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Review: 'Lego Movie' hits its target audience with no problem

The Lego Movie (yes, someone made a movie about the little blocks that were the endless source of fascination and frustration for kids) holds a weird aura of intrigue for people in that 40-plus age bracket. It opens on area screens Friday (Feb. 7).

Emmett and friends fight to save their home in "The Lego Movie."
Warner Bros.

It can be funny and surprising, but it’s kind of weird to see a toy from your childhood up on the screen. After the Toy Story films, one would think that wasn’t the case. But remember, the main characters - Woody and Buzz - in those Pixar classics weren’t actually toys. Disney had to make merchandising money on something, after all.But the legos? They’re blocks. There was nothing special about them until the added little people over the years. Then came the licensing and assorted worlds. Legos exist for Harry Potter, D.C. heroes such as Batman and Superman and Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Their inclusion and an unexpected twist earns gives The Lego Movie just enough whimsy to make it likeable, but it doesn’t possess the ability to take adults in the audience beyond its target audience, which , of course, is comprised of children.

Emmett is a non-descript Lego figure who is all about following the rules. He’s only concerned about being accepted by the larger group and conforming to what others think that he should be. There’s the moral for you.

He’s forced to take on the Master Builder (voice by Will Ferrell) who wants nothing more than to ensure conformity. When it’s discovered that Emmett is actually some sort of prophet, messiah, savior or something, other Lego figures begin to line up behind him in order to locate a mysterious piece that will help save Legoland from impending doom.

It’s those figures, Batman (voice by Will Arnett), WyldStyle (voice by Elizabeth Banks) and their assorted quirks that provide some of The Lego Movie’s better moments. Those are the ones that work on that second level that ultimately save it for adults.

The rest? Aimed straight at children and there’s little wrong with that.

Movie: The Lego Movie
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Cast: Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Jonah Hill
Studio: Warner Bros.
Rated: PG
Running time: 100 minutes
George’s rating: 3-of-5 stars
Check for theaters and showtimes at Atlas Cinemas, Cleveland Cinemas, Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com