The Lego Movie

Directed By: Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Starring: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, and Morgan Freeman

Wonder Woman has finally arrived on the big screen.  No, Gal Gadot hasn't picked up her lasso and gotten an early start before Batman Vs. Superman arrives in 2016.  No, there isn't some new animated Justice League film.  Voiced by How I Met Your Mother's Cobie Smulders, the Amazonian warrior princess arrives on the big screen in the form of a Lego.  That's right.  Wonder Woman is a Lego character too.  She and many of her other Super Friends get together in this weekend's The Lego Movie to help out the Special.  All I can say is that it's about damn time.

Wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) tries to prevent the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell) from taking control of the Kragle, a super weapon that could devastate the universe (a.k.a. Krazy Glue).  When Vitruvius fails to stop him, he warns Lord Business of the prophecy of the Special, a Master Builder who will find the Piece of Resistance and render the Kragle of no further use.  This Special will be the most talented, the most important, the most interesting, and the most special person ever.  The evil lord laughs and knocks Vitruvius off his figurative high horse.  Business then proceeds to take over the world as president.  He brainwashes the masses with songs such as "Everything is Awesome" and television programs such as Where Are My Pants?  Years later, he's taken control of the universe and is on the verge of realizing his goal of total obliteration.  On this upcoming Taco Tuesday, Lord Business will unleash the Kragle and put an end to the universe as we know it.

Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) is an ordinary construction worker whose most noted accomplishment is constructing a double decker couch for his buddies to all watch TV together.  He's a guy who always follows the instructions.  While leaving work one day, he comes across a beautiful woman named Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) who appears to be searching the construction site for something.  When Emmet approaches her, he slips and falls into an abyss where he finds the mythical Piece of Resistance.  Sometime later, he awakens at a police station with the piece stuck to his back and Bad Cop / Good Cop (Liam Neeson) relentlessly asking why.  Emmet is eventually rescued by Wyldstyle and taken to the Old West and Cloud Cuckoo Land to meet Vitruvius and the other Master Builders respectively.  With the Piece of Resistance found and the Special discovered, Wyldstyle believes Emmet can put an end to Lord Business's reign of terror.  The only problem is that she just doesn't know how ordinary Emmet really is.

Everything is awesome when it comes to The Lego Movie.  Infused with that irreverent brand of comedy reminiscent of The Simpsons and South Park but also offering plenty of silly slapstick humor for the kids, this movie hits the spot for all ages.  There are plenty of laughs, wondrous worlds built with some impressive 3D animation, and countless pop culture references.  Really, you've got the Justice League, Gandalf, Dumbledore, Star Wars, and Shaq all in one place, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.  At the center of it all, there's an encouraging, heartwarming story about family and being special.  All in all, I'm genuinely surprised to say that The Lego Movie is my kind of movie.

There's no denying that The Lego Movie serves up a serious helping of satire on American society.  Brainwashed by the programs they watch on television and the songs they hear on the radio, the people of the Lego Universe are very much akin to average everyday Americans.  They're oblivious to the societal shackles that bind them and wholeheartedly embrace the very people who are contributing the most to the downfall of society.  This sounds eerily familiar.  Things like Duck Dynasty, the Party of No, and the one percent come to mind.  While it's quite entertaining satire, sitting reflecting on The Lego Movie is a little disturbing because it does ring so true about American society.  Hell, I'm writing this after watching a movie about Legos.  That alone says enough.

Though I've digressed by delving into social commentary, I must say that the voice cast on hand for The Lego Movie is just superb.  We've got Chris Pratt giving us a delightful average Joe in Emmet Brickowski.  With this incredibly ordinary guy, Pratt gives an especially lovable character.  Then, there's Morgan Freeman as Vitruvius.  In a graceful performance blended with biting wit, Freeman hilariously voices the character he would be if he were a Lego.  Elizabeth Banks gives a tough yet heartfelt performance as Emmet's romantic interest Wyldstyle as well. Though all these actors give thoroughly enjoyable performances, the real scene stealer is Will Ferrell.  Whether Lord Business or the Man Upstairs, he keeps the laughs coming continuously throughout The Lego Movie.  There's nothing better than Ferrell at the top of his game, even in a movie geared towards a younger audience.

I'd be remiss if I didn't comment on a host of supporting actors who each brought something special to the film.  Will Arnett gives a comical vocal impersonation of Christian Bale's Batman.  21 Jump Street co-stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill make for an amusing odd couple as Superman and Green Lantern respectively.  I've also got plenty of love for Liam Neeson's Bad Cop / Good Cop.  This guy will literally take any role as a badass officer of the law.  Lastly, Alison Brie is quite amusing as the insanely cheery UniKitty.

It's a little early in the year for me to say this, but The Lego Movie might just be the first great movie of 2014, at least in the animated genre.  With plenty of humor, a heartwarming story, and refreshing interpretations of many of the characters we all know and love, there's something for everyone here.  The Lego Movie gets a strong 0.03% rating.  Have some wine coolers as you get ready for Taco Tuesday.