I have always hated the term "Hollywood has run out of ideas". Whenever I hear it, it's usually regarding a movie clearly based off a property that shouldn't be turned into a movie, particularly ones based on games and toys. Movies based on them (with the exception of "Toy Story" of course) have barely worked with one notable example being the 2012 film "Battleship". So when I first saw the trailer for "The Lego Movie", I rolled my eyes and thought that this movie would never work. And you'll be very surprised when I say that I was proven completely wrong. "The Lego Movie" really surprised me with its clever humor, heartwarming story, memorable characters, and some fantastic animation. Yes, you read that right. "I was actually surprised by The Lego Movie" and I'll explain why.
The film takes places in a world made out of Lego filled with many mini figures. In the big city, a normal construction worker named Emmet (Chris Pratt) lives in an average every day normal life following the instructions to a good life. One day though, he accidentally stumbles across the legendary Piece of Resistance, one of the elements of a prophecy that would be used to take down the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell). He then is thrown into a giant war after he is rescued from custody by Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks) who he accidentally believes to be the prophecy's chosen one. Traveling through many worlds in the Lego universe, its up to Emmet, Wildstyle, the prophesier Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), and even Batman (Will Arnett) to defeat Lord Business and his lieutenant Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) before they unleash the ultimate weapon to destroy the world, the Kragle (which is really Krazy glue with a worn out label). I can't say any more, you just have to see it.
The strength of this film is definitely the writing. Both Phil Lord and Chris Miller clearly understood the fun of Legos and were able to craft up a world with original characters and comedy that even pokes fun of cliches seen in the past. One notable example is the villain telling his minions to cue his dramatic entrance using smoke and a door slamming open. Writing like this is what makes "The Lego Movie" stand out. The animation is fantastic. What really surprised me about it was the fact that it was actually not stop motion like I initially thought, but computer animation. The film was animated by Animal Logic, the company that crafted the realistic movies like "Happy Feet" and "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole". The fact that they went from making animals looking very lifelike to simple toys is a pretty big leap and an impressive leap at that. The characters were a whole bunch of fun. Each had at least one to funny line to say and had at least one unique trait to make them stand out. They also were perfectly cast as well. Chris Pratt brought a real lovable presence to Emmet while Will Arnett cracked me up with his cocky and s egotistical performance as Batman. Will Ferrell even channeled his early performance of "Megamind" in his performance of Lord Business. If I had one problem with the movie and it's pretty much a nitpick is some of the humor was a little off. Most of it hit the mark, but some I just didn't catch or it was funny. However, it's really a nitpick.
"The Lego Movie" is probably one of the most surprising movies I have seen. With a funny story, fantastic animation and memorable characters, I was left in a very happy mood, something I never thought I would say about "The Lego Movie". I hope that movie studios will take notes on how to make movies based on properties really good because this movie set the bar very high which can be seen as either a good thing or a bad thing. I think that it's a good thing.