"He's coming... Cover your butts!"

Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman)

Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have made 2014's first big must-see film with their latest effort The Lego Movie. Now I know that this is quite a big statement to make, but have no doubt about it - the creators of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs have surpassed themselves with one of the wittiest, most enjoyable films in recent years. Not only have they blown away any fears of a mere 100 minute commercial for Denmark's most famous export since Hans Christian Andersen, but they skillfully aim their rapier-like satire at modern consumerism to keep adults laughing out loud while keeping the kids thrilled with the slick action sequences worthy of nothing less than the big screen.

The story is one of devilish simplicity - all-round average guy Emmett stumbles accidentally into a deadly war between the oppressive ruler of LEGOLAND President Business and a rebel alliance championing freedom of creativity. As our bumbling hero struggles to adjust to the fact that his perfectly ordered way of life is nothing more than a tyrant's evil efforts to control the world, he must rise above the norm to prove he is worthy of the mantle of The Special. The voice cast are all exceptional, with Chris Pratt keeping Emmett's everyman construction worker a hero to root for. He is ably supported by a cast that includes wise sage Morgan Freeman (who else?), kick-ass love interest Elizabeth Banks and vigilante love rival Batman Will Arnett (who delightfully makes the Dark Knight a bit of a douche). Special mention must go to Liam Neeson's hilarious take on the henchman with Bad Cop/Good Cop, while Will Ferrell does some his better work to date with the villainous Business.

Lord and Miller's crew of animators and film makers have crafted a wonderful concoction that will delight fans of the Danish building blocks as well as win over movie goers who want a fantastic trip to the flicks. The action zips along at a breakneck pace, with stylish nods to comic book movies and The Matrix, but never at a cost to the satire which remains front and center. And the animation is a match made in Cloud Cuckoo Land between some charmingly retro stop-motion and slick, modern computer graphics. However, there is a slight downside. The jokes come so think and fast, not to mention from every angle possible, that occasionally the film veers a little off course through over-indulgence. The ending also sinks a little too much into dangerous levels of sugary treacle by venturing a little too far into a marketing endorsement. Thankfully these are very minor quibbles, and Lord and Miller have assembled a fabulous comedy adventure that is suitable for kids of all ages. The Oscars might have only just passed us by, but surely it isn't too soon to place a bet on the Best Animated Feature for next year, is it?


Funny, irreverent and thrilling - The Lego Movie is one of the most enjoyable trips to the cinema in recent times. Buoyed by an excellent cast, a punchy script and some first-class animation, this action-packed comedy adventure is one for the whole family. Built to last with style and panache, the Danish company can sleep soundly in the knowledge that their brand will embraced by a whole new batch of Super Builders.