This one's a Must-see!

This one’s a Must-see!

Ambitiously made; non-stop funny

Ambitiously made; non-stop funny

When you first heard that there was a movie in the making called “The Lego Movie“, what did you expect? An extended cutscene from one of those cartoony and obviously computer-animated Lego games, I’m guessing. I thought so too, but when I saw that these filmmakers have created a film that literally looks as if someone took millions upon millions of real Lego bricks and made the first full length motion picture to be made entirely with Legos, I can assure you that I was hooked.

From left to right:

From left to right: Uni-kitty, 1980’s space guy, Emmet, Batman, Vitrivius and Wildstyle.

There is not one thing in this movie that isn’t Lego. Explosions are made of bricks, lazer beams look like plastic, fire is made out of those little toy flames you can put on Lego rockets or cars, and all of it looks absolutely legitimate. From the stop motion-esque frame rate to the lighting, details and visuals, this is, as promised, the true definition of a “Lego movie”. As for the plot, we have bit of a “Chosen One” story on our hands, but it is told in a tounge-in-cheek and satirical manner that makes it okay that it isn’t the most original core story arc you can have.

The “Chosen One”, or rather “The Special”, in this case is a very generic-looking Lego man named Emmet (Chris Pratt), whom nobody initally sees anything “special” or memorable about. He is a construction worker living in a controlled society ruled by the corrupt President Bussiness (Will Ferrell), but is always positive and friendly. And yet, he’s almost always forgotten. This all changes when he comes in contact with a strange Lego piece with seemingly magical properties hidden beneath the rubble of a recently demolished Lego building. He also meets a mysterious woman called Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks) who claims that his relation to the Lego piece, called “The Piece of Resistance”, makes him significant to an ancient prophecy, told in the film’s intro by Morgan Freeman as Vitrivius, leader of a group known as the Master Builders.

As Wildstyle helps Emmet escape from the troops of Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), who sometimes turns his head around to reveal the face of the much more chippy and polite “Good Cop”, she takes him to meet the other Master Builders, who consist of various Lego counterparts of various popular characters.

Lord Business explains his evil plans to Bad Cop.

Lord Business explains his evil plans to Bad Cop.

Apart from Vitrivius and background characters in the forms of Superman, Gandalf and Shaquille O’Neal (voiced by Shaq himself, no less), we get to meet an ever so dark and grumpy Batman (Will Arnett), a massive robot pirate named Metal Beard (Nick Offerman), a 1980’s space guy who likes spaceships and space (Charlie Day) and a My Little Pony parody named Uni-kitty (voiced by my sweetheart Alison Brie). These builders use the blocks of their respective worlds creatively, independent from the perfectionist instructions designed by President Business, who was known as Lord Business back when he too was a Master Builder. Business has a device known as the Kragle in his evil corporation building, and he intends to use it to freeze the world into the “perfect” image he himself wishes for. Only The Special can stop this and that Special is Emmet, but his tendency to work from instructions rather than creativity makes the other Builders doubt him, as does he himself.

The jokes and humour incorporated into all this is of South Park-level quality. Every Lego-related visual gag inspires a laugh and every satirical pop-culture reference, even the occasional one that seems random and out-of-the-blue at first, makes perfect sense once you consider that these famous characters and celebrities actually have Lego counterparts in real life. The comedy is intelligently satirical and so fast and clever that catching every gag will no doubt require a second viewing.

The film has its share of genuinely touching moments, as well. I am referring specifically to the third act when Emmet meets with a fabled deity called The Man Upstairs. When this scene happened, I knew that I wasn’t just watching a fun and clever little movie; I was watching the greatest animated film I’ve seen since Wreck-It Ralph. That, dear readers, isn’t a small feat.

I just hope that the success of both these movies doesn’t inspire a Hollywood trend where less talented studios make animated movies that try and fail to be “the next Wreck-It Ralph” or “the next Lego Movie“. Not many others could mimic the inventine comedy and world-building of these films.

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But the thing that downright makes The Lego Movie a masterpiece is the attention to detail and realism. Characters move their limbs and heads like real Legos, objects have textures that look indistinguishable from real close-ups of the plastic they’re created from, some of the more aged Lego pieces harbor miniscule dust grains and indentations, and every single object shown on screen is an objects that exists in Lego form in real life. The dollar bills, the hairstyles, the clothes and of course, all the different pop culture figures and characters.

When I was searching for screenshots online earlier, I sometimes wasn’t sure whether I was really looking at a screenshot from the film itself or a real-life recreation of a scene using actual Legos. That should tell you everything you need to know about the caliber of animation in this movie.

The Lego Movie is fast, smart, well-animated, well-acted, hysterically satirical and even offers us a maddeningly catchy original song called “Everything Is Awesome” (on par with “America, Fuck Yeah!” from Team America). I suggest that you hurry up and see it if you haven’t. You might even want to see a 3D screening if you wish to experience the full effect of feeling like you’re watching real Legos in action right in front of you. I give this, a movie about living Legos, a 5/5. (Never thought I’d say that.)

5/5 whatever

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