By Josh Horwood.
Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, 100mins, on DVD and Blu-Ray
When President Business initiates a plan to destroy the Lego world, it is up to ordinary piece Emmett and a group of so called Master Builders to thwart his plan with the mysterious piece of resistance, the Kragle.
This is easily one of my favourite movies of 2014. Watching it feels like the biggest sugar rush, with its fast paced snappy dialogue and deliriously quick action set pieces. The movie’s visual style is entirely formed and dictated by LEGO, with the clouds, sea and even explosions maintaining their blocky shape. The film champions individual creativity against an imposed bland corporate identity.
The vocal performances are all brilliant. Chris Pratt leads with confidence and charm, which gives Emmett a real heart and Elizabeth Banks shines as wanna-be-hero, Wild Style (no, she’s not a DJ). Will Arnett gives his best Christian Bale gruff voice pastiche to make Lego Batman one of the films surprises; he could be the best on screen Batman, a sentiment Warner Brothers clearly share as he is set to lead his own spin off movie in 2017. Liam Neeson’s Good Cop/Bad Cop character plays wonderfully with that cliché and has a visual gag that could only be achieved with Lego. Will Ferrell is clearly having the time of his life, hamming up the villainy as President Business. The animation has retained the stop motion feel of the brickfilms that inspired Lord and Miller but is sadly polished CG. The movie’s theme, Everything is Awesome, will be a song that will be stuck in your head for the next day or two after seeing the film, stick around for the credits to hear Batman’s first solo song, Untitled Self Portrait, which had me rolling in the aisles.
With a denouement I genuinely didn’t expect, I can understand why Lord and Miller’s self referential style may not be for some but for me it worked an absolute treat.
Apparently not good enough for an Academy Award nomination, this superb animation takes you into a Lego world without feeling commercial, contrived and proves that everything really is awesome when you’re part of a team. If you haven’t seen it already, why are you still reading this?!
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