Thursday, February 20, 2014

Movie with Abe: The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie
Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Released February 7, 2014

It was only a matter of time before a brand as big as LEGO got its own movie. The question wasn’t whether it would happen but when, and how it would be adapted as a feature film. Fortunately, there’s a whole back story to go with this one that doesn’t just involve LEGO jokes and references to the different things that can be built. Instead, it’s an enormously entertaining action-adventure about a nice, ordinary guy striving to be extraordinary and break free from his ingrained programming to always follow the instructions.

Chris Pratt, best known as the endearing, idiotic Andy Dwyer on NBC's "Parks and Recreation," voices Emmet, an everyday guy who wakes up each morning and gleefully picks up his instruction manual, ready to be reminded of how he should proceed in order to have the best day possible. The energy and positivity he exudes is overwhelming, and as a result, others he interacts with find him relatively free of personality or individuality. When he meets Wyldstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks), a free spirit searching for the famed Piece of Resistance that can stop the evil President Business from ending the world, all that changes, and he starts to think that maybe he might be special after all.

What ensues is a wild ride, in which Emmet and Wyldstyle travel from Emmet's familiar world to an altogether different realm with many unexpected interactions and developments along the way. They encounter plenty of intriguing characters, including Wyldstyle’s boyfriend Batman (voiced by Will Arnett), Green Lantern (voiced by Jonah Hill), and Abraham Lincoln (voiced by Will Forte). The presence of so many LEGO versions of familiar popular culture figures ensures that this film will prove just as enjoyable for moviegoing adults and parents as it will for their children.

There may be a handful of extra jokes designed especially for LEGO enthusiasts embedded inside, but this film ultimately packs enough humor to subsist all on its own. Its story is heavily dramatic and full of twists and turns, some more legitimate and logical than others. The voice cast is terrific, led by the fantastic Pratt, whose good-natured generosity of spirit makes him a superb protagonist. This may not quite be an animated classic, but it’s certainly an engaging and thrilling ride, as well as a clever utilization of animation and a very popular toy.


No comments: