The LEGO MovieThursday 13 Feb 2014
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, Morgan Freeman
Duration: 100 minutes
Everything is Awesome is the insanely catchy theme tune for The LEGO Movie and it pretty much sums up the film. There's something for all the family, but young kids and LEGO fans in particular are going to lose their minds. You may lose yours after you hear the song for the one thousandth time; it isn't just catchy, it's vice-gripping. Given the demographic, this isn't quite Team America, but think South Park meets Pixar in terms of comedy and heart respectively.
Voiced by Parks and Recreation's Chris Pratt, Emmet Brickowoski (see what they did there) is the star of the show. This average Joe is just going about his business as a builder, following his instruction booklet when he's mistaken for the universe's most talented Master Builder (geek speak for genius LEGO builders). When cool chic Wyldstyle (the brilliant Banks) bursts onto his construction site, life will never be the same again and he brings us on the adventure of his life, which sees him help Vitruvius (Freeman) battle it out with President Business (Ferrell).
Despite the fact that the film was created by one of the most successful commercial toy companies in the world and promotes LEGO products, it doesn't feel overly commercial. The self-deprecating, irreverent humour and pacey plot go a long way to preventing that from happening. The LEGO Movie is made by the same guys who brought us 21 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, writer/directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. The pair, who are currently working on 22 Jump Street, poke fun at everything from overpriced coffee to Hollywood blockbusters.
Initially it's hard to pin down the unusual look of the 3D film, which is a combination of stop-motion animation and slick CG effects – the result is fantastic. There are many clever LEGO truisms on the go that will appeal to every generation, from LEGO hair to their unique take on fire and water for one (or two). But back to that song - the directors are unapologetic about how sing-a-long-able it is – there are four versions of it on the soundtrack. Speaking about his pet earworm, Miller has said: "We did write in the script that there would be a song called Everything is AWESOME!!! and it would be the most insanely catchy, cheesy pop song of all time." True dat.
Unlike many 3D films which look fantastic but fall down on the story and dialogue - even Avatar was guilty of this - The LEGO Movie parodies capitalism and conformity, highlighting the importance of family. Quality time is promoted; the family that plays together stays together. Emmet may be only 2cms tall but the sum of his parts delivers one big message, on screen, in hearts and at the box office.