‘Lego Movie’: Goofiness proves to be infectious

  • By Robert Horton Herald Movie Critic
  • Wednesday, February 5, 2014 7:04pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

All films are built brick by brick. In the case of “The Lego Movie” this is, of course, truer than ever.

Yes, there is a 3D animated film featuring Lego, and yes, it is fun. The brains behind “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” have taken the universally loved toys and built an unlikely adventure movie out of them.

It’s not just the bricks; that would be pretty dull. The little people of Lego, including Batman and Superman and a “Star Wars” Lego set, carry the weight here.

Our hero is not a marquee name but humble Emmet (exuberantly voiced by Chris Pratt), a worker drone in a Lego world ruled by President Business (Will Ferrell).

All the Lego people listen to the same music (“Everything Is Awesome” is the title of what appears to be the brain-dead national anthem), watch the same TV shows and are happy in their conformist world.

Emmet might just be the “chosen one” foretold in a (probably bogus) prophecy about overthrowing all this sameness. Aided by a rebel (Elizabeth Banks) with the unfortunate name Wyldstyle, Emmet journeys through a series of crazy Lego worlds in order to stop President Business’ evil plans.

The writing-directing team Phil Lord and Christopher Miller also create a live-action component to the movie. Instead of being a cheap joke, this part actually gives some emotional ballast. It will also sell a lot of Lego.

The Lego pieces move in quirky jerks, kind of how you imagine they’d move if they could. The action is frequently hilarious, and the one-liners fast and furious. This is the funniest portrait of a totalitarian society since Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil,” but it has a much happier ending.

Even some of the celebrity voices pay dividends, which isn’t always true in animated films. Morgan Freeman deliciously sends up his image as a honey-voiced wise man, and Will Arnett parodies Christian Bale’s growl as Batman. Liam Neeson’s policeman, who has two different voices to fit his rotating head (good cop, bad cop — get it?), is a hoot.

It’s not quite as breathlessly funny as the first “Cloudy/Meatballs” movie, nor does it reach the wonderful blend of silliness and heart conjured up by “Wreck-It Ralph,” which “The Lego Movie” sort of resembles.

But the sheer goofiness of it all is going to prove infectious. You might as well get used to hearing “Everything Is Awesome,” because in this case, resistance is futile.

“The Lego Movie” (three stars)

Hilarious action and peppy one-liners carry along this 3D-animated tale of a Lego worker drone (Chris Pratt) who becomes a champion to the people of his conformist society. Not quite another “Wreck-It Ralph” — which it somewhat resembles — but infectious fun anyway.

Rated: PG for subject matter.

Showing: Alderwood 7, Cinebarre, Everett Stadium, Galaxy Monroe, Marysville, Stanwood, Pacific Place, Varsity, Woodinville, Blue Fox, Cascade Mall, Oak Harbor.

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