I was almost convinced I was on the verge of watching animation’s answer to The Shawshank Redemption when I put The Lego Movie on, sadly it turned out to be more like animation’s answer to over-hyped doomsday blockbuster 2012: big on money, lacking on depth. The Lego Movie had been hyped extensively by friends, family and movie reviewers, yet it fell somewhat short upon my viewing. A film so intent on rapidfire jokes that if ninety percent were to fall short, the studio could be fairly certain that the audience would only remember the good ten percent. The voiceover work was a veritable who’s who of Hollywood talent, but Chris Pratt’s Emmet and Charlie Day’s 1980-something Space Guy stood head and shoulders above the loftier members of the cast –such as a shockingly uninspiring Morgan Freeman and a disappointing Will Arnett (as Batman). Based around the idea that Will Ferrell’s Lord Business had separated the Lego kingdom into several separate areas, each one disconnected from the other, he decides to use ‘Taco Tuesdays’ as a front to glue every Lego citizen and ensure they remain stuck to the spot. Chris Pratt’s Emmet accidentally discovers – in a glorious scene reminiscent of Homer’s cliff fall in an early Simpsons episode – the piece of resistance (the only thing that can stop Lord Business’ plan) and is subsequently assumed to be the special one by Elizabeth Bank’s Wildstyle. Hijinks ensue. Understandably, The Lego Movie is essentially a giant toy commercial, but this is no different to the extensive marketing that usually follows most blockbuster films in the modern age. This isn’t even a new ideology, films such as Ghostbusters and TV shows like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were also greeted with mass amounts of merchandise, the only difference being that the toys were seemingly built to match the movie, whereas The Lego Movie evokes the opposite. There is even an – admittedly brilliant – theme song to be promoted, ‘Everything is Awesome!!!’ features the talents of indie-darlings Tegan and Sara and comedy-sensations The Lonely Island. Written by long-term Wes Anderson collaborator Mark Mothersbaugh it is a slice of pop genius. There are some genuine laughs to be had, and the last twenty minutes are pretty spectacular, yet the majority of the movie is distinctly average and feels as if directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have attempted to stretch forty five minutes of material into an hour and forty. Jokes are routinely repeated and forced whilst storylines are frequented over and over – the ‘gang’ get caught and narrowly escape to freedom several times before the film is up. The Lego Movie has already proven itself to be the hit of –an admittedly weak – cinematic summer, and rest assured that there will be a sequel and it will be equally loved, followed by a third and fourth film greeted by negative ‘should’ve-quit-while-they-were-ahead’ reviews. As far as animation goes, it doesn’t have the charm or the wit of some of the better Pixar films, but it’s still far better than Cars.