‘The LEGO Movie’ Review

Published 6 months ago by , Updated August 17th, 2014 at 4:12 pm,

The LEGO Movie Reviews starring Chris Pratt Will Ferrell Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett The LEGO Movie Review

The LEGO Movie takes place in an actual living LEGO world, where the maniacal Lord Business (Will Ferrell) masquerades as “President Business,” keeping the population complacent and oblivious with a drone-like existence built on generic pop-songs and rigid manuals for team-based LEGO construction. The old and wise Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) tells of a prophecy where a Master Builder (one skilled in the art of LEGO construction) will appear from the masses to thwart Lord Business’s master weapon, “The Kragle” – but no one in the world expected that man to be Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt).

See, Emmet is about as complacent and oblivious as they come in LEGO land – unremarkable in just about every way. But when he finds the mythical artifact that can finally stop The Kragle, Emmet instantly becomes the most important man in the world; although, he’d settle for the affections of warrior Master Builder, Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). With help from the likes of Batman (Will Arnett) and other Master Builders, Emmet embarks on an adventure to save LEGO land – before the Master Builders discover that their prophesied hero isn’t what they think he is.

LEGO movie LEGO town set The LEGO Movie Review

Toys and board games have been the inspiration for more than a few movies, but the results of adapting children’s playthings into blockbuster movies with mass appeal can be a real hit (Transformers ) or miss (Battleship) proposition. A movie based on LEGO building blocks seems like a far-fetched premise for a feature film – but thanks to the imaginative powers and heart of directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs21 Jump StreetThe LEGO Movie is one of the most clever, original and fun adaptations of a toy or game ever put to screen.

Right from the start, the angle of attack is perfect; LEGO land (as imagined in this film) is an interesting and smart application of the LEGO toy experience, and the directors seem to really know the product well, which allows them to provide great comedic insight about how an actual world of LEGO people would move, function, and reflect our own daily rat-race. The colors are bright, the production design is thoroughly impressive, and the animation style (a mix of stop-motion and CGI) is no less than revolutionary when it comes to creating the (“LEGO-ness?”) of the characters’ movements and the physics of their world.

Will Arnett and Cobie Smulders in The LEGO Movie The LEGO Movie Review

Will Arnett and Cobie Smulders in ‘The LEGO Movie’

The film literally looks like a LEGO set has come to life onscreen – and in this case, 3D viewing is a MUST. The directors use the three-dimensional format in exactly the right manner: an immersive design that pulls you into the visuals while adding the proper “diorama effect” that makes the LEGO figurines and sets feel like the real objects, rather than animated interpretations of the them. In short: If you want the full “living LEGO” experience, you need to pay premium price – but it’s worth it. Each shot is stuffed with so much visual information, Easter eggs, and hidden gags that repeat viewings will be well worth your while, as well.

The only real downside to the directorial approach is that when some of the film’s bigger action sequences take place, the visuals can get a bit complicated to follow, and the animation style can get a bit choppy and break suspension of disbelief. For example: when lasers are flying and six to eight characters are all pulling off combat/building maneuvers against a horde of enemies, it can start to look like you’re watching someone’s impressive stop-motion project, rather than a blockbuster animated feature. But that deficiency is a small one, and admittedly comes with the territory.

The LEGO Movie Action Sequences The LEGO Movie Review

Chris Pratt in ‘The LEGO Movie’

The script for the film was also written by Lord and Miller – with story help from Kevin and Dan Hageman (NinjagoHotel Transylvania) – and it is equally as good as the direction, offering a multi-layered narrative with humor, wit, meta-minded irony and heart, which will appeal to kids and adults alike. The initial character/thematic arc is lifted straight from The Matrix – or pretty much every other “unlikely hero” archetype – but Lord and Miller manage to fit at least two other levels of meaning into the proceedings. While kids are invested in a hero quest, adults will pick up on sly-but-subtle metaphors (corporate uniformity vs. creative freedom, etc.) – and by the third act, when things take an especially clever turn, both kids AND adults can bond over the sort of themes expressed when The LEGO Movie really opens it heart and gets real.

The dialogue, banter, and winking ode to certain iconic characters (like Batman) make the film a highly enjoyable ride, but it is the injection of real-world emotion and some potentially heavy (but deftly handled) dramatic ideas that elevate this film above thin and saccharine second-tier animated features. Lord and Miller are not afraid to push the boundary a bit, including certain sequences that could’ve been too much for kids, but are delivered in just the right way to avoid frightening or offending young minds, resulting in some great comedy and drama at different junctures.

