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Lego products have been around for over 50 years, so practically every generation alive today has experienced them in one way or another. Like most children, my experience with Legos consisted of mixing them all together and trying to create something unique out of all the ordinary pieces. They’re a toy that thrives on imagination and, luckily, The Lego Movie is bursting with creativity. Unlike other recent toy to film adaptations, this is a film that clearly has passion and care put behind it. The humor is smart, the animation is crisp and its heart is always in the right place.

Emmet Brickowsk (Chris Pratt) is an ordinary construction worker living in a highly regulated modern city. One day, he falls through a deep hole at a construction site and discovers the Piece of Resistance. He is informed by a woman named Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) that the Piece of Resistance is the only thing that can prevent the use of the Kragle, a device that could bring about the end of the world. The Kragle is in the hands of Lord Business (Will Ferrell), the man in charge of the highly regulated town, after he stole it from an old wizard named Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) many years ago. Now Emmet must stop Lord Business with the help of his new friends and prove that he is not as ordinary as he originally thought.

The Lego Movie is able to provide big laughs, not just for the children, but for the adults in the audience as well. In fact, the film is so clever with its use of humor that one has to wonder whether the film was intended for adults first and children second. Not that any of the humor is inappropriate for children, but that much of the humor is so subtle that it’s bound to go over the heads of most children. This will come as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who were also responsible for 2012’s hilarious 21 Jump Street.

While the humor is to be expected, the film’s profound message is what will truly surprise moviegoers. The film works as a critique of mass culture, with Lord Business running a total dictatorship by promoting sameness in everybody. It’s easy to see parallels to our society, particularly in what the people of the city watch on their TVs and listen to on the radio. But the film’s most poignant message is that sometimes it’s good to be chaotic; too many rules can very easily stifle creativity. This message works perfectly for a film about Legos, a toy that has inspired creativity among children for generations.

While the film hits all the expected points of an animated screenplay, a late third act reveal shows that the filmmakers have more up their sleeves than originally thought. Without giving anything away, the reveal is nothing short of genius and the closing moments of the film might leave audience members in tears. It’s a fantastic ending to a film that rarely falters. The Lego Movie will make viewers of any age feel like a kid again.

The Lego Movie receives 3.5/4

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