In 2005 the world was graced with Lego Star Wars: The Video Game. And after it surprised everyone with how enjoyable the game was for both adults and children, Lego found its footing in the modern media and after countless other game franchises including Harry Potter and Marvel Super Heroes, 2014 and the directors behind 21 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatbals brought us the first full length lego motion picture.
Instead of sticking to one set universe, The Lego Movie brings them all together in one giant lego world and thus leaving perhaps the only time you will ever see Shaquille O’Neal, Abraham Lincoln and Superman all together at the same time. Set in a world which is essentially a happy dictatorship where everyone lives their lives by following precise instructions and only build set objects and only listen or watch approved material, with cameras monitoring everything all the time. All led by President Business (Will Ferrell – Step Brothers, Stranger than Fiction), the head of the Octan corporation. Unknown to the people of Bricksburg, he is also Lord Business, an evil genius with the ambition of unleashing his secret weapon the kragle on the lego world freezing everyone in their places forever. However there are a group of Master Builders who live outside Bricksburg and in surrounding areas who do not conform to Lord Business’ tyrannical ways. Among them is Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman – The Shawshank Redemption, Bruce Almighty) a master builder who was left blind after an encounter with Lord Business. Vitruvius talks about a prophecy about “The Special” a new level of master builder who will come across a relic that can ensure the kragle is unusable. After a series of events, Emmet (Chris Pratt – Parks and Recreation, Moneyball) a completely ordinary and average individual stumbles upon the relic. With the help of other master builders including Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks – the 40 Year Old Virgin, Zack and Miri Make a Porno) Unikitty (Alison Brie – Community, Scream 4), Metal Beard (Nick Offerman – Parks and Recreation, 21 Jump Street), Batman (Will Arnett – Arrested Development, Despicable Me) and Benny the “1980-something space guy” (Charlie Day – It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia, Pacific Rim) they intend to bring an end to the ruling of Lord Business whilst being pursued by the chief of police Good Cop/Bad Cop (Liam Neeson – Taken, Batman Begins).
Two major things pull this film apart from the rest of predictable and unimaginative films that are churned out for kids. The first of which is the work that has clearly gone into the film on all levels. With every single aspect of the film looking like real lego bricks and even to the point of wear and tear for instance Benny had a crack on his helmet exactly where all lego helmets used to split along with a view chips and bite marks that we are all familiar with. Along with the frankly spectacular lighting, the whole film have a very unique visual style which is bright and colourful which engages the younger audience members but also the adults can appreciate how well built this universe is.
The second and by far most important difference is the moral of the story, that it is perfectly fine to deviate from set rules and be your own person as long as you are being creative and constructive in some sense. It also teaches kids that you can only do so much by yourself but teamwork is an incredibly powerful tool in life. The plot of the film also is deep enough to not be instantly predictable but ends up quite surprisingly with a quite touching scene towards the end that would resonate quite deeply with some audience members and perhaps even reach a few adults as well as children. It also sheds an interesting light on introducing corrupt governments to a young audience which is an interesting move due to it being such a deep topic. However it does form the base idea of a clear good/evil divide which children can identify with as the idea of someone in charge or attempting to take over the world forms the essential story of many scenarios kids make up themselves when playing with toys like lego.
- A very deep and moving story that will appeal to all ages
- An extremely catchy theme song courtesy of Tegan & Sara, featuring the Lonely Island and produced by Mark Mothersbaugh.
- A fantastic cast and perfectly matched to their characters (especially Charlie Day and Alison Brie)
- Jaw dropping visual effects with an obscene amount of care and detail put into every scene. Particularly those involving fire and water.
- Hilarious references and cameos, including Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams reprising their roles as C3-P0 and Lando Calrissian from Star Wars.