The world is a massive pile of plastic blocks. Emmet (Chris Pratt) is an average Joe who works construction in a carefully designed environment. He is yellow, absolutely unexceptional and is happy with the humdrum routine of Legoland. He follows instructions to the tee and his favourite song is “Everything is Awesome”. This silly song is so catchy that one needn’t be surprised that the whole Legoland (including me) grooves to it without thinking. There is a President ‘Business’ (Will Ferrell) who has an army of mindless robots and dictates everything, thus creating an atmosphere, not unlike ‘Idiocracy’. All this is well and acceptable until Emmet meets Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks), a girl who is rummaging around the construction site for something called the ‘Piece of resistance’. In his curiosity to follow her, Emmet falls into a hole and discovers the piece. What follows is a rude awakening to reality and a path to enlightenment as this plastic guy finds his true calling, amidst master builders, sorcerers, policemen, greedy capitalists… and Batman!
The Lego Movie is everything that I expected it to be: colourful, witty and hilarious, but directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have managed to raise their game to an unprecedented level after the brilliance of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. These two just keep getting better and better. The movie is outrageous with its slapstick humour and pop culture references. There is a diverse range of characters and each of them have a unique story to tell. The wise prophet Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), a good/bad cop (Liam Neeson), a pirate (Nick Offerman), Uni-kitty (Alison Brie), a space guy (Charlie Day) and Batman (Will Arnett) are some of those who accompany our hero in his quest. With this cast, even those who shirk away from animation would be tempted.
Even without the credentials, the first thing you notice about the movie are the unbelievable graphics. The CGI teams working on this one have gone all out to make the jaw of the viewer touch the floor, and keep him from picking it up. The graphics are beautiful, the scenery is breathtaking and are to be seen to be believed. It feels like stop-motion claymation and I can only comprehend the amount of work that must have gone behind creating a lego ocean or lego fire and smoke.
It is not often that a movie aimed at kids delivers a message to the grown ups without being preachy about it. Look beyond the chuckles and you get a subliminal message about non-conformism, self-belief and allegorical references to the creator (The Man Upstairs). The Lego Movie is an animation attempt at Zeitgeist while being self-aware that it serves the purposes of the same machinery it so valiantly defies for the sake of individuality and creative freedom. And it succeeds. Oh, the inception of irony!