(This review is spoiler-free!)
This weekend, I joined my husband and a theater bursting at the seams with screaming, chanting children to watch The Lego Movie, a film I have been dying to see since first witnessing its amazing trailer, chock full of my favorite LEGO pieces and actors.
I don’t think there are many people my age who didn’t grow up playing with LEGO sets, spending hours creating structures and storylines with the mini-figures. Heck, I even married a 31-year-old LEGO junkie who prefers to decorate our house with the LEGO Sarlacc Pit, rocket ships, Quidditch rings, and more – it’s sort of an interior design crisis, but hard to suppress a handsome bearded man who geeks out over a Han Solo mini-fig.
LEGO seems to age like a fine wine, expanding its section to the most popular genres and sweet niche ones (there are even Back to the Future sets!!); a major motion picture feels like a natural next step and I gladly welcome a sequel. This movie is absolutely brilliant and brought out my giddy inner child for the full length of the film thanks to nostalgic references and adult one-liners. It does the perfect job of catering to children, grown-ups, and children at heart.
In my opinion, the best factor is the animation style, which upon first glance looks as if the studio spent years in stop-motion photography with a thousand different figures. On the contrary, the movie is done completely in animation styled to mimic the real-life movement of LEGO pieces, which allows the film to maintain a perfect suspension of disbelief. The voice acting is on par with what you would expect for a kick-ass LEGO flick, with Chris Pratt (who voices the lead, Emmet) playing the solid, unexpected hero in all of his adorable awkwardness I love so much on Parks & Recreation. But the show is frequently stolen by Will Arnett, who voices the brilliant and ever-brooding Batman, and Liam Neeson, who plays “Bad Cop” and makes me hunger for a Taken-inspired LEGO sequel. (It’s also hard not to get lost in his gorgeous lilt.) All in all, the entire cast does a spectacular job of breathing life into some of the most memorable characters of my childhood, but my heart remains stolen by a new favorite – Metal Beard, the robotic pirate wonder, voiced by Ron Swanson himself.
So without spoiling the main storyline, this movie is a fantastic ride with a great soundtrack and an epic plot-twist toward the end that really gives due credit to Will Ferrell’s range and acting ability. I am slightly disappointed that Marvel characters failed to make an appearance, I chalk that up to the large amount of DC cameos and to be honest, the film still rocks with plenty of surprise appearances. I highly recommend you see the film, but be forewarned that any public showing will undoubtedly contain hundreds of screaming children so maybe shoot for the late, late week-day showtimes.
Now you’ll have to excuse me, but there’s a Hobbit LEGO set with my name on it.