Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Lego Movie (2014) Film Review

The Lego Movie poster
Title: The Lego Movie
Director: Chris Miller, Phil Lord
Screenwriter/s: Chris Miller, Phil Lord
Length: 100 minutes
Year of Release: 2014
The Lego Movie is a film directed by Chris Miller and Phil Lord, and stars Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman and Will Ferrell, and revolves around the character of Emmett (Pratt), who is an ordinary LEGO construction worker, up until he is made out to be the hero who is to defeat Lord Business (Ferrell), a man who wants the entire LEGO universe to keep to his strict vision; utter perfection in everything, without variation.

The Lego Movie is a film which I, among quite a few of my friends, were hotly anticipating. It wasn't until after it's US release that my friends and I quickly realised that we Australians were getting our release another 2 months down the road, which really pissed us off! 2 months after everyone else has taken up their opinions on the film, I arrive late to the party! Nonetheless, I'm still going to write my opinion on the film, as I believe it's still worthy of note, even 2 months after it's general release. So, allow me to voice my long overdue opinion!

To begin with, our plot. Emmett, voiced by Chris Pratt, is an average, boring LEGO construction worker, who seems to have no individual qualities to him; he simply follows whatever is hip and trend at the time, and attempts to fit in. After staying late at his building site, he uncovers an item, which is rumored to be the exact device capable of saving the entire LEGO world from the evil, corporate ways of Lord Business, voiced by Will Ferrell. Lord Business despises originality and variation, and instead wants to create a LEGO world where everything is in perfect order and shape. It is up to Emmett and the rest of the Master Builders (who can seemingly build anything out of various LEGO pieces) to save the day!

To begin with, the voice acting in The Lego Movie is utterly pitch perfect. Every actor imbues their character with heart and soul, and even though we do have some incredibly distinct voices thrown in the mix, such as Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson, you only see their characters, not the actor's individual faces. Miller and Lord have certainly gone for a lot of star power, that is undeniable, yet they still have conjured up the best performances possible from this group of actors that they managed to recruit for the project. Their casting decisions are also undoubtedly genius; Morgan Freeman as a god-like leader is a fantastic type-cast that certainly evoked a chuckle or two out of me every now and again, and Liam Neeson as Bad Cop was hilarious and genius. In summary, casting and performance wise, some of the strongest voice acting from the past few years is on showcase here.

The film as a whole, unfortunately, I never really got into. It rushed by, seemingly, and despite some genius plot twists and character moments, I never really felt invested into what I was watching. Maybe that was just my mood getting in the way of a brilliant film? Nonetheless, I just couldn't really get involved with what was going on in the film like I wanted. A lot of the jokes fell quite flat with me as well. Have no fear, you will laugh a heap at the vast majority of the jokes on show here, yet there were more than a few times that I was a little under-impressed. Maybe it was because my expectations were so damn high that I expected more than what I received? All these maybes don't help hide the fact that this film didn't grab me as how I would've liked it to; I just couldn't sink into the world on the screen and lose myself in what I was viewing, and that is quite a major flaw. 

The animation is utterly without fault; there is just some mind blowing animation going on here that is unmatched in all the animations that I've had the pleasure of watching. The fast-paced action scenes are all incredibly smooth in camerawork and execution, which is an impressive feat, seeing as the world moves as if it is stop motion. You realise quickly that what we are being shown is most certainly not stop motion, yet nonetheless, it's impressive as to how long Miller and Lord had me fooled. All the individual worlds have their own various styles, and done in LEGO, they all look fantastic. On a technical level, in general, The Lego Movie is outstanding, and should be acclaimed for being just that. 

The Lego Movie didn't have me as involved as I would've have liked, yet it undoubtedly will entertain you for most of it's 100 minute running time. This is a genuinely hilarious film, that seems to have passionate filmmakers behind it. A definite recommendation, despite it's flaws.

Junkie Score: 8.4
Worth Admission Price? Yes

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