Mania Review: The LEGO MOVIE -

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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
  • Series:

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. 
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 spades bricks.


Showing items 1 - 9 of 9
Wiseguy 2/7/2014 7:06:50 AM

Really really want to see this and it's getting love from just about every critic to boot.

May have to wait for some time during the week but definitely gonna try to catch a 3D show

Oh and doesn't this story have a slight semblance to The Matrix

ElBaz13 2/7/2014 7:13:36 AM

I can't wait to see this. My youngest daughter who is into Lego Friends right now really wants to see it.

Daddy-daughter date this weekend! :)

violator14 2/7/2014 7:43:14 AM

 Wow i love the sound of it. I absolutely love the theme of the movie. When i was younger, i turned a Star Wars lego space ship into the Star Trek Enterprise (the Next Generation) ship! I was so damn proud of myself. It looked pretty damn good too. Different colors though of course. haha

I know im gonna love this movie to death!

LadyBrowncoat 2/7/2014 7:50:38 AM

 I'm stunned at all the good reviews because the trailer looked so stupid.  But that's not the first time a good film had a lousy trailer.

hanso 2/7/2014 9:29:28 AM

It has Batman in it, of course its good.

alienstatue 2/7/2014 10:40:11 AM

I saw it last night at the 10PM showing. I loved it!! Haha, the first 20 minutes were cheesy funny, only a few times hitting my funny bone, but after that it was non-stop hilarious. LOL! Pretty much when the other characters come in and it's an ensemble is when it get's rolling. I would recommend for sure.

VTGamehendge 2/7/2014 1:10:46 PM

Wiseguy, Chris Pratt was on Jay Mohr Sports yesterday and he described it as Wanted meets The Matrix.  But with Legos.

blankczech 2/7/2014 4:44:01 PM

 Lego Batman:  The Movie - DC Superheroes Unite was the best / smartest Superhero film of 2013 so it makes sense that this Lego movie would rack up a 97% on the Tomato Meter and coast to an A Mania Grade.  Let's see if Captain America Winter Soldier can equal that kind of nearly unanimous critical acclaim.

kinetoscope 2/8/2014 7:07:02 PM

What a fun flick. Can't wait to see this a couple of times. The Indy joke was funny. The Batman/clown land joke was really funny. 



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