Chris Pratt as Emmet Brickowski
Elizabeth Banks as Wyldstyle
Will Ferrell as President Business
Will Arnett as Batman
Liam Neeson as Good Cop/Bad Cop
Morgan Freeman as Vitruvius
Yep, a theatrically released movie based on the Lego franchise of toys. After many years of video games, TV shows, and TV specials based on Legos, this may have been overdue. Hey, it’s not the kind of gratuitous advertisement that the Lego ______ games were. Not like they included all the popular characters they could just to leech off the popularity of others.
The Lego Movie is a “local boy done good.” kind of film. Emmet Brickowski of Bricksburg is a construction worker whose life is as normal as it gets. That is until he is mistaken for The Special, a hero predicted by prophecy to find the The Piece of Resistance and use it to save the world. Trouble is, he’s found by the bad guys. President Business, a tyrannical tycoon who also seems to own the police, is plotting to destroy the world. Upon learning of Emmet, Business has a police officer named Bad Cop (whose conscience and erratic personality occasionally turn him into Good Cop) capture, interrogate, and kill Emmet. Luckily, a freedom fighter who answers to the code name Wyldstyle rescues Emmet because of what he’s said to do. The pair rendezvous with the crimefighter Batman and the wizard Vitruvius to plan their next move. What they don’t realize is that Emmet is anything but a model hero.
If all that sounds goofy, that’s the point. This movie is largely a comedy. Really, how could a movie based on Legos not be?
The performances are great! Chris Pratt plays an unlikely hero to perfection. Elizabeth Banks is just as good as a freedom fighter who is amazed by how unqualified the hero is. Will Arnett is basically a parody of Christian Bale’s overacting in the new Batman movies and a darn good one at that. Morgan Freeman seems to be trying to test just how many movies he can appear in. Because he never plays villains, Will Ferrell proves that he was never an overrated actor, he just kept picking the wrong scripts until his post-SNL fame came to end.
How well does the humor work? Pretty well. I already pointed out that Christian Bale’s Batman is funnily spoofed. Jokes about such film cliches as bad cops and good cops, fantasy wizards, superheroes, corporate villains, and more appear throughout this movie. Probably my favorite is how Bad Cop has a personality disorder that sometimes turns him into Good Cop, i.e., we gotta get that thing in here somehow!
The Lego Movie is much better than I expected. It’s a hilarious animated comedy and fun for the whole family!
Overall: 8 out of 10