Friday, February 7, 2014

The Lego Movie (2014) Review:

The Lego company is a toy company that has truly stood the test of time. Not only by staying ahead of its competition, but by also being able to adapt and stretch itself across the entire board of the toy-making domain. Think about it, how many franchises are out there that the Lego company has fed off of and co-produced a series of toys after? Numerous, too many to count. Anyone who's a Lego fan will enjoy this movie. There are lots to find entertaining from its design, creative story, action and characters.

Emmet & Batman (stealing the show)
The story is about the everyday Lego man named Emmet Brickowoski (Chris Pratt). A construction worker who lives his life by the book. Literally, a Lego construction book. And like any other day, his day goes just fine until he makes a discovery that turns his life upside down. The discovery involves a special fragment that could save the Lego universe. Little does Emmet realize is that the world he lives in is a set-up (no pun intended), where a ruler called President Business (Will Ferrell) is a chronic perfectionist who longs to hold a structured order to the Lego universe. And the story only gets more creative from there, partially because of the characters involved. Accompanying Emmet in his journeys is Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), who makes sure Emmet doesn't lose his head and saves him whenever possible. Then there's also the head master known as Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) who gives some very funny scenes.

But the one character who steals the screen the most is Batman (Will Arnett). There are just too many scenes to count where Batman has a line that makes every intended funny scene even more genuinely funny. There's even a Lego spaceman that I can only imagine any person who played with Legos must have had at one point in their life. But that's not all, there are even more cameos than one could count, most of which viewers saw in the upcoming trailers to this movie. They all have their own special parts. Even the bad guys are memorable. President Business had good scenes and his henchman labeled as Bad Cop / Good Cop (Liam Neeson) is one heck of a character. In a way, the character reminded me of Man-E-Faces from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983).

Bad Cop & President Business
What really helps make this movie funny though is the mix of a clever, imaginative story that blends in great with its respective animation. The story was created by Kevin and Dan Hagemen who also worked as writers for the Lego TV series Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu (2011) and Hotel Transylvania (2012) which also was a very entertaining animated family feature. But the reason why their writing works so well is because of the animation. Kudos to the animation department because they did an amazing job by sticking to what Ray Harryhausen would do - stop motion animation. By using the physical Lego pieces and not CGI, helped limit the characters movements making them funnier to watch. Yes it is apparent when the CGI kicks in but boy oh boy do the animators get creative with how the Lego pieces make up every single thing you could imagine of. Plus, isn't that kind of the whole thing behind Legos? It’s also the moral to the story, where Legos were created for people to get creative with.

Finally let's not forget action and music, it is one sweet ride. Much of the action scenes are fast paced, include quick wit dialog and some intense scenes as well. Helping that of course is composer Mark Mothersbaugh's score. It has every single kind of the emotion you would want. Hopefully it will be released for the film score collectors to enjoy too. There's even a theme for the movie even though it's not from the score, that is the song "Everything Is Awesome". It's a very catchy and bumpy song that'll want to make one get up and dance. I did not see one thing to pick about which is rare.

This is one epic Lego film. Every element to the film works great, thanks to its well written screenplay, comic relief given by its voice actors, entertaining action sequences, memorable characters and old fashioned animation.

Points Earned --> 10:10

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