The LEGO Movie, YES, the damn LEGO movie.
I know what you’re thinking, not because of some terrifying mutant power I attained in my teenage years, but because there’s an unavoidable stigma about anything branding itself as ‘The LEGO Movie’. Heck, if you’ve watched television for more than 15 minutes recently you’ll have at least had it’s trailer pumped mercilessly into your cynical, already-disapproving eyes. I guess my point is; don’t be that guy. Just like it’s real-life counterpart, The LEGO Movie is more than what it appears.
Plot-wise the film follows Emmet (Chris Pratt), a regular shlub who lives and works in some sort of extra-peppy Orwellian state as imagined and built by children. He absent-mindedly floats through life happy as a bag of chips until, as is the wont in Joseph Campbell’s Film 101, his world does the ol’ topsy-turvy and he’s sent on a quest to save his little blocky world from a fate worse than being gnawed on by toddlers.
The thing is, it’s not just that Emmet’s quest is a lavishly-designed love-letter to everything LEGO (yes I am going to keep typing that in block capitals, thank you), peppering it’s history with a tangy frenetic wit straight out of Heston Blumenthal’s existential kitchen; The LEGO Movie goes one step further.
The core conflict of ‘The LEGO Movie’ is actually between instructions and imagination; to follow what’s provided and build the creator’s intended superstructure, or to take what you’ve got and build a whatever-a-tron-4000-egg-whisk-trouser-press thing. It takes these age-old diametric ideas and runs with them to their logical, and honestly heart-warming conclusions.
If you happened to survive a childhood in one piece you’ll be all too familiar with this problem, and the way ‘The LEGO Movie’ uses the almost staggering amount of different kinds of LEGO to explore this is nothing short of exemplary.
The risks ‘The LEGO Movie’ takes with it’s IP and the grander metaphysical notions of it’s source product shouldn’t have worked, and at times there are worries it gets lost in it’s own hyperactive cubey world, but, y’know, somehow it gets away with it. Somehow, all the grandiose, sweet, whimsical, funny and nostalgic pieces come together to build a brilliant construct just like… erm… hang on I’ll get this…
Running Time: 100 minutes
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett
Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller