Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Review of THE LEGO MOVIE: Prodigious Imagination

February 11, 2014

 "The Lego Movie" is an animated film that uses Lego characters and sets to tell a story of how an ordinary guy can actually be extraordinary.

Emmett is just an ordinary construction worker who always waited for instructions to follow, never having an original thought by himself. Falling into a hole one day, he found a mysterious red block, which attached itself to Emmett's back. This turned out to be the legendary "Piece of Resistance". This item can only be possessed by a hero called the "Special" destined to save Lego Land from the nefarious President Business, who threatens to immobilize everything with a substance called the "Kragle". Threatened, Business sics Bad Cop on Emmett to capture him and recover the red piece.

Emmett and his friends (the sassy Wyldstyle, the old sage Vitruvius and the gruff superhero Batman), escape into the Cloud Cuckoo Palace to gather up other "Master Builders". Who these Master Builders are and how the story goes after this is very complicated to describe in words. It is simply better seen unfold in amazing animation on the big screen in grand style. Just when you think the story is at the limit of its absurdity, an unexpected shift in perspective happens which grounds everything back to reality.

It was fun to hear the voices of Chris Platt, Will Farrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman bring life to the main characters. It was fun to see all those cameo appearances of an array of Lego characters from various special Lego sets in the past. Later, it was fun to find out who voiced them (like Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Charlie Day or Billy Dee Williams). 

I felt this was a very imaginative way to tell a relatively common story. The twist at the final act gave it an additional touching dimension. There is something about Lego that evokes a special kind of nostalgia in older viewers like me. Even the Dymo labels seen in the final credits adds another touch of sentimentality. The 3D was done very well, and was really appropriate for a animated concept like this one. The theme song "Everything is Awesome" by Tegan and Sara was also very infectious.  I will not be surprised if this one gets nominated among the Best Animated Feature Films of this year. 8/10.

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