Lego Movie, The

The Lego Movie (U)

A traditional toy doesn’t normally lend itself to the theatre of the absurd but clearly Hollywood is learning to treat its most junior customers as audiences with a taste for the off-kilter.

The Lego Movie is an absolute hoot. Quietly subversive and gleefully cock-eyed it packs a warning about the dangers of iron fist/velvet glove Totalitarianism into a tale of an Everyman who is suddenly elevated to the status of miracle worker. And it features Lego figures as its heroes and villains.

Happy-go-lucky construction worker Emmet Brickowoski has been conditioned to accept the iniquities of life as imposed by President Business. He’s the ultimate conformist, never rocking the boat and accepting the status quo.

All that changes when he is informed that he is the Special, a mythical fixer as laid down in a prophecy by Vitruvius, a Gandalf-like sage. If he can find the Piece of Resistance then he can restore balance to his world and rid it of the megalomaniacal President Business and his secret police led by Bad Cop.

Think Nineteen Eighty Four and Winston Smith. Think Batman, Superman and a healthy wallop of superheroes. Think Metropolis with its downtrodden masses. Think Wall.E, Wreck-It Ralph and even Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The Lego Movie creates an alternate universe that embraces the toy’s familiarity and urges Emmet and Co – and the watching audience – to throw away the instructions and go wild. Create, innovate and go crazy. Make something that doesn’t exist on paper.

Frequently laugh-out-loud funny, this is packed with one-liners, witty banter, inspired gags, unexpected visitors (such as Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, C-3P0 and the Millennium Falcon) and a star voice cast that includes Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks and Chris Pratt as Emmet.

A sequel – nay, a full-on franchise – is guaranteed.

Star rating: ****

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