Bright, loud, and undeniably clever, The LEGO Movie provides plenty of fun and tongue-in-cheek humor that kids and adults can both appreciate.
Based on the popular construction toys that have been released for 45 years and counting, The LEGO Movie centers around Emmet (Chris Pratt of Parks and Recreation and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy), a generic LEGO construction worker minifigure trying to find meaning in his life. Though convinced he is surrounded by friends that care, Emmet soon realizes his existence is rather hollow and strives to find his path in life.
On another otherwise mundane day in the completely LEGO-built city of Bricksburg, Emmet stumbles upon the mysterious Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and the Piece of Resistance, a relic that has been foretold to stop the mysterious super-weapon known as the “Kragle.” With the help of soothsayer Vitrivius (Morgan Freeman), Wyldstyle, Batman (Will Arnett), 1980’s spaceman Benny (Charlie Day), the pirate cyborg MetalBeard (Nick Offerman), and the colorful yet manic Uni-Kitty (Alison Brie), Emmet is tasked with realizing his potential as the “Special” and preventing President Business (Will Ferrell) from using the Kragle to bring the world to a standstill.
Though an unapologetic commercial for the very toys it’s based upon, The LEGO Movie has heart and a sense of humor not unlike a Pixar or high quality DreamWorks animated feature. Subtle jabs at the corporate world are laced between moments of slapstick children’s humor and awesome musical numbers, giving everyone in the audience something to keep them entertained aside from imaginative cityscapes and waves of nostalgic bliss.
Even if you’re not a fan of the LEGO toy line, The LEGO Movie is built upon the encouraging idea that everyone has the potential within them to be truly special. A positive thought to be sure, but to quote Syndrome of The Incredibles “When everyone’s super, no one will be.” While life can sometimes be closer to Batman’s bleak outlook than the delightful denial Uni-Kitty strives to maintain, the presentation of positivity itself as an option is all that some people need to succeed. Emmet’s ideas as a potential Master Builder are rather ordinary, but something magical is still found in his mundane-ness. The story’s cookie-cutter closing is expected and practically necessary in a film aimed at toward young children, but it feels defeating of the very message it had been trying to deliver the whole time.
Unnecessary existential explanations aside, The LEGO Movie is still a fun theater-going experience. There’s plenty of comedy, action, and cool character cameos that will have kids of all ages yelling at the screen in delight. Those who have not opened up a box of bricks in ages can still go check out The LEGO Movie knowing they’re in for an imaginative good time. At the end of the day, no matter our age, isn’t that what we’re all looking for?
The LEGO Movie is out now in theaters nationwide.
LEGO Movie Video Review