Movie Review: ‘The Lego Ninjago Movie’
Director: Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher, Bob Logan
Starring: Jackie Chan, Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Michael Peña, Kumail Nanjiani, Abbi Jacobson, Olivia Munn
Plot: Lloyd Garmadon is an teen outcast in Ninjago City, largely due to his father being the evil Lord Garmadon who frequently attempts to take over. The only thing standing in Lord Garmadon’s way is a team of five ninjas piloting giant robots, one of whom is his own son.
Review: The bit when Lloyd (Franco) unleashes the Ultimate Weapon and the way it unleashes devastation on the city would score this film 10/10 on its own. It’s bloody hilarious and brilliantly plays into the whole concept of the universe being a set of toys getting played with by kids.
But I should review the film as a whole.
Unlike the Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitsu animated series this movie does follow the concept established in The Lego Movie. This is made clear at the beginning of the film with a young boy finds himself in Mr. Liu’s (Chan) pawn shop where he is told the story of Lloyd Garmadon. From there were get to see the ninjas in action as they battle their mechs against the armies of Lord Garmadon (Theroux), with the villain being oblivious to his rival – the Green Ninja – being his son. The core of the story revolves around this relationship and whether or not the two will be able to repair their relationship or eventually fight each other.
This film is plenty of fun, and carries the same style of humour as the previous two entries in the franchise. Lord Gammadon’s naivety in what he’s doing wrong is a good running gag, as is his constant launching his general’s out off a volcano. Some of the jokes fly by so fast you may only catch a couple of them, such as the ‘Bridge of the Falling Mentor’. Clever word play and whacky physical comedy flow in equal measure, ensuring that people of all ages will find something to laugh at. There’s even a smattering of in-jokes for the film buffs, including a throw back to classic Jackie Chan film Rumble in the Bronx and an explosion made up on Wilhelm Screams.
As a franchise they’ve consistently brought in a solid cast of voice actors. Jackie Chan is as charming as ever in duel roles as Mr. Liu and Master Wu. Justin Theroux delivers comedy gold as Lord Garmadon, playing up the ridiculous Saturday morning cartoon style bad guy with no self-awareness. Kumail Nanjiani provides his unique comedy style to the cowardly Jay, and has some of the best moments of the movie.
If you’ve been reading closely you’d note that we’re very much putting this film in line with The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie, and that’s because it delivers the same style of humour, action and animation. It’s more of the same. It doesn’t have the uniqueness of the first or the brand recognition of Batman, but it’s still fun and worth taking the kids along to enjoy a laugh.
Rating: SEVEN out of TEN