Film review: Everything is awesome in The Lego Movie

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It’s a quest to find the Piece of Resistance when creative play comes to life on the big screen in The Lego Movie. It’s a quest to find the Piece of Resistance when creative play comes to life on the big screen in The Lego Movie.

It’s too early in the year to be making predictions about next year’s Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature, but let’s go ahead and put The Lego Movie at the top of the list. In a time of lackluster animated films (see—or don’t: The Nut Job) it’s refreshing to watch animation that works on three levels: Kids will dig it, parents will enjoy the jokes and remember fondly what it was like to play with Legos.

It may seem odd that a movie based in such crass commercialism—whether it means to be or not, it’s a 101-minute advertisement for Legos—would, at its heart, be a tribute to a free imagination. But that’s what it is. Co-writers and directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, along with co-writers Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman, have made a movie that feels like a perfect representation of what it’s like to play with Legos at an age when your imagination runs everywhere with no regard for rules and regulations.

This is what I mean: Remember when you were a kid and you were playing with a toy? And then, for some reason, you wanted Batman to show up? And then you wanted an Old West theme off in the corner for no reason other than to have one? The Lego Movie remembers, too, and runs with it.

Emmet (Chris Pratt, a riot) is an ordinary construction worker with no imagination. He likes to go to work, build stuff, hang out with his co-workers (when they remember him), and sing “Everything is Awesome,” the irresistible song each Lego person sings at work.

Little does Emmet know, President Business (Will Ferrell) has found the Kragle (a tube of Krazy Glue with a couple letters scratched off), and he’s getting ready to freeze every Lego in place to keep order in the universe. Emmet sees Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks) sifting through debris at his construction site, follows her, and before long he’s found the Piece of Resistance, a piece that can free the Legos from President Business’ oppressive plans.

Emmet is completely unsuited to the task, Wildstyle thinks he’s a dope, and Batman (Will Arnett) seems to be great at everything Emmet is not. But Emmet’s so dull and unimaginative, he may have a few tricks up his sleeve.

The action moves at a fast clip and the jokes do, too. In fact, there are so many jokes you’ll miss some. The kids will miss a bunch of them, too, but that’s because they may be too young to get them.

One problem The Lego Movie has is the fairly standard you-can-do-it theme that’s shown up in kids’ movies in the last decade, but everything else is so delightfully goofy and fun it doesn’t matter. And at times, the action moves so quickly that it’s difficult to tell what’s going on, but pay attention to the jokes and you’ll be fine. Listen for other celebrity voices (Morgan Freeman is great, and Alison Brie is a hoot as Unikitty) and stay through the credits for an unplugged “Everything is Awesome.”

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Regal Downtown Mall Cinema 6
979-7669

Regal Stonefield 14 and IMAX
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