For those not aware, the catchy lead single from The LEGO Movie is called 'Everything is Awesome.' It's kind of a bold move for a film as the title could easily be mocked if the film wasn't any good, but this is LEGO so of course it's good.
Surprised? The general thinking with those not initiated with modern LEGO would point towards skepticism that a film that looks like it was designed to sell toys was really that awesome. However, anyone who has played any of the recent LEGO video games or watched any LEGO shorts has been super excited for the film. Why? Because for the past decade or so LEGO has been producing smart, well written, incredibly fun video games. Unbeknownst to many LEGO has become one of the best purveyors of pop culture (themselves included) mockery in the past decade, and they bring all that experience and fun to The LEGO Movie, making for a film that's smarter then it looks, more than that sum of its parts (pun intended) and just plain fun to watch.
What story could a movie about LEGO have? We meet Emmett (Chris Pratt), a totally nondescript LEGO construction worker who seems entirely not special. Then one day he stumbles upon the Piece of Resistance (yes, this movie is full of awesome puns like that), a mythical object that can stop bad guy Lord Business (Will Ferrell) from destroying the world. Emmett is joined by action girl Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), wise Virtruvius (Morgan Freeman), Batman (Will Arnett) and a host of other characters that have been turned into LEGO throughout the years. It's an impressive cast of pop culture references that will keep your eyes peeled for Easter eggs as the group fights its way to destroy evil.
While the main focus of the film is clearly on having a bit of fun, it really isn't all just dumb puns and jokes at the expense of LEGO's ability to be built and broken. What really works about the film are its themes, and a certain childlike wonder that we all remember from building with LEGO. The movie may be a pun per minute, but behind that is an impressive ability to express just how cool creating things (with or without LEGO) is. While the film may eventually lay a bit heavy on the emphasis that every single person everywhere ever is super special and unique, its main theme of creativity is spot on and one that we don't always find in children's fare.
Of course it helps if the parents are having a good time too and this movie is definitely geared towards the older set as well. Wisely realizing that a good chunk of their adult audience grew up playing with LEGO, the movie doesn't just crack some adult oriented jokes, but reaches out to them as well. It's impressive how often the film can relate to anyone of any age even when its being as insanely ridiculous as possible -- we all grew up with LEGO and the movie knows it.
It isn't quite as perfect as you'd want it to be, however. The goofiness and humor can sometimes be too much, and the film kind of loses its center every so often. It's never for very long, and by the end it fully finds its way back to its core, but it does happen. That being said, missing out on the LEGO movie because you think its just for kids or that it couldn't be good since its just a toy ad is easily one of the biggest mistakes you'll make in movies this year. Round the kids up (or don't), plop yourself down in a theater (no need to pay extra for the 3D) and get ready to remember how great it was to open a box of random LEGO parts and find the world was just full of blocky possibilities.