Sunday, March 09, 2014

"The Lego Movie" (2014) - Movie Review

How many times the formula of “The Lego Movie” has been made, remade and re-remade? An idea as Christopher Nolan in “Inception” said is like a virus and then flourishes into the minds of its resident and occupies the psyche till it is a reality. Such is the formula in the Hollywood world. Then again, it reincarnates into an imaginative, creative but most importantly an original presentation. That has happened in this universe of Legos by directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

The obsession and the fanciness of these pieces have not been personally enjoyed by this reviewer. I do not have a reference point on the intricacies of these pieces that are jointed into becoming the idea that sparks into a young mind. What I know is the buddy of mine in his late thirties who has three kids still is fascinated and buries himself in these. The age on the boxes is “suggested” as a character says. The toy my neighbour wanted to gift my six year old nephew was a small box of Lego set. The prevalence of it has surpassed generations and can only seem to propagate into the digital generation. The movie on the other hand has to stand the test of time given its pop culture references. It would become the nostalgia of this generation and they can relate to it in a fashion the next generation would not but still be enjoyed in the same fashion.

In an animation film like this, the voices does make an impact and gives a sense of inner giggle on these actors being ridiculous. As they are being ridiculous, their passion for fun and going out of the typecasts they have become emanates positively. That form of laughing at yourself and your works provides the surprise entertainment. Take Morgan Freeman as Vitruvius and how his majestic voice lends into something to believe in that character without any justification but then suddenly flips up in to being super silly? How about Liam Neeson, the actor who is sadly being typecast but effective in the genre of action thriller? You can believe him in the Bad Cop character but how he excels in voicing the Good Cop split personality? Then comes Will Ferrell as Lord Business fixating himself on the supposed “evil empire” his character fixates on? All these actors lend more than voices and takes the persona of the roles they have played and being associated with to provide the entertainment the parents will get when they bring their kids to this awesome film.

Chris Pratt has grown on me through the TV Series “Parks and Recreations” especially after he did odd supporting roles in “Moneyball” and “Zero Dark Thirty” which are quite unlike the personality he portrays in the TV Show. Here he is the central character Emmet, the day to day ordinary man with no family or friends. Lord/Miller team are no run of the mill directors to detail on the loneliness of this man and gets the act going instantly. The meet up with the cute girl Wyldstyle voiced by Elizabeth Banks followed by some serious Lego action kick start this film into adventure.

While Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and Will Ferrell lay the foundation on the expectation, the real winner comes through Will Arnett’s Batman. As much as Christopher Nolan along with Christian Bale has thumped the success into the best trilogy of superheroes, the mocking of the Batman’s voice and Arnett’s natural voice matching it is absolutely hilarious. The references that accompanies that would please anyone who liked and disliked those films.

The only qualm I would have against this effective and entertaining film that has begun the 2014 on the right note is the initial action sequences that destructs in this world. It took sometime for this reviewer to follow the action initially but once it settles in, the ride is exactly how the praises have been by audiences and critics alike.

“The Lego Movie” hits every predictability of the plot. It has the ordinary hero, out of the league girl for the hero, the mentor that provides the wisdom and the supporting characters that are there to ridicule and then follow the hero (Remember “Kung Fu Panda”?). Yet as the movie I mentioned it resonates, it uses the world as the background and tells a story that comes off as the novel presentation. When you get to the see “Abyss” and the “Man Upstairs”, you truly are witnessing the precise usage of this universe. It goes further beyond it and gives a true emotional moment of fatherly bond and the generations these pieces have navigated and will be navigating. Unaware of the Lego world and all the elements that went along with it, I thoroughly immersed into that world, laughed out uncontrollably and slightly moved in the end as well. That is saying something and comes close to be compared to the animation successes of “Wall-E” and “Up”.