Michael J. Tresca reviewed:
The LEGO Movie (DVD + UltraViolet Combo Pack)
First, let's establish that the LEGO company knew who to hire: directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller made the hilarious "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" and Chris McKay created "Robot Chicken." I repeat: ROBOT. CHICKEN. The terrifyingly un-PC, uproariously funny, occasionally squirm-inducing Robot Chicken, a show consisting entirely of animation riffing on the pop culture of our youth. So it's no surprise that "The LEGO Movie" is entertaining for adults. What is surprising is how it's entertaining for everybody. This was my three-year-old's first film and she loved it, along with my six-year-old, my wife, and of course me.
The world revolves around your typical yellow minifig Emmet Brickowoski (Chris Pratt), an everyday construction worker who loves Taco Tuesdays and just wants to fit in. Much to his dismay, it turns out he's so utterly bland that he is also utterly forgettable...until he stumbles upon the Piece of Resistance, and super-heroine Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) stumbles upon Emmet. Prophesized by the blind Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) as The Special, Emmet's humdrum life will never be the same. He is to lead the Master Builders, minifigs who know how to assemble LEGOs, against Lord Business (Will Ferrell) and his Octan Corporation empire. Thing is, Emmet is the least special minifig of all.
What ensues is a mind-bending adventure that riffs on everything from "The Matrix" to "Terminator." With so many worlds to explore, the occasional intrusion of items from real life (always deadly), and a soundtrack that will burn into your skull, it's hard not to enjoy the insanity. Every piece of pop culture in the world is so trite (ranging from the aforementioned "Everything is Awesome!" song everyone listens to the "Where's My Pants?" television show everyone watches) that it's hard not to laugh at our consumerist culture in spite of the fact that this is a movie which will sell many, many, LEGOs.
The film is strikingly earnest and utterly false at the same time, filled with a meta-narrative that is either charmingly quaint or a deep metaphor for the child in all of us. You could spend all day analyzing its nuances -- it's a movie that you need to own on DVD to get all the in-jokes that are crammed onto the screen -- or you could just go and play with your LEGOs. Which is exactly what my son did...and he's started building LEGOs in new and creative ways.
Everything is awesome indeed.