Copyright © 2014 by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Lego universe is in peril as Lord Business (Will Ferrell) has stolen a powerful weapon known as the ‘Kragle’ and is about to ‘seal’ its fate permanently as dictated by the villainous oppressor. Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) prophesies that ‘The Special’ will discover the ‘Piece of Resistance’ to stop it from ending. When Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) accidentally uncovers the hidden piece and taken into custody by Bad Cop/Good Cop (Liam Neeson), he is rescued by Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), a Master Builder adept at constructing anything without written instructions. Through the support of other Master Builders, Emmet hatches a plan to defuse the ‘Kragle’ before the world is bereft of any originality.
Truthfully, when the announcement was made that a Lego movie had been green-lit by Warner Bros, it was a no-brainer that the forces behind this decision had to be driven by the mean green. Well, the primary motives are still to sell more toys (undeniably!) and build a non-existing franchise (in the making) but there is a catch; Hollywood actually wants this to be good as well. It is rare but not unheard of as concepts like these can be assembled in any direction deemed fit.
In the hands of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller who also serve as scriptwriters, rest assured, great care has been taken to ensure the finished product is a fully realised ball of fun that incorporates plenty of gag references from memorable movie quotes yet unexpected in its own fresh spin to the protagonist’s journey from a nobody to being extraordinary. Just when you thought it could not get any more complex than it already is, the duo inserts a final twist reminiscent of ‘The Sixth Sense’.
Not at all chilling or disturbing like the Oscar nominee nevertheless shocking. Shocking that a toon could reverberate themes most makers will shy away. Trapped in a place where conformity is absolute and thinking differently could steer to the end of the world, it looks like a shoe-in for the ‘Best Animated Feature’ come next year’s award season. Obviously up among the crème de la crème, however, its complexity rivals more closely to Warner’s own experimental breakthrough, ‘Happy Feet’.
It is only a matter of time before this gifted pair is awarded with the accolades they deserve. I can see them doing no wrong with anything that they are involved in. ‘21 Jump Street’ was one of those rare anomalies that not only improved on its source but spawned an even more superior sequel. Wonder if ‘Battleship’ would have stayed afloat if the costly dud was handed to them? Guess we will never know. What I do know is that this adrenaline-charged tale will be incomplete without the vocal talents.
Yes, actors are a dime a dozen. With real talent, the pool is considerably smaller than what is perceived to be. The cast consisting of rising stars, character actors and seasoned performers are all wonderfully matched to their distinctive roles that the weakest link seems to be its running time (with so much going on, another 15 minutes of laughs would have been fine). Everything is indeed awesome. A self-aware satire unafraid to hurl bricks of resistance on a conglomerate-dominated milieu is atypical and is sure to inspire a whole new generation of skillful Master Builders.
Acting (Voice): A
Rated PG for mild action and rude humor