The Lego Movie

Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Chris McKay

Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Nick Offerman

Rated: PG (Mild language and rude humor)

An ordinary Lego construction worker, thought to be the prophesied ‘Special’, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the Lego universe into eternal stasis.

 

The Lego Movie

By Cole Schneider

I must admit my skepticism going into the “The Lego Movie”. It looked to me like an hour-and-a-half long commercial, which tried to cram as many thoughtless jokes as possible into its running time in order to entertain its narrow target audience with hopes that they all stop by Toys-R-Us on the way home to buy an overpriced Lego kit. While much of this is true–I’m sure they do hope that everyone buys a Lego kit and I’m sure they will break merchandising records–it is certainly not thoughtless.

“The Lego Movie” is the first great animated feature specifically made for a generation of kids that have grown up on YouTube; and while an adult cynic might watch a handful of silly videos from YouTube in mockery, kids today understand the nuances of comedy, irony, and satire far better than previous generations precisely because of these silly videos. Simply, this movie wouldn’t have been made ten years ago. There are plenty of comparisons to be made to the “Toy Story” franchise, but it may have more in common with R-rated “Idiocracy”. Regardless, it creates more laughs than either.

The regularity with which “The Lego Movie” dodges cliches and subverts genre tropes is impressive and it makes the third act all the more sincere. That it repeatedly turns on itself also softens the commercial blow. Whether it’s satirizing corporations much like the Lego company or mocking Liam Neeson angrily kicking everything nearby, there is an authentic, self-effacing Lego joy that drowns out the Lego product.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

The Lego Movie

By Matt Greene

I could see someone having some small problems with The Lego Movie, but if you leave saying, “I didn’t like that”, you are lying. This is an immensely likable, even lovable, comedy. Full of childlike ingenuity and imagination, it manages to be a pretty blatant Lego commercial while also being a critique of the museum-like treatment of Legos in modern times and a promotion of learning to play again. But most of all, it’s just plain fun. Combining elements of Toy Story, Time Bandits, Naked Gun, and “Adventure Time”, this is by far the most vibrant and funny movie of 2014.

It’s the story of a construction worker learning to break from his every day, humdrum existence to bring uniqueness back to his world. In order to do this, he must join a slew of pop culture icons, which looks like comic-con threw up Legos. The spoof like humor and great non-sequiturs are the bread and butter, offering constant and consistent laughs. However, the movie succeeds in so many other ways: it’s a uniquely shot action movie, makes poignant points about thinking for yourself, and has some great commentary on the difference between being truth and cynicism. Even with some potentially heavy-handed schmaltz at the end, the movie manages to just plain work.

Perhaps the most impressive part is the animation, which is oddly and insanely beautiful, sticking to the limitation of real Legos. On whole, TLM is a uniquely refreshing experience, laugh-out-loud funny, and stacks of pure awesomeness.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 star

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