You what?! – made a highly entertaining, imaginative, visually stunning and dare I say emotionally charged story with Lego? Did you also insert a subversive message about the evils of big business using the very tool you’re crying out against? Well done, folks – very well done.
Okay, that’s enough lip service. Now to figure out why it works so well. At first glance it seems like a pretty standard hero’s journey with Emmet (Chris Pratt) being our hero who doesn’t know his full potential. Crossing paths with Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) draws him into a world of adventure that he could never dream of as it is revealed to him that he may be more important to everything than he ever could have imagined.
The evil he’s fighting against is Lord Business (Will Ferrell) who only really wants to keep order in his domain and that’s not such a bad thing for everyone if you don’t have a problem with being a drone and playing ball with the system in place.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller are the masterminds behind this one. Their previous efforts helped make Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs the success that it was and they bring the magic to this too.
It’s a really pretty movie. The choice to make it CG but make it look stop-motion was perfect. Building the universe almost completely out of existing Lego pieces is another stroke of genius. Up close everything looks so tactile and the wide-shots and backgrounds are simply breathtaking. As Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs does, this film taps into childlike ideas and presents them as exactly that – giving it an earnestness that one can’t help but get swept along with.
The voice cast is perfect with Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks leading the charge against Will Ferrell, and support from a range of others such as Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman and a most memorable Will Arnett as Batman.
Like many others about my age, I dare say that Charlie Day’s Bennie will leave quite an impression with his note-perfect older generation character brought to life in a most amusing way.
Hell, this is all coming off as one big love letter. I’m trying to be subjective but it’s not going as planned. Basically, if growing up you ever had an obsession with Lego, this movie is for you. If you like good stories, this movie is for you. If you want get in touch with your inner child for 90 or so minutes, this film is for you. Get on it.