film review – The Lego Movie

“Everything is awesome” is Emmet’s favorite song, but that’s not saying much: Emmet’s very easy to please. He gladly buys overpriced coffee, watches the same stupid television show every day and always follows the rules everywhere he goes. As a result he doesn’t stand out or leave an impression, and, deep down, Emmet feels quite unfulfilled and alone. But when he’s told he’s the hero from a sacred prophecy, Emmet’s hopeful that all of this is about to change.

It’s surprising how much depth there is to The Lego Movie. It tackles consumerism, drone mentality, fitting in vs. standing out and believing in yourself. It’s quite a feat that despite all these topics most of the time the movie doesn’t feel preachy. It links its subject matter to Lego effortlessly: everyone who grew up with the brand remembers the instruction manuals that were eventually tossed aside to create a strange vessel that combined random elements from the pirates, Star Wars and fantasy building sets. Lego has always been about making what’s on the box versus making whatever you can come up with yourself  and this is at the heart of the movie,  The toys’ unique type of creativity, the wild abandon, sets The Lego Movie apart from most animated films, and makes it live up to its namesake and appeal to audiences young and old at the same time. It’s an eclectic type of fun and when anarchy reigns the movie’s at its best. It can get quite crazy, but however hectic, the voice cast always adds heart: all the performers do a tremendous job bringing the plastic characters to life, with Chris Pratt delivering an endearing lead performance as Emmet. The film obviously looks great too: everything looks like it’s been constructed with Lego bricks (most of it is actually CGI), which gives it a special flavor.

The Lego Movie could’ve been shorter, though. After a while it gets repetitive, theme- and plot-wise, and it loses some of its lustre. It starts to beat you over the head with its message, which takes away from the freshness, the prime example being a significant change of scenery at the end of the film. Heartfelt becomes schmaltzy and it’s really a shame. That aside The Lego Movie is a wonderful ride and has one of the best endings seen so far this year.

The Lego Movie is quality entertainment for the entire family. Wonderfully made, joyfully chaotic and surprisingly warm. 8/10

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