The Lego Movie is the first CGI-animated film set in the beloved, blocky world inhabited by little yellow figurines and tells the story of how The Special, Emmet (Chris Pratt), came to free all the Lego worlds from the tyranny of President Business (Will Ferrell).
Emmet is a rule-abiding citizen who listens to the one popular song, ‘Everything is Awesome’, and hasn’t had an original thought in his life (bar a double-decker couch, which everyone agrees is the worst idea ever). Emmet doesn’t have any friends since, although being a perfectly nice guy, he lacks any personality. He leads a lonely, ordinary life until he runs into Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) who thinks, due to a misunderstanding, that he is The Special mentioned in the prophecy of Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman). He will have to fight against and take down the evil President Business and his sidekick Good Cop/Bad Cop (Liam Neeson).
When you think The Lego Movie, your first thought might not necessarily be excitement. Sure, the toy will probably bring back fond childhood memories, but the idea of using the little yellow figures and their world for the setting of a film appears ludicrous – even if stranger concepts have made it to the silver screen. The Lego Movie however not only succeeds, it outdoes pretty much every other animated film in the process.
The film is aware of what it is at all times, and the writers have clearly taken great pleasure in not only the self-deprecating humour but also grabbed the chance to parody everything from Hello Kitty to Abraham Lincoln to Star Wars. The voice actors read like a who’s who of celebrities who have knack for not taking themselves too seriously: the Green Lantern is voiced by Jonah Hill and Superman by Channing Tatum. Nick Offerman voices Craggy, while Cobie Smulders does Wonder Woman. For some jokes, the producers went all out: C-3PO is voiced by the original actor, Anthony Daniels, as is Lando, which sees Billy Dee Williams reprise his iconic role. Shaquille O’Neal meanwhile simply voices himself.
None of this distracts from the brilliance of The Lego Movie‘s main cast: Chris Pratt, the friendly, moustached receptionist from Her excels. Morgan Freeman channels his inner god from Bruce Almighty as a Gandalf-like wizard and Elizabeth Banks tones the Effie Trinket craziness down several notches to star as lovable wannabe rebel Wyldstyle. Her boyfriend, Bruce Wayne’s alter ego, is voiced brilliantly, since very reminiscent of Christian Bale, by Will Arnett. Alison Brie is fantastically annoying as Uni-Kitty. Will Ferrell delivers a very strong performance as President Business, especially following the twist at the end. The true star of the film however is Liam Neeson, who switches between Good Cop and Bad Cop with such ease and funny excellence, it makes you sad that he so often wastes his talent on largely plotless action thrillers.
The jokes, nods and references to other films are almost too many and delivered so quick wittedly that it can be hard to keep track of all of them – a fact which proves The Lego Movie to be one that recommends itself for several viewings. Whether it’s Batman declaring that “I only work in black. And sometimes, very, very dark gray.” or Abraham Lincoln leaving the assembly because ” A house divided against itself… would be way better than here.” , it’s quote upon quote of brilliant writing. There’s even a great Night Valian moment when President Business is announcing on his broadcast to “take extra care to follow the instructions or you’ll be put to sleep, and don’t forget Taco Tuesday’s coming next week.”
The Lego Movie is a film for children aged 5 to 99, and will entertain you with jokes, lovable characters, truly gorgeous animation and a twist at the end that will break your heart (in a good way). Do yourself a favour and rush to the cinema as soon as you can to indulge in what will quite possibly remain the best animation of the season – it’s certainly put the bar almost unattainably high for others.