I would actually recommend 3D because you’ve never seen animation like this.  It really is as if an entire world based on the physics of LEGO bricks comes to life and it looks amazing.  The one character cameo I can’t ruin since he’s featured in all the advertising is Batman (Will Arnett) who is a part of Emmet’s team for most of the film.  In a film filled with hilarious vocal turns from a cast of all-star actors, Arnett does the best send up of Batman I think I’ve ever seen.  You need to stay through the credits just to hear the full version of the song Batman writes for Wildstyle.

It’s hard for me to sum up in words the joy that this movie brought me.  It was like a shot of pure joy and fun.  Beyond that, the film is extremely witty, exceedingly smart, expertly paced and impeccably animated.  There is nothing whatsoever negative that I can possibly say about it.  2014 delivers in less than six weeks a better film than all of 2013 could provide.  Yes.  It is that good.
10/10

PS – This is not only a Toy Story-level animation landmark, it’s also probably the best non-Nolan Batman movie I’ve ever seen.

5 thoughts on “Movie Review: The LEGO Movie (2014)”

  1. After the movie was over, my friend said, “I never thought I would be putting these words in this order, but everyone must see The LEGO Movie.” I am undoubtably going to see it many times, because I am going to personally take everyone I know. This is a film that truly cuts across all demographics. And yes, the adults were enjoying it more than the kids.
    This is a total non-sequitor, but have you seen Rick Baker’s “realistic Popeye” on the Four and Five and Therefore Nine blog? It’s truly amazing.

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    1. No I’ll have to check it out. Adults were going NUTS in my audience, but kids were really into it. I think this is going to make LEGOs even cooler and cement their presence in another generation just as toys, not as licensed properties alone. There’s just nothing to take away from it. The second film I liked it even more than the first. I don’t hand out 10’s lightly. I only gave out one in 2013 and it was for Gravity, a film that probably isn’t a 10 when seen at home. There’s just nothing I can criticize about this.

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