Sunday, 9 February 2014


This is the point of no return, where at long last we have truly become enslaved by the machine. This is the point where it has infiltrated and infected our art, not shambolically but successfully. The LEGO Movie represents consumer capitalism in the arts in a context where the only reasonable response (immediately, at least) is to smile. Indeed, such an innocent, versatile, innovative, Scandinavian product was only ever going to elicit goofy grins from its movie audience, though infinite credit to Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who wrote and directed this cinematic spin-off. Recognising that the product, which adapts amazingly easily to this medium, will sell itself, they set about lampooning it, and any other staple they and Warner Bros can get their claws on. The vast bank of material to draw upon combined with Lord and Miller's unforgiving quick-wittedness (and quick pacing, since no-one actually cares about the story in an animated movie, do they?) keeps the humour quotient sky-high, while the good-natured, family-friendly delivery to it ought to prevent it from pushing anyone's buttons too hard. There remains an edge, though, even if it's only in fleeting, innocuous moments sprinkled here and there, or as the subtext to a thoughtfully-layered joke - still, that's enough, what with the quality of Lord and Miller's work. They even have the comedic bravura to turn around an ending that seems lost to the sewers of sentimentality with a perfectly barbed sting in the tail. Never was a sequel more swiftly established, nor more obviously, nor more brilliantly.