We’ve had it rough slogging through toy-based films like Battleship and the Transformers franchise and the future doesn’t look so bright either, what with the Monopoly and (sigh) Hungry Hungry Hippos offenses on the way. Right now though, everything is awesome – or at least, The Lego Movie is.
One part South Park: Imaginationland and Toy Story; two parts The Matrix and 3.9 million parts Lego, The Lego Movie follows Emmet Brickowski, just another instruction-following nobody who learns that the happy go lucky hive mind mentality of the Lego people is down to the quasi-evil, monopolizing Lord Business who seeks “total perfection” throughout the Lego realms.
Joining a group of Master Builders after he unwittingly discovers that he is the prophesised “Special” who will end Lord Business’ aesthetically-pleasing-but-admittedly-naughty reign, Emmet is trained to unlock his imagination and lead the rebels attempting to set the Lego people’s minds free.
If that plot sounds a bit like it was written five minutes after reading the introduction to a Joseph Campbell book whilst watching a Wachowskis film, don’t worry: writer/directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have never been all that great with innovative plotting. However, like with their unexpectedly amazing films Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street, Lord and Miller make up for lax narrative with juvenile humour, manic on the nose dialogue and a fast-paced energy that even six year-olds struggle to keep up with.
Whereas previous direct-to-DVD films and tie-in webisodes used realistic environments to help create their universes The Lego Movie comprises entirely of Lego pieces – excepting a couple of real world objects like highlighters and batteries as mystical ‘relics’ – creating an imperfect but quirky and unique style that grabs. Just wait until you are bobbing in the Lego sea or watching a cloud city explode and try to deny the beauty of this bitty animation; Frozen may have pretty snow and The Croods, gorgeous vistas but this is where the good stuff’s at.
This uber cool style, the aforementioned silliness and its immersively seamless hybrid of CGI and stop-motion puts us firmly into kid-mode and only the grumpiest of grumps will fail to see The Lego Movie’s merits. You’ll be running into the closest Argos as soon as the credits begin to roll.
With a sprawling cast of great voice talent and a solid 89 minutes of the film’s 100 comprising of some serious rib-tickling it’s hard to pick fault with the film’s tendency for schmaltz and tenuous plotting. On offer are double-decker sofas, tongue in cheek complaints that Lego instruction manuals are hellish and the most catchy (and clean) Lonely Island song you might ever hear. The Lego Movie is worth the wait that we never knew we were even waiting.
The Lego Movie is in UK cinemas from February 14th.