Liam Neeson and Will Ferrell in The LEGO Movie 2014 The LEGO Movie Review

Liam Neeson and Will Ferrell in ‘The LEGO Movie’

The voice cast is also pretty spectacular, and function as a great comedic ensemble in addition to breathing livelihood and personality into their respective characters (not surprising, really, since most of the cast are drawn from a pool of actors who have populated cult-hit sitcoms in the last five years). Chris Pratt (Parks and Rec) and Elizabeth Banks (30 Rock) are pitch-perfect (pun) as Emmet and Wyldstyle. Pratt in particular seems poised for his leading man breakout this year (Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is waiting on deck) and deservedly so, judging from his work here. Will Ferrell pulls out his Megamind persona to create a fun villain (his mispronunciation gags still work, surprisingly enough)  - but he’s outclassed by Liam Neeson, who goes for broke voicing the bi-polar henchman, Good Cop/Bad Cop. 

Supporting characters in the Master Builder clan include Will Arnett (30 Rock), doing a fantastic Batman riff; Alison Brie playing up her Community persona as an emotionally fragile “Unikitty”; Nick Offerman (Parks and Rec) as a hardcore pirate, and It’s Always Sunny star Charlie Day as an overly-enthusiastic astronaut. From there it’s just a gold rush of voice-cameo goodness, including Jump Street stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill poking fun at themselves, while everyone from Cobie Smulders to Keegan-Michael Key, Chris McKay, Dave Franco and others show up for a wink and a laugh. There are also some cameos from iconic celebrities that are just too deliciously great to spoil here; keep your ears open, is all I’ll say.

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ALSO: The Complete LEGO Movie Character Guide

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In the end, The LEGO Movie is a fun adventure with heart and originality that everyone (regardless of age) should experience in full, big-screen 3D grandeur. It’s another home run effort from Lord and Miller, who, like their blocky protagonist, may look like the most unlikely of cinematic geniuses, but whose unique imaginations may just hold the key to saving us from generic and formulaic movies.

When it comes to The LEGO Movie, “everything is awesome,” indeed.

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Our Rating:

4.5 out of 5
(Must-See)

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TAGS: lego movie

76 Comments

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  1. So glad to hear they got it right! The games had such a great comedic tone, I hoped they would translate the humour well to a longer format.

    Now to wait 2 months for it to land in Australia :-/

    • Good to see I’m not the only Australian that visits this site (of course it’s pretty much impossible for me to be the only one considering the great quality here).

  2. *snickers*

    I’m sorry that was way too easy.

    • Lmfao……. even though I’m on board to see what she can do, this was hilarious

    • @Dr. Mindbender.

      Yeah… I don’t want that sort of talk on my LEGO movie review, man.

      Don’t want the irrelevant argument it will start, don’t want the more adult nature of that comment on a kids movie review.

      Let’s maintain some standards of behavior and appropriateness, please.

      • Okay, as long as you delete the forth coming and inevitable “Chuck” post.

        Don’t tell me that didn’t make you laugh.

        …and for pete sakes what I said was just as PG rated as this film…

        • No it didn’t make me laugh. I don’t really make jokes about girls’ anatomy. Not my thing – I find it crass.

          Not judging you – you’re one of our most dedicated readers and a generally good person – but if this a thread for my review, I feel free to maintain my own standards :-)

          Love,

          “Fascist” Outlaw

          • Hey, we’re all playing in your sandbox man… run it however you see fit.

            Love,

            Dr Mindbender, aka Dr DC SPIN, aka Dr Truth Bender, aka Dr Conspiracy.

          • I must be stupid but I didn’t get it

            • If you want to read what was said, go to the open discussion page which is not a review for a kids movie so the language there is, well… “open.”

              The first part of my comment was deleted.

              And Kofi’s right, I was poking fun at WB/DC with an under-lying adult theme on a review for an all ages film.

              In retrospect yeah…those jokes are cool pretty much anywhere but here.

              • Dr. Mindbender & Kofi Outlaw need to get together…in a special way

                • @Kit

                  How do you know we HAVEN’T????

                  The internet does not always reveal all….

                  ;-)

                  • Hmm, I’d be interested to see some Mindbender and Outlaw fanfiction ;)

  3. Seriously – how can you not want to go see this? If for anything a laugh. Going for sure!!

  4. Everything is awesome.

  5. My Idea for the sequel(if there is) would be Emmet partnering up with the Avengers or Justice League to fight a villain named Captain Greed and restore all the treasures he stole from the city museum.

    • It is Warner Bros. so don’t look for any Avengers anytime soon.

      • There were Star Wars characters, so it isn’t impossible.

    • Tell Warner Bros. about this, but don’t tell them about Avengers, they’ll reject your idea.

    • That’s not a bad idea, I was thinking they would visit new Lego worlds that are made of the Lego Technic products, like the old Bionicle world.

