The LEGO Movie – ***1/2

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Everything is awesome! That is the song that the citizens in “The Lego Movie” listen to over and over. That is also what I was thinking during this movie. What an exhilarating cinematic experience. This movie took me back to my childhood when I was obsessed with Lego. The fact that it is absolutely hilarious and heartfelt just added to my experience watching this movie.

The main character is Emmet, voiced by the very funny Chris Pratt. Emmet lives his life exactly the same as everyone else and enjoys doing it. He is so positive that he shouts “Awesome!” when he is charged 37 dollars for a coffee. When he comes in contact with a sacred piece of lego he is thrust in to a journey to save his kind from the oppression of President Business voiced perfectly by Will Ferrell.

Other characters who join the fun are Batman (Will Arnett), Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), Metal Beard (Nick Offerman), along with 1980 Something Space-Guy (Charlie Day), Superman (Channing Tatum) and Green Lantern (Jonah Hill). Each actor brings their distinctive personal styles to these characters, making them fresh, fun and fully entertaining. I especially liked the blind arrogance of Batman, who at one point hitches a ride on the Millenium Falcon!

The writing and directing team include Phil Lord and Chris Miller who brought us the very funny “21 Jump Street” remake and it’s impending sequel due out later this year. Based on these two movies I can say that these guys get comedy. They show us how to mock popular culture right. I love how they don’t try to dumb down the dialogue in these movies. The screenplay has a lot of wit and dry humor for the adults as well as lots of great jokes for the kids as well. And just when you thought the film could not be more creative and original, suddenly there is a surprise twist that flipped the plot on to it’s head.

I love when a movie completely surprises me in so many different ways. “The Lego Movie” is just such a movie. It celebrates peoples love for the Lego toys as well as the cultural phenomenon that Lego has been for decades now. It is also a phenomenally made movie. The animation is pitch perfect and always stunning. This is the best movie so far this year.

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