March 18, 2011

LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers (2010)

WATCHING A MOVIE with your kids that’s a toy or product tie-in can be a risky gamble. Not only could your kids end up asking for the toys that “star” in the movie, but the movie itself could be just a 90-minute toy commercial with no substance or, even worse, unwatchable (though we did have moderate success with Rescue Heroes: The Movie).

So when Netflix recommended LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers, I was hesitant to act. But since LEGO has been a memorable part of childhood for generations (mine and my boys’ included), sentimentality overtook me and we checked it out.

Plot:
The snap-build world of LEGO comes to life in this full-length adventure, featuring master builder and adventurer Clutch Powers and his band of plastic friends as they fight to save the universe across time and space. From Space Police prison to the medieval castles of Ashlar, Clutch and his pals put their skills to work to fend off an evil wizard and his dreaded skeleton army.

Critique:

From its thrilling opening sequence (borrowing from Raiders of the Lost Ark and Aliens) to its over-the-top climax, LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers delivers pure fun and entertainment. It’s amazingly well done, and not just for a direct-to-video movie about a toy line; it easily could have been a theatrical hit.

Clutch Powers features top-shelf production values, inspired and impressive set pieces, ambitious storytelling, a grandiose soundtrack worthy of a major motion picture, and a third act so compelling I caught myself getting sucked into it as much as my boys did.

In addition, director Howard E. Baker and screenwriter Tom Rogers know how to give a few nods to the grown-ups watching, with smart references to Indiana Jones, Aliens, Jason and the Argonauts, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and the Jedi mind trick.

The LEGO logo placement is a bit blatant at times (as if we don’t know what we’re watching), but never mind. LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers is a highly entertaining cross-section of action, sci-fi, and medieval epic, with some positive messages woven in about loyalty and teamwork. I can’t recommend it enough as the next film you should check out for a family movie night.

Rating:

What did Dash (and Jack-Jack) think?
They had a great time watching LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers – laughing at the jokes, soaking in the action, and staying glued to the screen for the big finale. A testament to their love of it: After we watched it Friday night, they woke up the next morning before FilmMother and me, asking by our bedside, “Can we watch the LEGO movie again?”

Will your kids like it?
Absolutely. It’s a smart, fun-filled, thrill-ride of a movie.

Will your FilmMother want to watch it?
Even if she doesn’t think she wants to, convince her to watch it with the family. It’s a great movie experience for you all to enjoy together.

Uh-oh. We’re gonna need some bigger blocks.

LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers
* Director: Howard E. Baker
* Screenwriter: Tom Rogers
* Stars: Ryan McPartlin, Yvonne Strahovski, Paul Michael Glaser, Roger Rose, Jeff Bennett, Stephan Cox, Alex Désert, Chris Hardwick, Christopher Emerson, Richard Doyle
* MPAA Rating: N/A (basically G)


Buy LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers from Half.com >>
Rent LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers from Netflix >>

4 comments:

Retro Hound said...

Never heard of it, but will check it out. I'm sure my boys will like it.

StuartOhQueue said...

Sounds fun. It's made my queue.

The Movie Snob said...

wow I had no idea these had been made into movies!

Retro Hound said...

Well, the kids loved it and my wife even liked it. Great suggestion! Thanks.

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