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MikePA's Movie Reviews (137)

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The Lego Movie 
Review: The Lego Movie
3.5/4 stars

After parents around the world have all been inflicted upon with The Nut Job, they finally have something worthwhile to blow their money on for both themselves and the kids. That's right, The Lego Movie is wonderful, and a great feast not only for the eyes, but for the brain. I left this animated film with a big smile on my face, totally satisfied and complaint-free.

To start, the voice acting is absolutely top-notch. Chris Pratt plays Emmet, a lonely and socially isolated but often off-the-walls Lego piece. Pratt brings incredible energy and fun to his performance, and when needed in the film's surprisingly heavier moments, he resonates us emotionally with his warmth and likability. The same can be said with Elizabeth Banks' Wyldstyle. She's fun and lovable and fantastic in the film's light moments, but in the heavier moments her performance is deep and produces grandiose effect.

I can't not mention Will Ferrell as the villain, Lord/President Business, who brings typical hysterical Will Ferrell-isms to the character. Will Arnett channels Christian Bale's Batman in his voice performance as Batman, which provides the film with many of its great laughs. One line in particular made me erupt with laughter, as it delivers a fantastic throwback to The Dark Knight trilogy. Morgan Freemen is also fantastic and very, very funny as Vitruvius. But of all the great performances and cameos made by the likes of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum (the most obvious ones, by hearing their voice), my favorite in the film was Liam Neeson as good cop/bad cop. The character itself is ingenious, and Neeson's good cop voice will haunt you all night.

By reading all of the great reviews and looking at its high score on Rotten Tomatoes, I knew, going in, that I was in for a treat. Not only was I treated with beautiful animation, great voice work, tons of laughs, and colorful fun, but also an insane amount of character development and emotional heft. This aspect of the film really surprised me, to be totally honest. The film's directors are Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who previously directed 21 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (they've also directed the 21 Jump Street sequel, which releases this summer). They make sure that their characters are fleshed out and characterized to the point of absolutely likability, this way the big emotional moments pay off. They certainly succeed, and then some. They also deliver some of the biggest laughs I've experienced in a movie for quite some time. Clever gags, not lazy, kiddy-kiddy gags. This is the funniest movie I've seen this year, last year, and most likely the year before that.

Also working is the animation, which is truly spectacular to behold. Even though we're essentially just watching Lego pieces, the scale of the film feels so huge as the characters travel from different locations including the city, the west, the clouds, a pirate ship, and a hilarious Middle Earth spoof. Smartly, the filmmakers animate the film to make it look like it's stop-motion, therefore nothing ever really moves smoothly. While it's slightly difficult getting used to in the first 10 minutes or so, your eyes will definitely adjust to the beauty of it all.

There is a twist ending that at very first glance was a little dumb. But once it plays out, it actually really works and makes for a much heavier, thought-provoking movie, and I think parents and teenagers will like that and be satisfied with what they see. Some of it may go over the very little one's heads, but there is a terrific climactic action sequence that they can have a lot of fun with. Ultimately, this is a fantastic animated film, filled with so many hilarious moments and likable characters, stunningly vibrant animation and great character depth. Within it all is a beating heart.

Indeed, everything is awesome!

3.5/4


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