Cast: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie
Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller
Studio: Warner Bros Pictures
A cheap money-grab scheme is what they called it when it was announced years back that a LEGO movie was in the works. Many had put their arms up in the air asking what exactly good can come out with a feature film with nothing but blocks and bricks. And we all know how earlier attempts to make money out of inanimate toys and games have turned out on the big screen.
However, knowing that they have got the talented duo of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller on board, I was assured that it would at least be a decent effort. These two did a surprisingly great job with Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs even when I thought I would not have the appetite for something with a title like that. And they even followed it up impressively with 21 Jump Street. And if the trailers of this film were anything to go by, I was certain that I would not be completely disappointed.
Forget disappointment, but ninety minutes later, after the screening of The Lego Movie, I instantly knew that I just walked out one of the most entertaining, enthralling piece of ingenious movie magic witnessed not just this year, but in recent times.
Yes, you heard that right!
Because, with THE LEGO MOVIE, the duo of Lord and Miller has not only come up with a smart, witty script but also has gone the extra mile to ensure that everything about the movie is simply awesome. Yes, even with a fitting song in there titled, er.., “Everything is Awesome”.
Boasting of some fascinating visual splendour besides the above mentioned brilliant script, the movie also is rooted with a lot of heart. When you get all these combinations clicking and gelling away so fine, you know you are in for something special. And let us not get into the nostalgic elements, because that is, after all, is the very foundation of this entire build up.
Inspirations of the movie can be found scattered all across your memory. You have all seen it, felt it and experienced it numerous times earlier, and here the makers just bring them all together to take you on this unforgettable ride of cops, wild west, spaceships, batmobiles, submarines, you name it! It is exactly what you would get if you let a child and his imaginations run wild with an unlimited supply of Lego bricks.
The LEGO movie is set in a world of ‘followers’ – set of standard people who lives life according to the instructions and guidelines upon which they are supposed to function. Emmet (Chris Pratt) is one such construction worker who is pretty much an average joe, helplessly low on confidence and self-belief of any kind. The story kicks into gear when he stumbles upon a strange other-worldly item called the ‘piece of resistance’, something that he discovers would stop the evil President Business (Will Ferrel) from carrying out his evil destruction plans.
At this point, Emmet is also mistaken to be ‘ The Special One’ fulfilling the prophecy, and before you know it, he is in more or less a Matrix style Neo situation, except for Trinity you have a punk gal Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and for Morpheus we got the blind sage Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman). These two show Emmet a world beyond these instructions, that of the ‘Master Builders’. These are the non-conformist rebels who love to create and build upon new ideas but have hard time following rules.
And now Emmet , from a nobody has to lead this group and save the Lego world from its doom.
Pretty formulaic stuff, you claim this is. Yes, it may appear so. But certainly NOT if the adventure is going to involve “Batman”. And if that is not enough, then throw in a bunch of cameos from the DC Universe, The Simpsons, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars etc. That is right; you can find something of everything out here in the world of LEGO. Of course, saying more of these and several other pop-cultural references would be ruining the timing of these cameos and the jokes around it. But do trust me, these jokes come thick and fast. You really need to get a second viewing just to get all the jokes, because probably you or the rest were laughing away the last time around.
The film then goes onto hit a home run with the third act, where you will discover a lot of yourself and your childhood somewhere amidst all that chaos and brick-load of fun, guns and puns.
Did I tell you how awesome the voice casting is? Chris Pratt puts in a spirited show as Emmet, while Elizabeth Banks surprises with her edgy turn. Liam Neeson is a riot in the bad cop/ good cop routine and Will Ferrell is devilishly appealing as Lord Business. Will Arnett does a fab job as Batman which is more like a spoof on the Bale version, while Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill have some fun of their own, voicing the DC heroes Superman and Green Lantern. And then of course, above all, you have “the voice”- Morgan Freeman. Need I say more?
The creativity in the animation department is another praiseworthy factor. It is no small task to bring alive a world of Lego bricks but they have managed to impress you in jaw dropping fashion. And here they painstakingly come up with landscapes, oceans, skies and fires, all of which seem built out of nothing but Lego pieces. Though computer generated, it does not not the stop motion oddity which makes it all the more appealing.
Though I saw the 2D version, it was obvious that some of the action sequences, especially in the earlier portions of the film, were clearly designed to provide you with a maximum 3D experience. And with the bright and colorful template, the 3D version would be the right option.
However, it is unfortunate that many are shrugging off the film calling it a mere kiddie flick and giving it a miss. And if you are among that lot, then here is my two minutes worth of silence to that lost opportunity. Because this is one of those rare films that promises and delivers 90 minutes of wall to wall fun, talking to kids and adults alike. This is one non-Pixar toy story that is going to find the same kind of adoration and love like the original TOY STORY features over time. And then again, why would you wanna miss even a minute of something where everything about is absolutely awesome?
So do not be such a brick head about it, and go about and give yourself a treat. You owe that much to the child within you and a lot more of that to the film buff in you.