Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

February 18, 2014

‘Lego Movie’ a spectacular adventure, empowering message

Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — Although I tend to give quite a bit of leeway when it comes to films and it usually doesn’t take much especially when they are animated to enjoy, every now and again there is an entry so good that I still can be pleasantly surprised. It’s a breath of fresh air after a rather below average 2013 (save “Frozen as well as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”) where I still had fun, but didn’t feel some of the magic that recaptures the childhood joy of visiting the cinema.

I’m sure some of my readers may be getting tired of hearing praises of “Wreck It Ralph,” or “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” but this is falls into a similar category of flick where a world most of us have only seen in our own imaginations is beautifully executed on the giant screen. It’s simply a film that blew away even my most positive expectations and this is taking into account I had no doubts that I would enjoy it in the first place. “The Lego Movie” starts out with the expected fun of seeing classic Lego characters take on an adventure in a way only blocky toys can portray and then ultimately goes straight past goofy to the heart of every audience member.

In stereotypically evil fashion, the movie starts off with the villain, Lord/President Business (Will Ferrell), adding to the power of his empire by stealing a weapon called the Kragle. Though the guardian of the weapon and wizard protector of all, Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), fails to stop this dastardly fiend, he does predict that one day a special Lego dude will rise up and stop him.

Cue the several years later transition to an everything is awesome and nice Lego city, where most people pretty much obey the establishment, including the most unlikely hero Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt). He is happy never thinking outside the instructions as well as being oblivious of any problems, that is until he meets Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks), a master builder who is searching for the item that will help stop Business and his evil scheme. So of course, Emmet pulls a Jerry Lewis and accidently becomes the only one capable of making the world safe again, much to the chagrin of others who will create a super team of heroes from Bat Man (Will Arnett) to 1980s space astronaut guy (Benny Day).

If one isn’t totally focused by the endless supply of laughs due to a lot of big named actors cutting loose and having a ball, one of the best parts of this flick is that it does so well at commentating on how harmful unquestioned conformity can be (presented in a magnificent way that would ruin a bit of the wonder if spoilered beforehand). One realizes how much we as a society from adults who just want peace and quiet to corporations trying to pre-define our roles crush creativity and as a result leave a shell that is depressingly emptier each day.

Heck, the even the toy company that inspired this world would bring about even more tremendous benefit if it applied the open creativity message to a it once did as recently as a few decades ago instead of only putting out sets that appeal to what a girl or boy is supposed to like. That said, I can think of nothing better to take the whole family to right now with a setting that is without a doubt corny, but so rightfully wholesome. Because of how much good can come of such ideals and for something I will without a doubt see again as soon as possible, “The Lego Movie” deserves the first perfect score of 2014 with five out of five blocks.

Movie viewing experience courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.