Oh man, was I excited for this film! From when I first heard about it, to seeing the first trailer, to finding out the release date. I just could not wait to see this! And then, to discover that the film was already showing, when it isn’t set for full release in the UK until the 14th (next week), that just made my weekend.
Well, that was until I saw it … then THAT made my weekend.
The Lego Movie tells the story of Emmet, an ordinary, everyday construction worker. He is content with his life, following a set list of instructions each day, which involves smiling, going to work and building, smiling, paying for overpriced coffee, smiling, exercising, and whole lot more smiling. Although, along with all of the other Lego people, he is happy – Emmet isn’t special, or at least has never been told that he is. When he mistakenly finds the Piece of Resistance, a magical item that can save humanity, Emmet is mistaken for a MasterBuilder, and the Special … and his adventure really begins as he embarks to save the Lego world from Lord Business.
Everything about this film is fantastic. The film, although you may think is a kids film, has plenty to offer for the adults. In fact, where a lot of kids films have parts just sprinkled in for the grown ups, The Lego Movie feels slightly opposite, more aimed towards the older market, with bits sprinkled in for the kids. However, not in a talking down to them kind of way. This is one that the whole family will enjoy – and even if you don’t have kids (like me), is one that begs to be watched. Don’t be thrown off by the fact you are watching a film based on toys. This really is a film that needs to be watched by people of all ages.
The film looks absolutely amazing. The animators have done an absolute stand up job of creating this Lego world. What is so good about the animation, is that while it isn’t stop motion, it isn’t over animated to be unrealistic. Everything that moves, and is in the world, looks and moves as if it were a Lego toy. The animators have been precise in not making anything move in a way that the toy wouldn’t. And that is what makes this film feel so magical! The attention detail is absolutely fantastic, and it isn’t just the Lego pieces that have been given the care and attention they deserve, if you look closely there are some well hidden gems … which I will let you spot for yourselves!
The casting of this film is inspired. Chris Pratt is fast becoming a go-to guy in Hollywood, playing the role of an everyman fantastically well. There is just something about Pratt that makes him instantly likeable – whether he is playing the buffoonish Andy in Parks and Rec, or a Navy Seal hunting down Osama Bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty … or even as a Lego man! Morgan Freeman steps in as the wise Vitruvius, and brings much to the role, as he did as God in Bruce Almighty. The perfect choice was made for a comical version of Batman … Will Arnett just has a way of making being so ridiculously aggressive so damn funny, and Batman just feels like the role he was born to play – full of arrogance, aggressiveness and a killer dry wit, Arnett is now my second favourite Batman of all time. I of course cannot forget Will Ferrell, as Lord Business, another comedy actor who can make being aggressive absolutely hilarious. And if you have read this blog in the past, you will know that I am Ferrell’s biggest fan, and I don’t believe he disappointed in this role either. A special mention also has to go to Liam Neeson, who seems to be making the rounds at the moment in comedy films, with his cameo in Anchorman 2, and now the Good/Bad cop in the Lego movie. Imagining him recording those two voices is making me laugh even writing this. Neeson is absolutely fantastic.
Along with these main players, there was a number of big names who also stepped in to provide their voices, including the always funny Nick Offerman, the lovely Elizabeth Banks, Jonah Hill, who made for an absolute hilarious Green Lantern, alongside 21 Jump Street partner in crime Channing Tatum as Superman. The sharper eared of you will also hear the likes of Dave Franco, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Jake Johnson, Will Forte and Cobie Smulders … just to name a few.
Now I know what a lot of you will be thinking. This is just a ploy to up the sale of Lego, to sell more merchandise, to have your wallet reached into and emptied. Now, I am sure that this will commercially benefit Lego, however this isn’t the intention of the movie at all … or at least if it is, it is hidden very well!
The story is great. It is kind of your classic right of passage, everyday joe becoming the hero, type of movie. But that is just the framework that is set up to allow the story to progress to the ending. Once the framework is in place, then the imagination opens up, into something that is absolutely beautiful to watch. The film is fast paced, and the writers imaginations have run wild. Which is what makes this film so appealing. There is a child like wonder to this story, and one that we can all relate to from back in our childhoods. The film is action-packed and the kind of story you would play out in your head, were you sat building and playing with your own Legos. I mean, who doesn’t want to watch a story with pirates, robots, lasers, sharks, laser sharks etc etc …
Oh, and it is also, absolutely hilarious! The jokes come thick and fast, and rarely miss. A string of puns (good and bad, but always funny), childish jokes, jokes that will fly over the kids heads but land nicely with the adults, and tons and tons of visual gags – this will be one of the funniest films of the year!
The story has a clear message, and is one that isn’t new – be yourself, believe in yourself and you will achieve, everyone is special just the way they are. It sounds cliché … but the film is written so well, that it never feels like a cliché. Although a film about toys, you aren’t being talked down to, and a great line in the film – that sums up the point I am trying to make about it not being cliché is … “I know it sounds like a cat poster … but it’s true”. It is truly heartwarming and will have you smiling, laughing, and even bring a tear or two to your eye. And with a great twist towards the end, which I think few will see coming (I won’t spoil it for you), it is just topped off as an all round awesome film.
Although very early in the year, I do think this will be strong contender for movie of the year.
If you only ever listen to me this once, please, please do yourself a favour and get yourself out to the cinema to see this one as quickly as you can. You will not be disappointed.