News Column

'The Lego Movie' builds better family fun

February 6, 2014

The Lego Movie is a spirited romp through a world that looks distinctively familiar and yet freshly inventive.

As classic toy fixtures for more than 70 years, the colorful plastic interlocking bricks are instantly recognizable. And the computer-generated world created by writer/directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller(Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs) is one that makes use of them in appealing, buoyant and often surprising ways. Using a detailed, tactile style of computer animation that also resembles stop-motion, the film's look suits the aesthetics of Lego constructions.

It's an eye-catching environment, though at times the whole thing becomes too noisy and frenetic. But overall, the experience is giddy fun for the kids, and the irreverent dialogue and gently pointed satire is amusing for the adults who accompany them.

At the center of the fun is Lego mini-figure Emmet Brickowoski, voiced by Chris Pratt. He follows orders at his humdrum construction job, enjoys an inane TV show and sings along to the obnoxious but catchy song on the radio. Though Emmet appears to be a blank slate, underneath his bland exterior is a sweet yearning.

Everything changes when Emmet inadvertently stumbles on a strange object and meets the rebellious Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). He learns he might be "the Special," in accordance with an ancient prophecy that says he will save the world from impending doom.

Emmet is trying to foil a plan for world domination set in motion by President Business and enforced by Bad Cop/Good Cop (Liam Neeson) and legions of robot clones.

Household items such as Q-tips, Krazy Glue and nail polish remover are regarded as relics from another civilization and play key parts in the zany but unevenly paced tale, which has whiffs of Toy Story,Wreck-it Ralph and even The Matrix.

The spry adventure saga offers plenty of laughs and clever allusions, as well as a sometimes-subversive skewering of modern conformity.

A warmhearted, goofy celebration of creativity, The Lego Movie builds on a sweet tale of finding one's inner imaginative child.

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Source: USA Today

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