I’m not one for kids’ movies. Very few “family” movies, usually animated, have stuck with me. Unlike most people around me, I find myself unable to quote the vast majority of classic Disney movies, and might be able to tell you the plot of half of them. Maybe. I still haven’t seen Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, The Croods, or Frankenweenie. My one exception is Pixar (except for Cars… ugh). This time, however, I’ve changed it up. Due to the sheer explosion of hype and overwhelmingly good reviews, and despite my expectations, I found myself unable to resist the siren call of The Lego Movie.
It’s pretty much what it sounds like. Every bit of the movie is done with nothing but Legos, save for some lighting effects. All people, buildings, landscapes, water, fire, even the explosions and smoke were all done with Lego pieces. The story itself is even inspired by the story a child might play out when playing with his or her Lego sets.
The story is one of Emmet, voiced by Chris Pratt of Parks & Recreation and soon Guardians of the Galaxy. Emmet is a perfectly normal construction worker who follows the instructions and builds things to specifications. However, after meeting with a spunky lady seeking out an ancient prophecy, he stumbles upon an artifact of immense power, and is quite suddenly put on course to save the world. Meanwhile, President Business (Will Ferrell) furthers his insidious plans to rule the world with his own ancient artifact.
The Lego Movie features an all-star cast of voices, including Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Keegan-Michael Key, Shaquille O’Neal, Billy Dee Williams, and many more.
My first reaction to hearing that a Lego movie was in the works was what any reasonable person might think: “Wow, really? A Lego movie? Battleship wasn’t enough, now we’re doing Lego?” I did not expect to see it, but overwhelming pressure hit me to check it out. Nearly every person whose opinion I respect told me it was fantastic and that I had to see it.
The start of the movie brought a near immediate grin on my face. It kept my attention throughout the entire hundred minutes of run time, and made me smile time and time again. The characters being introduced, the increasing ridiculousness of the plot, and the fantastic special effects kept me in the movie and laughing, which is a major compliment from me. I have a very poor track record with comedies, as I have a quite refined (by which I mean picky and hard-to-please) taste in humor. It pleased me that this flick actually got me laughing aloud in multiple places.
The whole movie is entirely safe for children. Not one word is uttered that anyone would consider profane. Seriously, the entire movie is worth watching just for one scene early on of Liam Neeson saying “darn” over and over in his deep, melodious, natural Irish accent while throwing chairs. Actually, I take it back. The movie is worth it for Liam Neeson’s natural Irish accent, something an unfortunate number of directors stop him from using.
Beautiful voices aside, this movie is just fun. It does not make use of the smartest writing, the best acting (though it’s actually fairly impressive in most places), or the deepest plot, but it’s more than enough for a kids’ movie. If you’re looking for a good film for the whole family, something a little dumbed down and easy to digest, or just some fun for an evening, it would be hard to go wrong with The Lego Movie.
The Lego Movie will be playing at the Roman Theater in Red Lodge March 21 through March 27.