THE LEGO® MOVIE
2014, 100 minutes
Rated PG for mild action and rude humor
Review by Joshua Handler
Now this is how family movies should be made. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's The LEGO® Movie is a clever, detailed animated comedy that should delight all who see it. Moving at a breakneck pace, Lord and Miller waste no time introducing us to Emmet (the voice of Chris Pratt), an ordinary guy who quickly gets tossed into an adventure - an adventure that may just save the world. The movie features an all-star voice cast including Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Charlie Day, Will Forte, Jonah Hill, and Will Arnett as Batman among others.
Lord and Miller have surpassed expectations once again. After seeing the trailer for 21 Jump Street and thinking it looked like the junk, I had low expectations. However, I saw the film and thoroughly enjoyed it. That is a movie that shows what good chemistry and a clever script can do. When I saw that there was a LEGO® movie coming out, I was worried it would be just another massive piece of product placement. I was wrong.
What makes this movie such a blast is that it seems as if the filmmakers took time to create something meaningful, something enjoyable, and not just some movie aimed at the lowest common denominator, which is something that happens to most other movies aimed at children. The LEGO® Movie offers many surprises and a manic amount of energy, yet these are grounded in an engaging story filled with witty dialogue that will make both adults and kids laugh.
The film suffers from being overly sentimental/heavy-handed in its third act, but this does little to ruin the fun that I had watching this movie. The voice cast adds to the entertainment. Chris Pratt is perfectly cast as the voice of the relentlessly upbeat Emmet, while Will Arnett stands out as the voice of Batman.
The animation looks like stop-motion, but was done all on a computer. However, the filmmakers took the care to design the LEGO® blocks in the film and put them all together so that when they "deconstructed" and "reconstructed" them it looked real.
Overall, The LEGO® Movie is a must-see for adults and children alike. Its infectious energy, impressive screenplay, and detailed animation make this one of the best early-year releases in recent memory.