Movie Reviews

The Lego Ninjago Movie – A Less Accessible Lego Film

The Lego animated films have been some of best animated films over the last few years. Now they are back with another film. Has the novelty worn off yet?

Synopsis: In this big-screen NINJAGO adventure, the battle for NINJAGO City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, who are all secret ninja warriors.  Led by Master Wu, as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat evil warlord Garmadon, The Worst Guy Ever, who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad. Pitting mech against mech and father against son, the epic showdown will test this fierce but undisciplined team of modern-day ninjas, who must learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash their inner power. (Warner Bros.)

Starring: Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, and Jackie Chan

Writers: Bob Logan, Paul Fisher, William Wheeler, Tom Wheeler, Jared Stern, and John Whittington

Directors: Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher, and Bob Logan

Rating: G (Canada)/PG (United States)

Running Time: 101mins

Trailer: 

For showtimes and more, check out The Lego Ninjago Movie on movietimes.com.

The best animated films are the ones that can affect both children and the adults forced to buy tickets to them. This was one of the main reasons why the first two Lego films were so successful. Of course they had the nostalgia factor with The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie respectively but both still managed to entertain both children and adults with their engrossing stories that appealed to both.

This new film, The Lego Ninjago Movie, is based on the Lego series of the same name has a more of a limited appeal when compared to the previous two Lego films seeing that most of the target audience will be children. This will probably enough but most adults will probably not have as good of a time than with the previous two Lego films as it makes no attempt to appeal to anyone older. This film has a similar sense of humor compared to the first two Lego films with most of it hitting although it lacks any of the references or inside jokes of the other films.

The wide appeal of the previous two films have often made up for the arguably unoriginal stories but this film didn’t quite have that luxury. The story was about a teen named Lloyd (Franco) who has to live with the fact that his estranged father Garmadon (Theroux) is an evil warlord. Lloyd was also part of a group of secret ninjas, along with his friends, who were tasked to protect the city of Ninjago from Garmadon. The story was rather pedestrian (even with 6 writers), however, the father-son dynamic in play here was fun to watch and the best part of the film.

The film focused on Lloyd and Garmadon’s relationship so Lloyd’s friends were relegated to the background. The message of working together was a predictable one but it was still somewhat fun to watch. This was a testament to the great voice acting all around. All of it felt genuine with Franco and Theroux standing out above the rest. Franco was compelling as Lloyd but Theroux definitely stole the show as Garmadon. His lines coupled with his excellent delivery made for a memorable, scene-stealing performance.

Overall, this was a good animated children’s film that will appeal to the fans of the Ninjago series and not many more. The story was unoriginal but still fun to watch due to the Lloyd and Garmadon relationship made better by the vocal performances of Franco and especially Theroux.

Score: 7.5/10

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