The Lego Movie – review | Mark Kermode

With its lively animation and adult-friendly gags, The Lego Movie does nothing to undermine the brand's reputation

The repositioning of luddite Lego bricks as a saleable staple of the digital gaming revolution is one of the greatest marketing coups of the 21st century. Parents who grew up assembling brightly coloured building blocks in the age of the Bakelite telephone were amazed to find their children playing Lego Harry Potter for DS or Lego Star Wars for Wii, the brand name meaning as much to their computer-literate offspring as it did to them.

Terrific to report, then, that The Lego Movie does nothing to undermine the Danish dynamo's ongoing reputation as a purveyor of fine entertainment for kids of all ages. While younger viewers will delight at the whiz-bang animation action and hugely likable familiar figures, adults will laugh themselves silly at the smart consumer satire gags and goggle in wonder at the undulating Legoland vistas.

Tipping its head toward the self-aware set-up of Wreck-It Ralph (via the Tour Guide Barbie sequence from Toy Story 2), The Lego Movie casts (un)happy plastic construction worker Emmet (Chris Pratt) as an accidental hero when President Business (Will Ferrell) attempts to obliterate nonconformist creativity with the aid of an instruction manual and some glue. Teaming up with Batman, Wyldstyle and other assorted contrarians, Emmet waves the flag for free-form invention, which appears to be Lego's rallying cry.

The denouement may be a super-soppy sales pitch, but the surreal slapstick sensibilities of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs writers/directors Lord and Miller consistently undermine any corporate guff. You'll come out singing theme tune Everything is Awesome in only mildly ironic fashion.


Mark Kermode

The GuardianTramp

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