As one of the many builders in his city, Emmet lives his day by the instructions handed down by President Business. Everything is awesome until he finishes his workday and finds himself left out of the crowd. When his instructions get blown away, he goes chasing them down and meets a mysterious woman searching through the rubble of the site. Trying to chase her down, he falls into a hole and finds himself compelled to touch a mysterious red object. He passes out but has a vision and awakens in an interrogation room with Bad Cop/Good Cop. Just before getting melted down before, Wyldstyle fights her way in to save Emmet, believing that he is the “Special.” Sharing what he remembers from the vision and encounter with Bad Cop, he reveals to Wyldstyle and his new friends that President Business is planning to destroy the world.
Starring: Chris Pratt (Emmet Brickowoski), Morgan Freeman (Vitruvius), Will Ferrell (Lord Business/The Man Upstairs), Liam Neeson (Bad Cop/Good Cop), Elizabeth Banks (Wyldstyle), Will Arnett (Batman), Charlie Day (Benny), Alison Brie (Unikitty), Will Forte (Abraham Lincoln), Channing Tatum (Superman), Jonah Hill (Green Lantern), Jake Johnson (Barry), Nick Offerman (Metal Beard), Cobie Smulders (Wonder Woman)
The vocal work in this one was rather solid. Pratt gave the sense that he was just an average character that lacked any element of standing out. In comparison, Banks portrayed a strong personality. Arnett was able to get the dark, raspy voice of the Dark Knight in his version of Batman but also make the character somewhat of a jerk. Freeman played his character up as a virtuous leader; in contrast, Ferrell and Neeson were able to convey a more evil, devious set of personas.
Re-imagining the world of Legos was left to Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Trying to build a universe that both paid homage and poked fun at iconic elements of Lego history, the story of Emmet felt like it was of a blank slate that had not realized the potential inside of him. The majority of the Lego world was under the impression that President Business had everyone’s best interest in mind, but he was actually killing the opportunity for creativity. The MasterBuilders had been gathering and awaiting the rise of the “Special” to lead them to victory over Business. Emmet had never recognized anything special about himself, but his opportunity to find purpose was in front of him. While the MasterBuilders were discouraged by Emmet’s lack of immediate success, they were in for a surprise when a seemingly average guy discovered the specialness inside.
The humor is the reason films like this one become major hits. The choppy animation style gave off the right feeling to work with the somewhat rigid Lego pieces. Including such a wide array of characters also added to the humor. Superman and Green Lantern had a good back and forth banter, which falls in opposition to their interactions in the DC Universe. Including all-star basketball players, especially in the battle, added a failed hero element. Batman ended up being the focal comedic character, contrasting his brooding personality with his cockiness. The only challenge to the presentation of the film was that the animation was too chaotic at times, making it a little difficult to follow the action.
The Lego Movie is a great family film that includes entertaining elements for all ages. It also has a great message to always hold onto creativity.
Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5