‘The Lego Movie,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


HollywoodandFine.com

I’ll admit that, during moments in “The Lego Movie,” my mouth was hanging open at the audacity and imagination of the images I was seeing.

I also found myself laughing a lot more than I thought I would.

Written and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who did the “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” movies (I’ll forgive them “21 Jump Street”), “The Lego Movie” is a smashing-looking computer-animated comedy-adventure. It creates a make-believe world – not unlike the way a videogame world was imagined for “Wreck-It Ralph” – and gives it logic, built-in in-jokes and all sorts of possibilities. And then it capitalizes on them at every turn.

The film focuses on one of those generic little Lego figures, a worker named Emmet (Chris Pratt). He lives alone, works on a construction site and doesn’t seem to make much of an impression on anyone else around him, although he scrupulously follows the instructions about how to make friends.

The instructions: Anyone who’s ever been a kid with Legos – or a parent trying to help a kid with Legos – knows how persnickety and demanding those instructions can be. Lord and Miller get that and turn it into not just a running joke but a plot point: Can you live in this world if you think, um, outside the box? Is there a balance to be struck between following the instructions and free-styling it, using your imagination to create something of your own?

This review continues on my website.