Occasionally there’s that amazing movie that for whatever reason — being under the weather, a jam-packed schedule, etc. — you just don’t get around to opening or even the second weekend. And then it happens. Your entire social network proclaims it “The GREATEST MOVIE EVER!!!!!!!!!!” and you instantly start mentally kicking yourself for missing out on clearly the best addition to come to theaters obviously in history. Then you find yourself preparing for cinematic ecstasy only to find yourself hopelessly disappointed wondering why everyone was raving about something that was decent, but hardly life-altering.
That’s not the case with “The LEGO Movie,” a joyous, endlessly fun film that may possibly be hype-proof. You’ll see it and instantly realize that this is truly what fun movie experiences are supposed to be like.
As a cog in the vast LEGO machine, Emmet (Chris Pratt) is hardly remarkable and perfectly content being an average guy until he is accidentally mistaken as the MasterBuilder, the only LEGO capable of stopping the evil plans of Lord Business (Will Ferrell, “The Internship”).
Aligning with the wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) and the dynamic Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”) who, in a nice twist, has to constantly rescue the “hero,” Emmet sets out to use the Piece of Resistance at Lord Business’ scaling tower. But first, the trio must stay a step ahead of the dual-minded Bad Cop/Good Cop (“Non-Stop’s” Liam Neeson exploring his often untapped humorous side), Lord Business’ main henchman, and teaming with other LEGOs like Unikitty (Alison Brie), Benny the spaceman (Charlie Day, “Pacific Rim”), the pirate cyborg Metal Beard (Nick Offerman, “We’re the Millers”) and Wyldstyle’s obnoxious boyfriend Batman (Will Arnett). Be on the lookout for some fun cameos from other popular LEGO properties as well.
Co-directors/screenwriters Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s script is packed full of a series of witty jokes and references that will have fellow Generation X’ers cracking up while they toss in a series of rapid-fire visual gags like Emmet’s wardrobe options to keep younger audience members just as engaged.
The designs are sharp and brilliantly done in a visual style that looks like everything is made of LEGOs instead of standard CGI while the animation closely resembles stop-motion to capture that sense of movement instantly familiar to anyone who’s ever used LEGOs.
And while there are a number of other songs in the film, the only one that will be playing in your head in an endless loop will be Jo-Li and The Lonely Island’s “Everything Is Awesome,” a hypnotically catchy song that perfectly captures the simplicity of the material.
The final act is so creatively handled that in hindsight it seems like the only possible way it could have ended.
You may not find yourself goofily grinning and laughing at any other film this year as you will during “The LEGO Movie” and that’s fitting because they just don’t build too many movies like this anymore. Under no circumstance should you be leery of the film not living up to the hype — go see it and be prepared to revel in the awesome.
Rating: 9 out of 10