Hear this: An “average-Joe”, Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt), is suddenly heralded by the wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) as the chosen one to save the Lego dimension from Lord Business (Will Ferrell). It sounds overdone, ridiculous, and dumb – but you could never be more wrong. “The Lego Movie” has everything working for it: stupendous animation, hilarious jokes and sequences, an all-star voice cast, and enough heart and soul that could give a college student an unhealthy amount of “feels”.

First, the jokes. I probably laughed more here than I did for “This Is The End” or “The Wolf of Wall Street”, and that certainly says a lot since I enjoyed those movies. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“21 Jump Street”, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”) use their unending knowledge of pop-culture references to render some of the funniest moments you’ll see on screen. The best part? They’re all genuine laughs! From the moment “Everything is Awesome” starts playing in the background of a 1984-styled Lego city, you never stop smiling. And if you’re as nerdy and geeky as I am, then you’ll appreciate the references and homages to the various arkenstones of the nerd-realm. I won’t spoil any specific moments, but keep your eyes peeled – they are everywhere.

What in fact makes this movie stand out as even more clever and smart than its competitors is that all the voice actors play parody on their respective well-known characters in other films. Liam Neeson literally voices a “Good Cop, Bad Cop” character. Channing Tatum voices an extremely dumb Superman who hates Green Lantern, voiced by Jonah Hill (An obvious take on 21 Jump Street). Morgan Freeman plays Vitruvius, a god-like character (best casting ever). To those who know Will Arnett as Job from “Arrested Development”, he plays an ego-centric gritty Batman (he gets some of the best lines in the movie). And Will Farrell, of course, voices Lord Business – an evil character obviously playing off his character, Mugato, from “Zoolander”. There are an indefinite amount of characters in the movie, and there are several cameos from voice-actors that you won’t realize it was them until you Wikipedia the movie later. It’s full of surprises.

The animation is incredibly well-done. I had my doubts before I entered the theater, but I was blown away by how seamless everything looked. I would best describe it as a combination of three-dimensional characters (the animation that Pixar uses) and Claymation (“Chicken Run”). My jaw dropped with such force when the “Cloud Cuckoo Palace” demolishes and tumbles apart with characters, buildings and colors falling from every corner of the frame. It’s beautiful, and all the intense colors and backdrops add to the adventure of it all. The film moves fast through five different Lego-settings as soon as you can say “Spaceship!” five times. It’s an astounding accomplishment.

The comedic and animated factors of the film are equally balanced by the heart and soul of the movie. Towards the middle of the third act, there’s an emotional montage scene that really inspired all my friends and I to get up and hug everyone around us. The message itself isn’t exclusive to this movie – you heard it so much as a kid, but it’s something else rehearing it when you’re all grown up, when you’ve forgotten a little bit how awesome it     was to be a kid. It’ll remind you of the ending scene of Toy Story 3 when Andy gives his toys away, though it isn’t as emotionally heart-wrenching. It’s nostalgia and a little bit of wishful thinking. Apart from the comedy, it’s that message (which I won’t spoil here) that resonated with me after the movie ended.

I’ve spent a good amount of time talking about this fine piece of motion picture, and for good reason. Don’t let the fact that it’s a “kid’s movie” deter you from buying a ticket to see it. I had to convince my friend, eventually threatening him, to go see the movie with me – and he ended up loving it. Another friend believed that he couldn’t find anything not-awesome about it. So take the Green Line this Saturday to the Regal Henrietta Cinema 18 and buy a $10.50 ticket. Take your friends (all of them, preferably) and bask in the glory of this brick-building phenomenon.

Usmani is a member of

the class of 2017.



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