Mania Grade: A
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- Rated: PG
- Starring: Chris Pratt, Liam Neeson, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Craig Berry, Nick Offerman, Channing Tatum, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Anthony Daniels, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Jonah Hill, Cobie Smulders
- Written By: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
- Directed By: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
- Studio: Warner Brothers
- Run Time: 100 Minutes
Mania Review: The LEGO MOVIE
Bricks for all
By Robert T. Trate
February 07, 2014
Batman (Will Arnett) in The LEGO Movie.
© Warner Bros.
Being that I am Mania’s resident Toy Maniac (see column here), I thought I would give Warner Brothers’ The LEGO Movie a whirl. My history with LEGOs has never been too extensive. The reason for that is how expensive they are. Trust me, if I had the money I would fill the house with them. There is a poetry and ease to create something out of these tiny bricks. I know a few people who would consider themselves to be Master Builders, a term used, loosely, for those that love to build LEGO sets. With all those pieces at their disposal, I have asked many LEGO fans the following question: Once you get them together, do you pull it apart and build something original? The answer every time has been “no”. So, imagine my surprise when that very question laid at the heart of The LEGO Movie.
Emmet Brickowoski (Chris Pratt) is just your everyday construction worker LEGO. He will be the first to admit that there is nothing unique or special about him. That fact is reinforced to the audience by his daily routine. Emmet lives in a world of rules and regulations, a world that follows each and every step because it has to, because it is fun. Emmet’s world is run by President Business (Will Ferrell) who regulates this order right down to Taco Tuesday. Emmet is very happy with his life until he sees a different type of LEGO and follows her deep into his construction site.
Emmet meets Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks) who is in search of a very special piece. The finder of this piece will be the prophecized “Special”, a Master Builder who will change the world. Of course, it is Emmet who finds it and not Wildstyle. Emmet will need Wildstyle to escape from the clutches of Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) who is tasked in bringing in the missing piece. Where the film really takes off is in using the variety of LEGO sets and worlds. To escape Bad Cop, Wildstyle uses her abilities as a Master Builder to create an escape vehicle for her and Emmet. She can see all that she needs in the world around her, right down to the LEGO serial number. She even uses this vehicle to cross worlds and takes Emmet in search of Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman). He is a Master Builder who can help Emmet to use his special gift.
The LEGO Movie never takes itself too seriously and embraces all the LEGO creations that exist, both past and present. Its strongest asset is using all those characters and creations to tell a simple story about realizing one’s full potential. Yet, there is more to this stop motion movie about LEGOs.
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Would a Master Builder in the real world take all those LEGO sets apart? This question features heavily into the plot of the film. An issue, I thought, storywise would be counterpertuitive to what was being said in the movie. President Business, who we learn in the opening segment was once called Lord Business, has a device called the Crckle (sp). It is a device that that bonds LEGOs together, permanently. Emmet and Wildstyle enlist the help of all the Master Builders including Batman (Will Arnett), UniKitty (Alison Brie), Benny (Charlie Day), Metal Beard (Nick Offerman) and many others to stop Lord Business by Taco Tuesday. If the truth be known, Lord Business is nothing more than a LEGO collector who never wants to see his creations as anything other than what they are meant to be. “The hodgepodges”, as he calls them, lack order and consistency. In short, Lord Business has lost sight of what LEGOs are or were all about.
This is a fun movie for adults and kids. As each new creation appeared on screen, I thought there will be kids and collectors that will try and build them. LEGO probably already has Metal Beard on the shelves as well as Emmet’s first and best creation. The very best kid movies have something for the adults as well. To all the parents out there, The LEGO Movie delivers in