The Lego Movie (PG)
Action/Adventure 100 min. February 7, 2014
More recently, Lego have come packaged as licensed kits with instructions showing children exactly what to make. To their credit, The Lego Movie writers-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have thought through the complexity of their subject, creating a goofy cartoon that will sell enough tickets and toys to keep their bosses happy while facing head-on the fact that these bricks are kinda, well, fascist.
Our hero is a mini-fig named Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt), a construction worker (of course) who discovers he is the prophesied chosen one, a trope as stiff as his joints. He awakens in a darling dystopia where everyone has a specific role to play, and winds up the target of the evil President Business (Will Ferrell), a looming figure in brick KISS boots.
Lord and Miller have a deft and daring sense of the absurd. They give us a world where everyone is literally a cog, make us root for Emmet to build things he's only dreamed of, and circle back and ask if there can be too much creativity, as when Emmet and his allies Batman (Will Arnett), an astronaut (Charlie Day), a unicorn kitten (Alison Brie), and a godlike Lego sage (Morgan Freeman) attempt to make a submarine without coordinating their plans. Should there be a supreme builder? The theological implications are a pleasurable head trip.