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"The Lego Movie": Chris Pratt and Some Other of Your Favorite Action Figures 

Wednesday, Feb 5 2014

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's The Lego Movie is exactly what its title promises, a kid-pleasing movie comprised of CGI renditions of the titular interlocking plastic bricks. The story is a self-aware riff on hero's journey and prophecy tropes: Emmet Brickowski (Parks and Recreation's Chris Pratt, who could make the National Union Catalog funny) is an ordinary guy in a Lego city who discovers that he's destined to Save The World, along the way meeting characters already owned by parent company Time Warner (Will Arnett as Batman) and newly proprietary (Alison Brie as Uni-Kitty). The picture looks good, it has some yuks, and there are even early hints of an Idiocracy-style satire of a lowbrow culture — the most popular show on TV, Where Are My Pants?, is a PG version of Ow! My Balls! — but the overlong Lego Movie collapses in the third act, finally becoming an overt commercial for the toys while getting existential in a way that unfavorably parallels the Toy Story movies. Nor does it help that the screenwriters work out their daddy issues — what is this, 2013? — and the movie ends on a distastefully sexist joke. (Girls ruin everything!) Still, Chris Pratt gets to say, "Abraham Lincoln, you bring your space-chair right back here!" Classic Pratt.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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