a critiQal film review The Lego Movie (2014)

Plot: Emmet (Pratt), an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure, is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant (Ferrell), a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.

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Looking for something newer to review, we discovered a movie we hadn’t even previewed: The Lego Movie. Could a movie based on children’s toys do well? Sure, but that was Toy Story (1995). Would a movie built on Legos be anywhere near as good?

There’s quite the recognizable cast lending their voices to The Lego Movie. Morgan Freeman. Will Ferrell, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks…and so on. Thankfully, they do a fantastic job of giving these blocky characters life, creating a universe the viewer will be happy to escape into. Morgan Freeman is easily recognizable as a wizard, while Chris Pratt (voice the main character) isn’t as easily recognizable. Surprisingly, this works out for both, lending an air of knowledge from consumate actor Freeman, and giving main character Emmett a chance to leave a brand new impression on viewers. Elizabeth Banks is also hardly recognizable, lending her voice – but not any prior impressions – to her character, Lucy “Wild Style”.

Will Ferrell, who isn’t exactly a site favorite, seems to do better as the villain in animated films. While Megamind (2010) turned him into an odd hero, he’s much better in The Lego Movie as the evil – yet ridiculous – Lord Business. His voice tends to work better without the viewer having to suffer through his silly demeanor, and viewers should get a kick out of his role – and least the voice acting part – in this film.

The Lego Movie, at least at first glance, seems to be marketed to kids. Yet, as the film progresses, and the jokes stay much more adult than the typical fart jokes, etc that kids are subjected to time and again, the viewer starts realizing there’s something for everybody in the family. The adults will enjoy the “kragle” and other references – and grasp the conformity is bad message more fully, while the kids will enjoy watching the building blocks of their imagination coming to vivid life.

Surprisingly, the family fun lasts the entire film, even while a solid storyline keeps the action making sense along the way. Whoever decided to make The Lego Movie a comedy the whole family would enjoy knew what they were doing. Of course, they’ve shown they could make a fun yet family-friendly film before, with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009), and The Lego Movie proves that the success of that film wasn’t just a fluke.

With a smart storyline, a spot-on script that nails the humor, a nice morale of being true to yourself, and the sense that there really is something for everyone in the family in this film, The Lego Movie is one film based on a toy that you shouldn’t miss. It’s the type of kid-friendly film that many try for, but few succeed.

This one’s an easy choice for family movie night. Give it a shot, and see if you don’t agree.

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