More than just another toy story

The Lego Movie
English (U) ****
Cast: Voices of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Jonah Hill
Directors: Phil Lord, Chris Miller

For some kids, Lego sets have been an indispensible part of their childhood, in which they probably dream of an imaginary world, populated by Lego figures, its blocks offering myriad permutations and combinations, interwoven with different tales. The challenge with Lego sets is that the bigger they get, the harder it is to finish.

The talented duo of Lord and Miller (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs) use these elements and construct a film with a concrete script, smart humour, stunning visuals with non-stop action that is sure to keep both children and adults entertained. While The Lego Movie is a giant commercial which is sure to soar the sales of the iconic Danish toymaker, it’s a wonder why a film based on Lego sets did not see the light much earlier, and now that it has, it is just what we need, considering the disappointing Free Birds and Walking with Dinosaurs.

Emmet Brickowoski (Pratt) is the underdog, a simple construction worker who is reluctantly made a hero when he stumbles on an ancient artefact that can save the Lego world from Lord Business (Ferrell). Joining him in the quest are some well-known heroes, Batman (Arnett), Superman (Tatum), Green Lantern (Hill) and others created for this film, Wyldstyle (Banks), a MasterBuilder who can build anything with the Lego objects, Vitruvius (Freeman) and others.

Just as playing with Lego in a make-believe world is fun, the directors get enough leeway, with Emmet taking centre stage as the real hero and superheroes Batman, Superman and, especially Green Lantern, who is made fun of since he is desperate to join the other heroes, being out of focus.

The creation of a “brick and block” world adds plenty of dimension, that the film is a visual delight. Of late, many 3D animated films seem to compete against the other in matching the characterisation and animation so much that the originality seems missing. While The Lego Movie has a distinct feel, unfortunately, at a super-fast pace, it’s almost impossible, without a pause button to marvel at the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into each character, the buildings and vehicles. Even the smoke, fire, explosions and water are made of Lego pieces. Moreover, the Lego figures in the film, move as naturally as the real figures.

Whereas a few films based on toys turned out to be duds, The Lego Movie is a film that viewers of all ages will enjoy. It appeals to our children as well as the kid inside us.

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