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Film review: The Lego Movie (U)

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Ah, the heady whiff of nostalgia. It was Christmas 1984. I remember excitedly tearing snowman-festooned wrapping paper off a large box and staring wide-eyed at the LEGO construction set that had been the subject of countless unsubtle hints to my parents.

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Those tiny coloured construction bricks became a building site for my imagination, and even now, I get warm, fuzzy pangs when I see film-themed kits cluttering up the shelves of toy shops.

That same warm glow permeates Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s rollicking adventure, which cleverly employs the latest technical wizardry to mimic the crude, imperfect movements of stop-motion animation.

The LEGO Movie is a hoot, celebrating the enduring power and popularity of a toy invented in the late 1940s.

Directors Lord and Miller, who donned hard hats at the helm of the first Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs film, strike a delicious tone of irreverence throughout to ensure parents enjoy the ride just as much as younger audiences.

The unlikely hero is a socially awkward LEGO mini-figure called Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt), who works on a building site in his hometown of Bricksburg.

Desperate to fit in, Emmet follows the dictates laid down by President Business (Will Ferrell), who is actually - shock, gasp! - arch-villain Lord Business in disguise.

Fast-paced and crammed with primary colours, The LEGO Movie pulls out all the stops to dazzle and delight.

The script is peppered with wry one-liners, cinematic homages and an infectious theme song - Everything Is Awesome - that burrows into the brain and refuses to leave quietly.

Pratt, Ferrell and co deliver ebullient vocal performances, which are complemented by frenetic action sequences by LEGO land, sea and air.

The final 10 minutes provide an unexpected, heart-warming surprise, guaranteed to have kids big and small grinning with glee.

 

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