Tuesday, February 11, 2014

the lego movie — everything is really awesome

I was so pleasantly surprised by The Lego Movie that I actually am excited about the prospect of seeing it again. Whether that will be another trip to the theater or when it comes out on disk I can't say. But I haven't felt that way about an animated movie, or really any movie, for quite some time.

The movie's plot concerns Emmett Brickowski (Chris Pratt), an extremely ordinary guy (and minifigure), who finds the "piece of resistance," and is thrown headfirst into an adventure where he finds he may be "The Special," the one who can save the world(s) from the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell) and his mysterious super-weapon the "Kragle." Along the way he meets many interesting characters, including the wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), a good cop/bad cop (Liam Neeson) who works for Lord Business, Batman (Will Arnett), and an intriguing Lara Croft-like girl called Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks).

Emmett, Batman, Vitruvius, Wildstyle

Filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) not only have a lot of affection for Lego building sets, but movies and pop culture, and they manage to interweave all of these elements into their fast-moving, great-to-look-at film. One doesn't need an intimate knowledge of the Lego themed sets of recent years to enjoy all of the mini figure-spotting opportunities, which include superheroes like Superman and Wonder Woman, historical figures like Shakespeare and Abraham Lincoln, as well as fictional characters like Gandalf and Dumbledore and plenty of other fun figures, and even some surprise appearances. Visual jokes are abundant as well, as Emmett and his friends race through Legoland cities and environments, from Lord Business's totalitarian (and funny) posters displayed on huge skyscrapers, to floating clouds and clever characters in a quaint Western town.

The Lego Movie is so much fun I don't really want to write any more about it for fear of spoiling any surprises. Suffice it to say that its ear worm of a theme song, "Everything Is Awesome!!!" by Tegan and Sara, featuring The Lonely Island, pretty much sums it up. And viewing the film has also inspired me to pull out that Harry Potter Lego Hogwarts Castle that I got for the kid a few years back (and the cats demolished) and give it another go. "Everything is awesome ..." [humming]


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