The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

THE LEGO MOVIE (2014) *** ½

When I was a kid, I loved playing with Legos, even though I really wasn’t very good at building stuff. Whenever I followed the directions, the results were often disastrous. But whenever I did my own thing, I was able to come up with some cool/weird looking thing. That’s probably why The Lego Movie resonated with me so much. In fact, my little story pretty much sums up the entire theme of the film right there.

I’m going to resist the temptation to do the usual plot synopsis. Part of the joy of The Lego Movie is seeing how the flick rises above the usual plot devices and plunges forward with a conventional narrative that never once seems conventional. Most of that has to do with the fact that the characters are all toys and the scenery is nothing but Legos. But then again, the filmmakers find little non sequiturs and hilarious asides that enrich and enhance the experience.

The Lego Movie is a movie for kids about toys designed to sells toys to kids. But it never once feels that way. The film was written and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (who also directed 21 Jump Street) and they find some brilliant ways to make the movie more than a sum of its blocks… or parts. They find a lot of ways to have fun with the limitations of the concept (like the scene where our hero tries to do jumping jacks), and I dug how some of the animation was hilariously low-fi (like the part with the ghost). I particularly loved the way they peppered the film with cameos by various Lego characters from the past as well as some DC superheroes. (And there are also a few cameos I wouldn’t dream of spoiling.)

Most family films are squarely aimed at kids, but this is one film in which the whole family with enjoy. Sure, there are some clunky moments along the way, and not all of the jokes hit. But this is definitely one of the best family movies I’ve seen in a long time.

When you’re a kid playing with Legos, the only limits are your imagination. The Lego Movie is a tribute to that. As films based on toys go, it’s filled with ten times more imagination than any given Transformer movie.

Tags: kids, l

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