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Saturday, 1 March 2014

Everything Is Awesome, Sort Of

This evening we head up to Sheffield to visit Daughter and to hand over a bottle of nearly Russian Vodka along with a gold medal from the Sochi trip.

The dogs have been walked and left at home. Third placed Derby have been defeated by second placed Burnley in the big game of the day.

L has bartered her way into me taking her to see the Lego Movie, so we all visit the Odeon in Sheffield. 
Our hero is a little Lego figurine called Emmet (Chris Pratt), a slightly dim construction worker. He’s a smiley chap though because, well, everything is awesome thanks to President Business (Will Ferrell) who provides everyone with instructions on how to live their life by. 

However Emmet’s little world is uprooted when he accidentally comes cross an unfamiliar object that’s not out of the Lego box. This, which sticks to his back, is the ‘Piece of Resistance’ and it comes with a prophecy that he who finds it must be the ‘Special’ one with extraordinary master builder skills.

It can’t be hopeless old Emmet surely but before he gets chance to deny it he’s been struck dumb by the foxiest assembly of Lego bricks he's ever seen. 

This is Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), a member of a resistance movement determined to end the rule of President Business. To them he is just a dictator who can’t bear anything out of place and who is determined to glue everything together permanently.

Emmet, promptly declared an enemy of the state, runs off with Wyldstyle. Who immediately quells his ardour by declaring that her boyfriend is Batman. Yeah, they all say that when they’re not interested but then when she introduces him to Wonder Woman, you realise this is no ordinary bunch of revolutionaries.

Their world is a world where random creativity rules no matter what the printed instructions say. Their band of misfits is lead by the wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) but up against them are Business and his two faced policeman Good Cop/Bad Cop (Liam Neeson).

It's all done with computer animation that is designed to look like real Lego. Actually doing it with Lego would have been great but probably not practical. The jobs a good un though. Everything here is Lego, right down to the water they shower in and the water the sail their ship over. Personally I always struggled to make a wall that was all one colour let alone a whole ocean. President Business would not have approved but I guess the revolutionaries would have.

At times it all descends into total chaos. Everything happens so fast that it’s not only hard to follow at times but also doesn’t give you enough time to decide whether the constant stream of in-jokes are funny or not. The film takes a well aimed dig at all sorts of parts of culture from overpriced coffee to cheesy music and equally cheesy television shows. A bit ironic really coming from what is basically an extended advert for little coloured building bricks dressed up as a blockbuster movie.

Things slow down in the final act, where everything turns out to be a bit more profound than what you would think as a little kid challenges his father to just let him run with his own imagination.

Quite who the target audience for all this is I’m not sure. There was only one child in the showing I saw of about 30 people and the majority of the film would have sailed well over the head of your average child.

I leave the cinema with a nagging a feeling that it was probably a lot better than it seemed at the time and it left me with such nagging philosophical questions. Such as... who the hell are these people that who are gluing Lego together?

Oh and I don't think I'm spoiling it too much by revealing that naturally, as ever, the guy gets his girl in the end. Foxy bricks dumps Batman and once more for Emmet everything is poised to be awesome. 

Afterwards we retreat to the East One noodle bar to chew the fat and the noodles.

 (Saturday 1st March)

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