re:View: The LEGO Movie

Written by Philip Wilson-Smith

It’s seemingly more and more rare that a Movie branded with a U rating would appeal to anyone over the age of ten. Most U films are fully predictable and it seems like the market for animated children’s adventure films is a little over-saturated. With most of the films in the genre being OK at best and having little appeal to parents or students, bar those who are in the Disney society.

The Lego Movie is an exception to this rule. My expectations for a film based solely on a toy were really quite low but I was presently surprised by it’s script, humour and animation.

In fact it may be thanks to the loose premise of being a film which must contain Lego, the writers were able to craft something really quite unique. Given the endless possibility of a toy which relies purely on your imagination there must have been a lot of creative freedom.

In the film we follow the story of Emmett(Voiced by Chris Pratt), an unremarkable construction worker who through an incredibly unlikely and downright bizarre sequence of events becomes the Lego universes final hope in a typical and relatively predictable battle of good versus evil.

The cast is excellent, with big names like Jonah Hill, Will Ferrell and Morgan Freeman providing voice overs and executing the script perfectly. What might be most surprising about the Lego Movie is that despite it being aimed at a younger demographic, the jokes remain funny, if not hilarious despite your age.

The characters are also brilliant and original, for instance, Liam Neeson plays an evil police officer with a good cop/bad cop split-personality disorder, hindering his efforts to be truly evil.

Then on the good side of things Morgan Freeman plays a blind and senile wizard, providing a fair bit of the slapstick comedy in the film.

Batman’s lines are also a highlight, with several sly nods to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Expect lots of familiar faces given the fact Lego owns so many licences, from DC comics to Lord of the Rings.

The story itself is naturally easy to follow given the fact it expects you to be seven, but it does come with some nice little surprises, and manages to entertain enough to keep you interested the whole way through. Jokes are evenly peppered in the mix and the plot never takes itself too seriously, even at the end it stops itself from getting too cheesey, something which plagues kids adventure films too often.

The only criticism I could think of for the Lego Movie is that the animation is a bit shonky in places, however, at times the animation is absolutely mesmerising, with entire seas made of tiny blue Lego “studs” flowing beneath a Lego pirate ship, even explosions and various other complicated effects somehow just look great in Lego.

At first it might be hard to get over the fact that everyone in the film is just a piece of plastic but thanks to good voicing and animation the characters quickly come to life and you forget you are watching a puppet show made of everyone’s least favourite footwear.

Essentially, the Lego Movie is the best advert for the toy ever made. It’s blatant Lego propaganda and it will definitely play on your love and nostalgia for the rather expensive studded bricks. Yet for something which must have originated as a producers cash cow, it thoroughly delivers an enjoyable cinema experience and can easily stand on its own.

The cynical may find it hard to enjoy fully but the Lego Movie is well and truly worth a watch if only to see something different.

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