[Movie Review] 'LEGO' Builds a New Family Classic
I laughed out loud numerous times throughout The LEGO Movie, a new action comedy in the tradition of family classics like Toy Story and Shrek, and I even teared up at the unexpectedly heart wrenching emotional climax.
I have no doubt that this is a future favorite that will find its way into the DVD or Blu-ray viewing rotation of just about any family with kids under age 10, as it is that rare movie that manages to hit all the right notes in assembling a grand adventure that is at once both epic and intimate.
It will bring together generations who have grown up playing with the distinctive LEGO toys, building a nostalgic-but-new shared experience that effectively reminds us all to believe in the miracle of ourselves, suggesting that if we do so we can achieve wonders beyond imagination. Yes, it’s that good.
And Batman is in it!
The LEGO Movie tells the story of Emmet, an everyday average construction worker who learns that he may be “The Chosen One” meant to save the world from the menacing Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell), who has discovered the remnants of an old Krazy Glue tube that he plans on using to freeze in time anyone who disagrees with him.
It’s up to Emmet to rally the good citizens of this LEGO-ized world (and himself), and he is hilariously up for the challenge, as voiced by the talented Chris Pratt of NBC’s Parks and Recreation and Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Dark Knight shows up early on to help out, but he is just one of numerous additional cameo appearances from various other icons, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Han Solo, Gandalf, Dumbledore, Robin Hood, and many others you will have fun spotting, amid a ton of movie and pop culture references for all generations throughout the brisk 95 minute running time.
Voiced by Will Arnett (Arrested Development), Batman is fittingly gruff and angst-ridden, but the best part is when he plays his brooding original song about living in darkness with no parents.
Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games) plays Wyldstyle, LEGO’s badass female butt kicker, while Alison Brie (Community, Scream 4) is adorable-turned-vicious as Unikitty, a seemingly always happy bowl of cheerfulness who is actually suppressing some serious rage issues.
The great Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight) lends his distinctive voice to the wizard-like prophet Vitruvious, allowing for a few quick but powerful speeches that further hit home the simple and righteous morals of the film.
There is a clear moment in the third act when The LEGO Movie elevates itself to a new level, and you see that what you’ve been watching for the last hour was actually more powerful than you even realized.
It’s the moment when the film becomes a classic for families to share with each other for generations to come, and when certain universal truths about parents and their kids are presented in such a touching yet funny way, you may hardly be able to contain your emotions.
The film’s hypnotically catchy theme song (by The Lonely Island) is even so infective that you’ll be humming it for days after you exit the theater, and you’ll feel good that “Everything is Awesome” in LEGO land and maybe here in the real world too.
Official Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Matt Artz
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The LEGO Movie (rated PG) is now playing at R/C KDH Movies 10 in Kill Devil Hills.