Anyone who’s been following the rise of the Lego gaming franchise knows that the little plastic blocks aren’t just for sticking together any more. So what’s surprising about their first big screen outing is the way it manages to not only capture the silly fun of the games, but build on it to create a movie that’s one of the first really impressive animated features in a long, long time (sorry Mr Peabody & Sherman).
Emmet (the voice of Chris Pratt) is just your average everyday Lego figure working in – what else – construction, living his life according to the instructions and making absolutely no impression whatsoever on anyone around him. Then he falls into a pit and somehow gets the mythical “Piece of Resistance” stuck to his back and now he’s the “Special”, aka the only one who can save everyone from the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell) and his scheme to deploy the “Kragle” to end the Lego world as we know it.
While the plot is your basic “nobody rises up to save the world” deal, complete with prophecy (via Morgan Freeman’s blind wizard) and sexy sidekick Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), the running “are you a DJ” joke at her name is just one of the countless ways this undercuts itself whenever a good joke happens to be available.
The salute to the joys of creativity at the end is the only bum note, but you’ll be too busy tearing up to care, while the Lego action is enjoyably exciting and the product placement – Batman is a major player in the story – is defused thanks to the film’s ruthlessly hilarious mocking of pretty much everything: Batman is more of a dork knight (with a hilarious self-penned theme song), Green Lantern is a one-joke loser and the Star Wars cameo is the best use those characters have been put to in years.
Like the blocks themselves, this is suitable – and enjoyable – for all ages.
Written by Anthony Morris