Fun and surprisingly clever, The Lego Movie is an entertaining thrill ride, one that will appeal to audiences of multiple age groups and demographics.
Here the visual spectacle is impressive. Lego characters’ movements and their facial designs are universally terrific, but they are outdone by the way Master Builders construct new machines, weapons or other items.
Crisp pacing keeps the story moving.
Writers/Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller add emotional gravitas, at various moments, to make us care about characters.
A talented voice cast helps the directors. All of the cast members are spectacular, but the standouts are Chris Pratt (Emmett), Elizabeth Banks (Wildstyle) and Liam Neeson (Bad Cop).
Both the actors and story structure ensure The Lego Movie is not hindered by thinly developed characters who are never more than archetypes.
Because the directors offer enough clues as to what is really going on that we understand why characters are not well developed.
And because The Lego Movie is laugh out loud funny; a scene involving Han Solo and the rest of his Millennium Falcon crew is guaranteed to generate laughter.
The Lego Movie’s flaws are minor. Uni-Kitty’s (Alison Brie) characterization might be a little sexist, and the story might be overly complex for the youngest audience members. They will still doubtlessly enjoy the picture, if only to see Lego figures jumping around and saving the world, but they might not understand it.
Will Ferrell’s character proves the biggest flaw, however, insofar as he changes too abruptly (so as not to spoil anything, I will not expound the point).
Despite these flaws, Lord and Miller’s animated feature is a rollicking good time with an exciting plot line, many funny sight gags, and just enough emotional weight. It might not be inspirational, but it is entertaining. I recommend it without reservation.