  6. Thank goodness I have a 3 year old daughter so I won’t look like a creepy old guy trying to watch this alone.

  7. Looking forward to taking my son to see this :D

  8. I REALLY need to see this movie. Sounds absolutely amazing!

  9. The first BIG hit of the year! I have no choice but to see this.

  10. I adore this movie, one of the great animated films of the past 10 years. I have seen it twice already and can’t wait to see it again. Kofi is there going to be a spoiler discussion? I am curious how people react to the end, your review didn’t necessarily touch on it.

    • @Trey

      Hey man – THANK YOU for your discretion. We didn’t feel there were ENOUGH secrets or surprises to warrant a separate SPOILER article.

      That said, just drop a big warning (and maybe some paragraph spaces) in your comment, and fire away!

  11. This is encouraging. I have a friend wanting to go see it and was a little worried it would just turn out to be an advertisement for toys and other things taped together with a script.

    Really nice to hear that it’s actually, ya know… a movie! :D

    I’ll be looking forward to it now, thanks! :3

  12. Emmet… He looks more like a Marty to me.

  13. Havent seen this but probably will this weekend. if they make a sequel like theyre saying would like to see some other characters in the next movie:

    Star Wars
    Harry Potter
    Star Trek
    Pirates of the Caribbean
    Knights Kingdom

    and a whole lot of those other sets that were made in the 90s and early 2000s lol

    • ****Spoiler****

      ****Seriously. I’m about to spoil an awesome scene****

      This movie has a pretty epic Star Wars universe cameo. Hopefully that bodes well for the possible inclusion of more Star Wars characters in a potential sequel.

  14. 4.5 stars?

    That’s a rarity for ScreenRant.

    How’s the soundtrack? Gotta get the kids to sing something else other than “Do you wanna build a snowman?” etc.

    • I’m still singing “Everything is Awesome”. I. Can’t. Stop.

      • I like the wild west version from the saloon.

      • Yes. It won’t stop. I’m trying to convince my wife to go back tonight so I can hear it again. I feel manipulated.

    • Okay… so I took the kids today.

      Not sure if I would give it a 4.5, I actually thought it was slow until Batman showed up.

      But the kids really liked it, so that’s all that counts.

      “Everything is Awesome” is a pretty catchy tune but I don’t think it will usurp the Frozen soundtrack.

  15. What a glowing review.

    Shocking.

    What else would you expect from a WB movie that features DC characters & a bought & paid for guy like Kofi Outlaw reviewing it on a site thats pro DC ?

    This review, that’s what.

    Anybody that knows anything about this site or Kofi Outlaw could see this review coming a mile away and should take it with a huge grain of salt.

    • [Eye roll]

      Not only do I not get any Warner Bros. money, it’s probably the studio we have the least amount of relationship with.

      Time Lord, your view of reality is seriously questionable.

    • @Time Lord – Two words: Suck It!

      Loved the movie btw. Liam Neeson has really been one of those actors with a big comeback, and he was really awesome in this.

    • Time Lord/Steve/Chuck/John/Jason/Stark/Bob/Kelly/Bill/Jeff/Chester/etc./etc./etc./etc.

      Going over your comments on the site (via the over one dozen different user names… trying to obfuscate who you are to support your own arguments?), you are the last person who should be accusing anyone of bias. Seriously.

      This movie was great (based on my own opinion, the poll here, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, IMDB votes, etc., etc.), but I can tell that it would be a waste of money for you, bud. Really, I’m fascinated by people who haunt websites whose general opinion they seem to hate.

      Warner Bros. and Screen Rant must have a powerful agreement and incredible reach to influence ALL these different sources and make them give this film overwhelmingly positive reviews.

      Nice job uncovering this vast conspiracy.

      • Oh, +1 Vic. I posted about RT before I read your post. I think your snark was much more effective. Thanks.

      • Freakin’ GO, Vic!

      • Wait, so this guy is also Jeff (who seems to hate me as much as he hates Kofi) and many others?

        Man, that’s it, only Dr Mindbender, ColdSc and The Insufferable Deadpool are real, everyone else is just a figment of my imagination and not to be taken seriously. I’ve been down that road before, took years of therapy and psychiatrists to bring me back from the vistas of insanity.

        Then again, who’s more insane, me or the person who has multiple personality disorder played out on a website’s comment section?

        • bwahahahaha, all I can do right now is laugh my head off

        • I’m real Dazz, at least I think I am, unless I’m just a figment of someones imagination.

        • No, Dazz, this guy is not the Jeff (me) who calls you out from time to time. Just coincidence. Heck, if he wanted to, he could use your screen name, too. By the way, although I disagree with you often, I do not “hate” you.

    • Cool story bro. The movie is 99% on RT.

