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The Lego Movie 3D

My sense is that I may be being a bit too cranky regarding this one, because although I admired its inventiveness, it was a bit too frenetic and formulaic for me—and then it all ended in preachy sap. Am I underestimating “The Lego Movie”? Maybe. I did like it overall, and I await the guaranteed Oscar nominating of the maddeningly catchy “Everything is Awesome” for Best Original Song. But the action is generic, and the in-jokes occasionally too knowing and adult-targeted. However, it does parody fascism, conformity and consumerism beautifully. But is that contradictory being that they’ve probably sold a billion Lego sets since this thing hit theaters? It has to be at least that many—half of which are all over my house! Also, is “The Lego Movie” cheating just a bit by having so many identifiable superheroes as characters? Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Green Lantern…is this a “Justice League” preview? There is some terrific voice work from Chris Pratt as our “everyman” Lego construction worker Emmet, and Elizabeth Banks as Wyldstyle/Lucy, his love interest. Will Arnett is terrific as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and Charlie Day has lots of fun as retro-space guy Lego, Benny. Liam Neeson is a hoot as Bad Cop/Good Cop, but isn’t casting Morgan Freeman’s voice as the Obi-Wan like Vitruvius a bit too expected? Again, I may be being cranky. Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Cobie Smulders provide fine vocal talents too, and, if hearing Will Ferrell as the evil “Lord Business”, isn’t enough for you, you’ll get to see him live during the sentimental finale. “The Lego Movie” is sharply directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, with a style that keenly accentuates their smart screenplay. Pop culture references abound, and the look(with 3D and without)is pretty damn impressive. Yeah, I like “The Lego Movie” well enough. But don’t call me cynical if I find it just as much toy commercial, as sly satire. Or old, for that matter, if its pace just tired me out.

Grade:  B-


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