Patrick White ‘The Lego Movie’ builds excitement

After a few weeks of reviewing movies, I read one chapter from “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser about his approach to artistic criticism and column writing. In Zinsser’s book, he explains that critics should “like — or, better still, love — the medium they are reviewing.” I love film and I love writing reviews of the latest cinematic adventure, but I was starting to worry that my writing was growing stale over the years. I decided in order to reinvigorate my writing style I would see a movie along with the intended audience.

Seeing “The Lego Movie” amongst countless children and their parents was exactly the jumpstart I needed, but the real surprise came when my laughter and other adults’ laughter easily obliterated the softer chuckles of children.

Emmett, a Lego minifigure, lives by instructions and listens to the same song over and over throughout his day. Nothing is particularly special about this follower in a larger Lego world controlled by the devious President Business who is attempting to put all Legos in their proper place forever. Emmett finds that he is special when he works to stop President Business with a hodge-podge assortment of Lego minifigures including Batman, Princess Unikitty, 80s Lego Spaceman, Metalbeard and many more.

“The Lego Movie” is a comedy for all ages; whether you’re big or small, something will make you laugh. That’s a guarantee. This animated family comedy is the single greatest cinematic surprise I have found in the early months of a year and inspires me to practice my creativity when it comes to reviewing film for my favorite Nebraska city. A city that functions with the same sense of community that is ingrained in the Lego world.

“The Lego Movie” is more than a film, it’s a brilliant experience that I wanted to jump back into the moment after the credits started rolling. No animated film has baffled me with its pure undoctored imagination and flawless execution prior to “The Lego Movie.” I loved Disney’s “Frozen,” but I wish this powerhouse could sneak its way into the Oscars best animated feature category because it would extinguish any hopes “Frozen” had of winning. You will undoubtedly be taken in by the thrilling animated sequences early in the film and once you’ve finally gotten over the scale of the first individual city set you’ll be thrown into a new world never before seen on screen that features dragons, cowboys, Abraham Lincoln and Batman.

Regardless of how visually stimulating and hilarious this film is, the most refreshing piece that parents will love is that it’s a clean and appropriate family film. There is not a single bad word, not even one of the less harsh ones, and no innuendo is in sight. “The Lego Movie” will thrill parents because the directors/writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have managed to build a film that is pure entertainment with great pop culture references and a strong message of creativity and imagination. Not since “Toy Story 3” has an animated feature brought me close to tears when viewing a heartbreaking ending, and not since “The Muppets” have I had a constant grin on my face when watching a film.

“The Lego Movie” may sound like a silly cash-grab for parents’ money to buy more toys, but I promise you that the Lego brand only makes the film more entertaining because these are recognizable sets and characters that will bring everyone back to their childhood whether you played with Legos or Lincoln Logs. “The Lego Movie” brought back my excitement for writing and film; let it bring back your love of creativity and inventive construction in and outside of the theater.

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