If you search YouTube for Death Star, Eddie Izzard and Lego, as you do. You will find an Izzard voiced skit that some smart Alec has painstakingly animated frame by frame using Lego toys. The words are funny already but combined with the visuals, this is a match made in heaven.
If someone can pull this off in their bedroom, imagine what you could do with full brand licensing in your pocket, A-List acting talent, millions of studio dollars and ability to rummage in the back catalogue of popular super hero and sci-fi pop culture.
Of course placing all these elements together could still foreshadow a disaster. No matter you have Morgan Freeman voicing a Gandalf style self aware wizard and a post Christopher Nolan styled Lego Batman, this is still animated Lego with a lick of CGI wizardry.
Fox studios need not have worried, the film has been a massive hit not only for the younger audience but the film has that most elusive element, crossover appeal, guaranteed to generate big box office returns.
Following a prelude with “Vitruvius” (Morgan Freeman – Voice), attempting to protect a super weapon “Kragle” from Lord Business (Will Ferrell – Voice), we are introduced to Emmett Joe Brickowski (Will Arnett – Voice). Emmett is an ordinary construction worker with no special skills, he gets on ok with his crew but remains largely anonymous.
Following the completion of a “most catchy tune ever” montage, our nascent hero spots his dream girl “Wildstyle”(Elizabeth Banks – Voice), apparently even Lego figure have desires to attend to. Literally falling for the girl, Emmett finds “the piece of resistance” leading to his anointment as a “Master Builder” and brings him to the attention of “Good/Bad Cop” (Liam Neeson – Voice) the trusty lieutenant of “Lord Business”.
Can Emmett save the world, is the plot an excuse to have huge amounts of self aware fun with many action set pieces and great throwaway jokes, certainly we answer affirmative to the latter.
Clealy the film makers have been given carte blanche to utilise many sacred brand names, Batman, Wonder-woman, Star Wars, Green Lantern to name just a few and they make the most of the opportunity.
As Batman states in in his post ironic Christian Bale style drawl “I only build in Black and sometimes, very, very dark grey”
This works on many levels, the kids will love the action, the bright colours and the ability to re-enact the movie post credit scrawl, once parents have been bankrupted buying all the toys.
To be fair, it would have been easy for the filmakers just to make a movie length Lego promo with blatant product tie-ins but the film has been constructed with care, love, a lot of thought and attention to detail. The end is certainly not where you expect to find yourself when the film starts and again is a risk that pays huge dividends, revealing the film has a beating sentimental heart.
Difficult to criticise as there is not much to dislike, the whole energy of the film is quite infectious occasionally the spell is broken and you realise you are watching animated Lego, but as someone once said, everything looks better in Lego
Hugely enjoyable caper movie made entirely of Lego with clever use of words, cameos and situations, both breaking out of the confines of the genre yet satisfying those who just want a fun film for the kids to watch.
A no brainer must see and with a sequel already in the works, one could say without doubt that “everything is awesome”