The Lego Movie 

Phil Lord's and Christopher Miller's The Lego Movie pulls the rug out from under you almost immediately, when Morgan Freeman's blind wizard, Vitruvius, signals the arrival of the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell) by solemnly intoning, "He is coming. Cover your butt." Lord (later President) Business presides over a Gormenghast of interlocking plastic blocks populated with happy, mindless people like Emmet Brickowoski (Chris Pratt), a claw-handed construction worker who cheerfully and blindly follows his daily instructions for living a happy life. In the first of many satirical touches, one of those instructions is "Buy overpriced coffee"; another involves singing an inane ditty called "Everything Is Awesome" for five hours straight.

Two accidents throw Emmet's dull and lonely world into chaos. First, he lays eyes on Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), a beautiful freelance "master builder" poking around a job site late one night. Second, something called "The Piece of Resistance" fuses to Emmet's back, causing Wyldstyle to think of him as the fulfillment of Vitruvius' deathbed prophecy about a "special" who will rise up and end Lord Business' obsessive-compulsive reign of terror.

Like Mel Brooks' 1987 Star Wars takedown, Spaceballs, The Lego Movie is a self-aware, product-placement group grope at war with itself. But part of the fun is in the way those battles cause significant collateral damage to the rest of the pop culture landscape. Pirates, superheroes, The Lord of The Rings, and Abraham Lincoln himself all receive well-deserved kicks in the pants. And if the conformist nightmare of Emmet's Legoland isn't scary enough, consider the alternative — a rainbow-colored anarchist wonderland presided over by a deeply repressed "Unikitty" (Alison Brie).

Still not convinced? Well, what if I tell you that Pratt and Will Arnett, who plays Batman as an egomaniacal, intolerant, hyper-serious industrial-music composer, deliver the best comic performances of the still-young year? ■

The Lego Movie
Now playing
Multiple locations

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Two Queens

      Amazing Grace and Homecoming show Aretha Franklin and Beyonce at the height of their powers
    • Missing Link

      The latest from Laika is a stop-motion wonder with a kind heart
    • Wrestle

      Memphis director Suzanna Herbert brings her award-winning documentary home.

Blogs

Music Blog

Pat Sansone: Making Memphis Mello Again

Fly On The Wall Blog

Choosing Choice: The Great School Voucher Deception

Hungry Memphis

Doghouzz Opening in June

News Blog

County Poised to Invest Record Amount in Pre-K

News Blog

Tennessee, Google Partner on Drug Disposal

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday Special Edition: RIP Omar Higgins

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Addison Engelking

Readers also liked…

  • Death Grip

    Memphis filmmaker Sam Bahre talks about his 11-year struggle to create I Filmed Your Death.
    • Apr 19, 2018
  • Fifty Shades Freed

    Feature length commercial for luxury goods or chilling glimpse into the post-human future?
    • Feb 16, 2018
  • Outflix Film Festival 2017

    The Homegrown Festival Marks Twenty years of Bringing LBGTQ Films To The Mid-South
    • Sep 7, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2019

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation