The LEGO Movie
With 'The LEGO Batman Movie' spin-off being released this February, I thought it only fitting for my first recommendation to be the movie that made it happen. A personal favorite from 2014, this is 'The LEGO Movie'!
Our story takes place in a LEGO world, where everyone is essentially "lead" by the OCTAN Corporation, and Lord Business (Will Farrell). Within this world, everyone must "follow the instructions" so that everything looks right, and the city can flow perfectly and as repetitious as Lord Business wants it. It's made out in the movie to be a sort of law.
In the opening sequence, Lord Business breaks into the resting place of a powerful weapon known as the Kragle, and steals it from a wizard named Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman). We also learn of a prophecy that suggest someone known as "The Special" will come along, and find a relic called "The Piece of Resistance", which will work against the Kragle.
Meanwhile, one of the construction workers of the city, and our hero, Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) wakes up one morning for another day of work. The day goes pretty normally, but after hours, he sees a mysterious woman searching the job site for something.
Upon inspection of the situation, Emmet finds himself falling down a hole, and finding the Piece of Resistance. After he touches it, he gets flashes of visions and finds himself in the interrogation room of Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), Lord Business' Liutenant. But the woman from the construction site breaks in, rescues Emmet, and introduces herself as Wyldstyle. Believing he is the Special, she takes him to meet Vitruvius.
There, Emmett learns that Wylstyle and Vitruvius are known as "Master Builders"; characters who live in the LEGO world, but don't follow and instructions and use their imaginations to create. It's also here when Wyldstyle soon reveals to Emmet that the Kragle is a weapon that Lord Business wants to use in order to freeze the world and keep perfect order.
It turns out that Emmet isn't the Master Builder they thought he was, but despite that, Vitruvius and Wylstyle (mostly Vitruvius) believe in Emmet's potential with his unique ideas. One way or another, they are determined to stop Lord Buisiness and his plan to freeze everything into "perfection".
Joining the cast along the way, we run into a variety of characters. Unikitty (Alison Brie); a cat-unicorn hybrid whose all sunshine and rainbows (until she gets upset). Metal Beard (Nick Offerman); a giant pirate ship pirate character... not really sure how else to describe him. Benny, the 1980's Space Astronaut (Charlie Day). And of course, Batman, who is by far the funniest character in the movie.
With that said though, this movie has a tremendous sense of humour. I'm a fan of animation, and it can usually make me laugh, but this one was pretty special for it. It's very rare that an animated film can make me laugh so much my face hurts by the end. And speaking of the end, I won't spoil it for you here, but there IS a very nice surprise ending to this whole movie. I wouldn't say it comes as a huge shock, but the underlying message is something I can totally relate to, as could anyone who loved playing with LEGO a lot growing up.
By far one of the more impressive aspects of this movie is the voice acting. Not so much the flexibility of the voices as the amount of big names that show up with just one or two lines. Aside from everyone I mentioned already, we've also got Jonah Hill as Green Lantern, Will Forte as Abraham Lincoln, Channing Tatum as Superman, Shaquille O'Niel as himself, Cobie Smulders as Wonder Woman, and yes, Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian!
This film also gets a few bonus points in my book, personally, because LEGO is my all-time favorite toy. This goes to the extent that I'm 34 and still collect here and there with no shame whatsoever about it. I'm what you'd refer to as an "AFOL" (Adult Fan of LEGO). It's always been something I've been rather passionate about, and if I ever have kids one day, I'd wanna pass it down. My Dad introduced me to it when I was 6 years old, and I basically just never got bored of it for the next 28 years.
So, after that, one could easily guess that this was always gonna be a movie that I was gonna enjoy. But it actually ended up going above and beyond what I expected, essentially bringing me back to my childhood days of actually playing with my LEGO. I dunno how else to say it but it ended up making me very nostalgic, and nostalgia is always welcome in my world.
Be it the interesting animation, the crazy amount of celebrity voice cameos, the humorous dialogue, or the overall story, I can honestly say Everything is Awesome with 'The LEGO Movie'!
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