Can 'The Lego Movie' Masterminds Turn Anything Into a Hit?

21 JUMP STREET, from left: Brie Larson, director Phil Lord, director Chris Miller on set, 2012, Ph: Scott Garfield, ? Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
The Lego Movie is the latest in a string of successes for Phil Lord and Chris Miller. In addition to their recent nostalgia-heavy animated adventure, the writing and directing duo have such credits under their belts as Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street. Soon Lord and Miller will be adding the highly anticipated upcoming sequel 22 Jump Street to their resumes as well. With so many consecutive box office triumphs, it’s got us wondering if this writing and directing team have the magic touch.
Okay, maybe they don’t have a Harry Potter-type magic touch so much as a perfectly tuned sense of humor and penache for filmmaking. Lord and Miller have taken four different ideas that are quite strange and could have gone horribly wrong in someone else’s hands — we're including their little seen but incredibly hilarious early 2000s cartoon Clone High — and created totally unique and hilarious properties. Could you imagine the 21 Jump Street reboot if it had tried to stay true to the original '80s TV series? It would have flopped as badly as the Footloose remake. 
What makes their films so special is that Lord and Miller have perfected the self-referential, tongue-in-cheek humor; they can turn even the silliest idea into comedy gold. The reason their humor works so well is that it can appeal to everyone. Even though Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs and The Lego Movie are animated films aimed at younger demographics, they can be enjoyed by anyone. Even 21 Jump Street seems to play to a wide range of age groups who have different types of humor — and we have high expectations for the sequel.
Given what we’ve seen so far from Lord and Miller, we’re wondering what they’ll tackle next. Whatever it is, no matter how weird or silly the premise, we’re sure it’ll be a hilarious hit.
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