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.