We first meet Emmet Brickowski (voiced by Chris Pratt) as he wakes up to start his day. He grabs his trusty instruction book titled How to fit in, have everybody like you and always be happy then begins to follows the step by step instructions as he does day after day. Emmet nearly heads off to work one day without clothes simply because he accidentally skipped a page in the book. He does not have a single thought that is not directed, or started, by someone else. This explains why the local barista gets away with charging him $37.00 for a cup of coffee. At his construction job Emmet does nothing to stand out. Any faint inklings of an original thought are quickly washed away by clips of popular television shows.
Emmet’s life, like much of society, is all about being content with conformity.
It is only when his instruction book is blown away, and he catches a glimpse of a shadowy figure in a restricted area, that Emmet’s life changes course forever. Mistaken for the “Special” by Vitruvius (voiced by Morgan Freeman), and Wyldstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks), two “Master Builders” who are among the best and brightest Lego artists in the world, Emmet is tasked with preventing President Business (Will Ferrell) from using the “Kragle.” A powerful weapon with the ability to freeze the world in place, the Kragle device would turn President Business from Octan Corporation president to supreme ruler of the world. Fortunately for Emmet, he will not only be aided by Vitruvius and Wyldstyle on his quest, but the likes of numerous superheroes and pop culture figures such as Batman and The Simpson‘s Milhouse to name a few.
Directors Peter Lord and Christopher Miller create a unique world to set their tale within. The visuals are colourful and crisp, and they do a great job of using traditional Lego pieces to help bring both the characters and the functionality of the world to life. The Lego Movie, while seemingly aimed at kids, has very powerful messages about the ills of conformity. It examines society’s willingness to be distracted and fooled rather than to speak up and challenge traditional views. The film comments on how people are often treated as unusual or dangerous if they step out away from the herd. The Lego Movie also has a strong message against conglomerates that control the news, television, music and social media.
The strong messages the films conveys are presented in a fast and witty manner. There are so many pop culture references, such as the DC Universe, Shaq, and Abraham Lincoln, that it may take a few viewings to catch them all. Frantically paced, The Lego Movie is a superb film that I highly recommend.