The Lego Movie (PG)

The Lego Movie is excellent and exciting, never stooping to lowest-common-denominator shenanigans. It is constantly entertaining all the way through.

For all of those parents who bemoan the huge tub of Lego that spreads its way across the house, fear not you may have a Master Builder in your house!

The story begins with Emmett (Chris Pratt), a remarkably ordinary Lego man, who becomes embroiled in a struggle between the megalomaniacal President Business (Will Ferrell), he’s the villain in case the name didn’t tip you off, and Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), the leader of the Master-Builders, who want to keep the world free. The important point here is that by touching a sacred artifact Emmett is declared ‘The Special’—the most important, destined to save the world and stop President Business.

President Business would like to destroy the world with ‘The Kraggle’ and it’s up to Emmett and his band of heroes to thwart his evil plan. Don’t worry it will all make sense when you see it!

Maybe the best surprise in The Lego Movie is the way it flips the common convention of The Chosen One on its head. It lands staunchly on the same side as The Incredibles, insisting that everyone can be special, but that doesn’t mitigate the how of people’s specialness. The movie proposes that our different roles in the larger story make each of us totally necessary and special, even if we don’t all look and act the same.

The Lego Movie is a relentlessly creative endeavour, hilarious in unexpected and subversive ways. It’s the best kind of kids’ movie: while it’s unashamedly for kids, it will entertain accompanying parents as well.

I’d expect nothing else from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who previously wrote the hilarious and equally-inventive Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. The look of the film as as inventive as you would imagine a feature film about Lego to be.

The other surprise for this viewer was its message about non-conformity, not sticking to the instructions and the power of imagination. Of late, Lego has been known for ‘branded’ and rather unimaginative sets. In our house the sets arrive and shortly after end up in a huge box and become part of our Master Builder’s imaginative games.

With enough in-jokes to fill a tub of Lego, this is a film that the whole family can enjoy.

Adrian Drayton

Adrian Drayton is the Director of Reel Dialogue. A film critic and commentator on culture for 20 years, he believes in the power of cinema and the power of God to start conversations about faith and culture. He is also a massive Star Wars nerd.