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The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie

Already a box office blockbuster stateside, movies based on toys or board games have not always fared well. Recently, Battleship was a critical and financial disaster for Universal Pictures thankfully putting a halt to a proposed Monopoly feature. The Care Bare adventures and Transformers epics are two exceptions for toys becoming hit films.

There are no rules when building with Lego on the bedroom floor, this overwhelming film takes that initiative on hand. Unlike modern animated films, the Lego digital graphics are flawed. This is what the creators wanted reflecting the stiffness of the bricks with awkward movements lovingly upheld in place of smooth motions. Look close enough – you will notice scratches and fingrprints too.

Australian effects studio Animal Logic were responsible from conception in a three year production. ‘Everything is awesome, everything is cool when your part of a team’ is a catchy techno rap theme song and embodiment to this clever, action packed send up of the never ending super hero genre rich with personality. The story of construction worker Emmet (Chris Pratt) as an unlikely master-builder special one as nominated in a prophecy from a questionable blind lord (Morgan Freeman) is the basis of a cool fast moving trip across the Lego universe.

The villain Mr Business voiced by Will Ferrell plans to use a frequently enjoyed public gathering Taco Tuesdays as a staging ground to glue them to the spot robbing them of their creativity. As far as the plot goes that is probably too much information to examine in a world that includes a Unikitty (unicorn/kitten). Jumping from the city limits to a wild west, to outer-space, to a waterworld, it’s all happening to the bewilderment of Emmet who lives his life exactly as the ‘instructions’ say. Unlikely romance develops. Emmet finds wonderous attachment to the street-wise Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) as she protects the faux saviour from the threat of Mr. Business. One problem, her boyfriend is the egocentric Batman.

Full of myriad delights, dry with and an abundance of cultural nostalgia, I actually think adults may benefit more than young children. The action is busy and consuming with an array of surprises occurring in the background. Abraham Lincoln appears alongside a Ninja Turtle, Shakespeare and Wonder Woman are also on hand.  That might just help acknowledge that viewers should be prepared for anything. The Star Wars references were my personal favourite.

Channing Tatum voices Superman, however Liam Neeson possibly steals the show as a head spinning Good Cop – Bad Cop, the constantly switching persona of law enforcement. The larger younger skewed concept of Duplo Blocks even gets a mention, very funny indeed. A human element towards the end brings the entire film down a notch, a nice relatable way to adjust from the chaos that came before it.

Features voices by Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Will Arnet, and Alison Brie (Rated PG 100 min).

Shane A. Bassett

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