Building a better movie

Animated family film is a feast for the eyes and imagination

By Carlos Razo
Staff Writer

The Lego Company has a motto: “only the best is the best.”
What could have been a shameless, toy-selling gimmick has instead become one of the most entertaining family movies in ages. When Warner Bros. first announced they were making a major motion-picture based on Lego (which comes from the Danish phrase “Leg godt,” meaning “play well”), audiences everywhere simply asked, “How?” Rest assured, “The Lego Movie” is not another mediocre tie-in film designed to baby-sit younger kids. Instead, audiences are treated to one of the funniest, most stunningly-animated, and clever films to grace the screen since Pixar raised the bar for animation with “Toy Story.” This is the best of the best.

When a powerful weapon known as “the kragle” is stolen by the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell), the wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) warns Business of a legendary prophecy. The prophecy speaks of a chosen one known as “The Special” who will find the “Piece of Resistance,” which is capable of stopping “the kragle.”

Years later, a completely average lego man named Emmet (Chris Pratt) discovers that he may be “The Special” and bring balance to the bricks. With the help of a young girl named Wyldestyle (Elizabeth Banks), a unicorn-cat hybrid named Uni-Kitty, a robotic pirate named Metalbeard, and…Batman (Will Arnett) Emmet sets out to save the Lego world from destruction, though they are pursued by Business’ henchman, Bad Cop (Liam Neeson).

Just when it looked like computer-animation had shown us everything it has to offer, this film comes along. Everything looks photorealistic, and no brick is spared in the design of the city. Water, smoke, and fire are all created from the blocks, which lends to hilarious sight gags. For those who grew up playing with Legos (you know, 100% of kids), the in-jokes come fast and furious, and a few surprise Lego cameos will garner laughs. The humor is simple enough to have kids laughing, but constant and clever enough for adults. There is no forced crudeness, no out-of-place profanity, just blatant silliness combined with creativity.

The voice acting is flawless, with every actor adding richness to their roles. From Arnett’s brooding and self-centered archetypical Batman, to hearing Freeman and Neeson let loose into a microphone, the all-star cast raises the film to an even higher level.

But what is comedy without character and story to drive it? Luckily for us, this film has a wonderful story about coming to terms with who we are and our individuality in a large society. The film reminds us that, while we are expected to follow certain social structures, we should not be afraid to stand out and (quite literally) not follow the instructions. “The Lego Movie” is a perfect film. It is not on the level of “Gone with the Wind” or “The Godfather,” but when a film has no apparent flaws, well, the boot just fits. The young and young at heart will find themselves smiling for the entire 100 minutes, because as the company itself says, “only the best is the best.”

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