First --- and MOST importantly --- this is NOT a film for small children. Please, do not take your two-year-old to see "The LEGO Movie". They will be bored and unhappy, which will lead to crying --- and making everyone else unhappy.
That said --- make sure you take your older children --- because you and they will love it! Other than my illustrious partner David, who grew up with Lincoln Logs and does not comprehend the whole LEGO mystique --- building bigger, higher, better --- I firmly believe most adults will find "The LEGO Movie" quite entertaining.
Poor Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) --- every day is the same for him, and for that matter, everyone in his universe. President Business, also known as Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell) has every single minute planned for his trusting minions. There is no time to think and nothing to really think about.
That is, until Emmet accidentally meets Wyldstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks), who immediately mistakes Emmet for The Special because of Emmet's yellow face. This was all prophesized by the ancient mystic Vitruvius (voiced by Morgan Freeman) many years earlier. The Special is supposed to be a Master Builder and a progressive thinker who finds the Piece of Resistance in order to stop the Kragle, a world-ending process dominated by Lord Business.
Written and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, "The LEGO Movie" is a mega-watt colorfully creative adventure, which also happens to be hilarious. The humor for adults is fast-and-furious, much of which will pass over the kiddies' heads. Batman, voiced by Will Arnett, is particularly amusing, as well as Liam Neeson (I can't believe I'm writing this) who voices Bad Cop/Good Cop. When Lord Business forces Bad Cop to use Kragle on his own parents after wiping Good Cop's face off, well let's just say --- it's pretty funny.
What's really amazing is the animation and the amount of LEGO bricks used --- 15 million --- to complete this film. Every single thing in "The LEGO Movie" is constructed with LEGO items, including the water, smoke, fire, Batmobile --- you name it --- it was designed with LEGO parts in mind.
The story is tried-and-true, but that's not why you should see "The LEGO Movie". It's a brilliant piece of animated filmmaking, with a wicked sense of humor --- and a great way to spend a bitter cold afternoon with your kids.
Opinion: See It Now!
LEGO fans of the world, rejoice! Your ultimate big-screen adventure is here. "The LEGO Movie" features characters, props and special effects all made up of virtual LEGO bricks --- over 15 million in all --- but cleverly created so that real LEGO pieces could have been used, provided the filmmakers had about 200 years to do it.
My observations are from someone who did not play with LEGO bricks at any point in my life. I have a feeling, though, that "The LEGO Movie" will engender new interest from children who have never tinkered with the colorful little plastic pieces.
Lending their voice talents are Chris Pratt as Emmet, Will Ferrell as Lord Business/President Business, Elizabeth Banks as Wyldstyle, Liam Neeson as Bad Cop/Good Cop, Will Arnett as Batman, Alison Brie as Unikitty and Charlie Day as Benny, among others. Also featured is Morgan Freeman as the wizard Vitruvius, astonishingly Freeman's first voice role in an animated film.
Rather than repeat the synopsis and behind-the scenes credits, please refer to Jeanne's review above. I would add this little tidbit from the film about Emmet, the reluctant hero and completely ordinary, average guy who goes about his business, following all the rules,. He is such a go-with-the-flow personality that when he orders coffee from a Starbucks-like shop and is told he owes $37, he pauses briefly, then exclaims "Awesome" with a big grin.
Some of the actors' efforts may be too subtle for the average moviegoer. Neeson, for example, used two slightly different Irish accents for his Bad Cop/Good Cop character so as to lend differentiation to his dual voice roles.
Adults in their 40's today should find the film very satisfying. However, the jokes and sight gags arrive in such machine-gun fashion that young kids and many adults will be hard pressed to keep pace. For me, a second viewing with remote in hand might be in order.
Opinion: Wait For DVD