The Lego Movie (2014) Review

For more than 60 years, Lego has entertained kids all over the world with their famous colourful interlocking plastic bricks. Now thanks to directors duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street), we finally get to watch the long-awaited Lego Movie in the big screen for the first time ever!

In The Lego Movie, Chris Pratt voiced the main character as Emmet, an ordinary Lego mini-figure who works at the construction site. He lives his routine life by following “instruction manuals”, until one day he is mistakenly identified as the Special — Master Builder, to be exact — by a tough young woman named Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). Soon he meets an old blind wizard named Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), and joins a fellowship of strangers including Batman (Will Arnett), Metalbeard (Nick Offerman), Uni-Kitty (Alison Brie) and Benny the “1980-something space guy” (Charlie Day), on an epic journey to stop the evil tyrant Lord Business (Will Ferrell) from destroying the Lego universe on Taco Tuesday by glueing it altogether.

For decades, Lego is widely known to kids as a toy that allows them to unleash their creativity. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller clearly understand what makes Lego such a long-lasting toy phenomenon until now, and successfully translating that very idea into a spectacular animated feature. Thanks to the effects team from Animal Logic, the seamless mix of stop-motion animation and CGI are very eye-catching. The action is imaginatively staged to maximum impact it’s almost like riding a roller coaster. Lord and Miller also have fun times parodying plenty of Hollywood famous blockbusters and other creative properties including DC comic characters (e.g. Batman, Superman and Green Lantern); Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogy; Star Wars, NBA All-Stars (which includes Shaquille O’Neal himself) and even William Shakespeare, to hilarious result.

All the voice cast here delivers first-rate performances. Chris Pratt is wonderful as Emmet, while Elizabeth Banks brings superb tough-girl attitude as Wyldstyle. Then there’s Will Arnett, who perfectly brings the trademark husky voice of Batman character and Morgan Freeman delivers an entertaining parody of himself as Vitruvius. As for the two particular villains, Will Ferrell is well-cast as Lord Business and the normally tense Liam Neeson lets loose as Bad Cop/Good Cop.

The Lego Movie is far from perfect, particularly given the fact that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s overall screenplay feels formulaic with more-of-the-same story element involving “a chosen person destined to save the world” kind of clichés. Still, this animated feature packs with enough fun best enjoyed for both kids and adults alike.