    • *sigh* I mean, seriously dude? *smh*…

  16. I thought this movie was brilliant! It was genuinely funny, the bright colors of all the sets were visually appealing and it was just a really fun movie! For a sequel I would love to see something along the lines of there being an extremely strong villain taking over and at the end they recruit the Bionicles for help

  17. This might be watchable, but certainly not a priority for me. Maybe eventually on Netflix.

    • Now how did this comment wind up on the Lego movie (which I have no interest in). It ws supposed to be on Sabatage, with Schwartzenwhanger! Darned computer glitches!

  18. My son loved it ! Especially with the Star Wars Lego scene.

    I hope there will be sequel.

  19. @Kofi, quick question. I expected 5 stars after reading your review. What made you knock it back a half star. I’m not criticizing, I’m just curious.

    • He did mention it in the fifth paragraph. “The only real downside…”

  20. This film is the platonic ideal of Lego films made real. That said, even I can’t justify 5 stars. While it may be the single best piece of family entertainment made in a while, the technical elements didn’t blow my socks off. The large sequences do devolve into a kaleidoscope of plastic dancing in a rave inside a tornado; Put simply, it gets visually chaotic, as Kofi mentions. The 80′s spaceman jokes, while reconnecting persons my age to their own Lego past, rely on humor that will seem dated in a few years. Rated to intense detail, its a 4.9, an almost-classic. However, I feel 5 stars should be reserved for the pinnacle of film, and it falls just short.(Remember the question about “Who’s gonna beat HttyDragon 2?” Dragons better bring their A game)

  21. Just got back from seeing this. Amazing!!… I mean AWESOME!!

    I think I enjoyed it more than the kids.

    I know it’s for kids 8-14, but come on… adults can like it too, right?

    • “It’s just a suggestion.” :)

  22. As I had hoped the movie was fun and enjoyable. Audiences was laughing their butt off. Everyone had a great time, even the kids :P Go See it!

  23. I can’t wait to see it! I’m going to go see it Wednesday for my birthday, by myself. But it’s ok because it’s not as creepy for a girl.

  24. Kofi,

    I’m curious as to what you’re thoughts are on the negative reviews of the film (listed on RottenTomatoes where your own review is listed on the first page) that are of a personally biased slant and not just a critical review in the negative. Clearly the film is a critical success amongst critics and the audience and while no movie (that I can think of) has ever gone without at least 1 professional movie critic reviewing it negatively, it seems to me like as if many of these negative reviews are of a non-professional bias as if the reviewer is being critical because they either dislike/despise the brand itself or are frustrated b/c they can’t understand the films plot/story. They just don’t seem to “get” what many of us, at least those of us with kids who play with LEGOS “get”.

    I’ve followed those critical reviews to the critics personal blogs (where the review is listed like yours is at screenrant) and its very clear that many others not only disagree with the negative review but find the review to be as unprofessional as I.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks

    • Probably hipster reviewing, giving it negative reviews just for the hell of it because nobody else is being hateful or negative about the movie yet.

  25. The LEGO MOVIE film is a family oriented animated movie that is targeted towards audiences of all ages and back grounds and which works on many levels. It’s hard to do the film justice and not provide spoilers so I’ll post that review in the ScreenRant post for discussions about the film where spoilers are OK.

    In short the film is 1 hour and 41 minutes long and the first 90 minutes work like a hit animated film from a major studio like PIXAR. It’s the last 10 minutes where a twist is introduced that takes the film to the next level and which will almost certainly bring tears to your eyes if you are a dad who shares the enjoyment of LEGOS with your kids. I did not catch it in 3D although I wanted to but that’s because my youngest is scared by 3D so we opted for the regular 2D version.

    I highly recommend this film for all but the very few who either hate/despise LEGO and or its brand or who are adults without kids because they do not like children. There are some adults in this world without children because they do not like children and it’s those persons who will find the LEGO MOVIE a big disappointment. For everyone else this should be a lot of fun!

    • Woah, wait, I hate children but I know I’m gonna love this film. I won’t let those darn chiddlers stop me enjoying it.

      To explain my hatred of them, I find them extremely annoying, loud, messy and I just find myself unable to tolerate them, especially when they talk throughout the movie (like the 3 year old in front of me asking where Harry Potter was during the last movie with his mother ignoring him the whole time).

  26. Absolutely incredible film. I am so happy they got this so right.

  27. Good review,i will have to see this soon

  28. More importantly, batman fans gonna love it. I LOVE IT TO BITS>

  29. A bad relationship between father and son was the driving force of this movie? I was having a good time until they made this a serious drama. I went to have fun, not to be depressed. That aside, the story was pretty darn good. Just upset the movie ended up the way it did. This movie gets a C.

    • DELETE THIS…I posted this on the wrong comment board. Sorry.

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