Movie Review: The Lego Movie (2014)

Lego Movie movie still ending

Finally, an animation that raises the bar – “awesome” is perhaps an understatement for ‘The Lego Movie’

The makers of all the other animations that will be releasing this year should probably give up all hopes of being the best animated feature of the year already. Seriously, I believe it’s quite impossible to top The Lego Movie because it’s practically impossible to dislike the film in any way. Even if the general audience don’t find the jokes that funny, they might appreciate the multi-layered meanings (if they catch it) and the brilliant twist at the end.

The story focuses on Emmet (Chris Pratt), a boring ordinary construction worker who lives in one of the Lego realms, one day stumbles into a portal which brought him to another universe and is mistaken as “The Special One” by Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and the rest of the MasterBuilders led by old wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), who intends to form a resistance against Lord Business (Will Ferrell), the dictator of the entire Lego universe, who manipulates the people with the media, “instruction guides” and his influence on how they should live their lives and even what TV shows and song (Everything is Awesome) they’re supposed to like.

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Initially, the trailers might had suggested that this was just going to be one of those comedies that takes a formulaic adventure plot and turns it into a parody with unique elements or features as the gimmick. But no, it’s way smarter and deeper than that. Director and screenwriter duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) bravely went beyond generic criteria for a “good cartoon-movie” and cleverly injected The Lego Movie with satires and puns, poking fun of not only the modern society in general, but the celebrity characters and the toy itself as well! Ultimately, the key moral or message here, I believe, is to encourage the people to never stay in their comfort zone, embrace the changes and don’t limit the creativity of others. But it’s so multi-layered, it could also just simply mean that parents should spend more time with their children, or Lego can be played without following the theme or instructions of the products. Okay, I better not further spoil the movie for you, go watch it and interpret it yourself 😉

Besides the writing, humour, thoughtful ending and all that, the action choreography is unbelievably cool as well. I had never thought that such epic sequences can be created with Lego figures and bricks (it’ll certain boost the sales of the toy). This film also proves that you don’t need crazy, stunning visuals and CGI to make a great animation. The voice cast are splendid, most notably amusing ones are Liam Neeson (The Grey, Taken, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace) as the Bad Cop/Good Cop and Will Arnett (Arrested Development) as today’s typically stereotyped parody version of Batman. Unlike the disappointing con-job Wreck-It Ralph, some of the celebrity characters do make more than a couple of appearances and Batman is actually one of the main characters through out the film. The older audience can also count on one or two surprise cameo appearances by other popular characters that aren’t already shown in the trailers.

Lego Movie still meme - Batman & Emmet

What I would’ve named the film: “The Lego Philosophy Beyond the Bricks”

Censorship in Malaysia: It ain’t Disney, but still a clean animation with nothing to cut at all.

To watch in 3D? The depth of the figures were quite significant at TGV Cinemas (normal hall) but viewing it in 2D or 3D, I don’t think it makes much of a difference.

Second opinion: When I asked my girlfriend what she thought of the movie, she sang the first two lines of the theme song “Everything is Awesome”.

Verdict: Humourous, bold, lively, colourful and surprisingly meaningful and deeper than expected. Is it too early to call it the best animated film of the year?

Rating: 5 / 5

: U
Genre: Action comedy animation
Running Time: 100 minutes
Directors-writers: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Cast: Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Liam Neeson, Channing Tatum, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Alison Brie, Will Ferrell

Malaysia Release Date: February 6th 2014
Local Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Malaysia
Studio(s):Village Roadshow Pictures, Lego System A/S, Vertigo Entertainment, Lin Pictures

View The Lego Movie stills / pictures

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