by Jeff Niesel
Don’t let the lame title fool you. The Lego Movie, which opens area-wide today, is good fun. While it certainly takes a minute to adjust to the primitive look of a movie whose set consists of the little plastic pieces, the movie’s script is so clever, that initial shock (even in 3-D, the movie looks more like one of those low-budget Adult Swim cartoons than a feature-length flick) quickly dissipates.
The film centers on Emmet (Chris Pratt), a construction worker who takes to conformity like a fish takes to water. Even though the tyrannical Lord Business (Will Ferrell) rules the city, Emmet seems happy. He goes around town humming the city’s theme song — “Everything is Awesome” (the Tegan and Sara/The Lonely Island tune is so damn infectious, it’ll get stuck in your head too) and abiding by the rulebook that the government hands out to all citizens. One day, Emmet stumbles upon “the piece of resistance,” the fabled relic that will enable whoever finds it to the overthrow Lord Business. Rebel fighter Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) is with Emmett when he discovers the thing and becomes slightly jealous. She thought she would become "The Special,” the term used to describe the leader of the revolution. But she still saves his ass from Lord Business’ henchmen — including the menacing Good Cop/Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) — out to stop him before he can leave the city to convene with Wyldstyle and her rebel friends.
The film’s theme isn’t anything new. Conformity is bad. It’s best to think for yourself and let your creativity flow. Yeah, we get it. There’s a certain repetitiveness here too as that point is made over and over. But the film is so wacky, it’s easy to forgive the repetitiveness. Random appearances by the cast of Star Wars (as Legos, natch), Green Lantern (Jonah Hill) and Metalbeard (Nick Offerman) add to the zaniness. And Will Arnett turns up the camp as a super-serious Batman, Wyldstyle’s brooding boyfriend. The terrific cast really deserves credit for bringing the plastic mini-figures to life. The movie might baffle some kids, but adults will get a serious kick out of it.