After the success of “Transformers” graduating from toy line to multi-billion dollar movie franchise, Hollywood has been desperate to make lightning strike twice. The results have largely disappointing outside of the previous mentioned and “G. I. Joe,” but that hasn’t slowed the attempts to build (no pun intended) on existing fanbases. Clearly escaping all its potential trappings, “The LEGO Movie” executes a satisfying film for all ages.
Emmet (Chris Pratt) is a simple construction worker. Content to follow the rules the ominous leader Lord Business (Will Ferrell) has made for society, Emmet lives a solitary life in a world reminiscent brightly colored “1984.” When he stumbles upon a stranger on the worksite after hours, Emmet finds himself at the center of an exciting adventure where the fate of his world and those surrounding it hang in the balance. With the help of a blind prophet (Morgan Freeman), his old protégé (Elizabeth Banks), and even Batman (Will Arnett), Emmet tries to prevent Lord Business from permanently gluing everything how he intends things to be.
Any fan of LEGOs will get a great kick out this film. It’s littered with in-jokes that any avid fan would understand. The humor is safe enough that all ages will enjoy, even if some punchlines register more with older audiences. Directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord build on the great balance they achieved in “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” Unfolding with a childlike imagination and joy, the film is pure euphoria. In today’s cinema, it’s rare to have a story that is completely warming and so uplifting that doesn’t cheapen the story.
This is easily the start of the many best of 2014 lists. Backed with 3D that only enhances the storytelling, “The LEGO Movie” is a terrific film. Peppered with LEGO nods and character cameos, this is a fun-filled experience littered with great Easter eggs and layers. See it and prepare to satiate the urge to play with LEGOs afterward. 4.5 of 5 stars
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