I’m going to come right out and say it: I’m 23 years old and I LOVED The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie. The former, I watched 4 times by choice. So my hopes were high for The Lego Ninjago Movie.
Lego Ninjago stars the voice talent of Jackie Chan (Master Wu), Dave Franco (Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja) and Justin Theroux (evil warlord Garmadon, who also happens to be Lloyd’s Dad). It also stars a colourful cast of Lego bricks, and a cat. Lloyd, our hero, is a high school student hated by his whole city “because his Dad ruins everything.” Lloyd’s Dad is evil Warlord Garmadon, who attempts (and fails) to take over the city of Ninjago on a fairly regular basis. What the citizens of Ninjago don’t realise, however, is that Lloyd has a secret double life as the Green Ninja, saving the city and foiling Garmadon at every turn.
After a battle turns nasty and the Green Ninja’s true identity is revealed, Lloyd, his mentor and his ninja pals are sent on a journey to put an end to Garmadon’s attacks once and for all. When Garmadon realises Lloyd is his long lost son, he follows and predictably, it turns into a nice-but-forgettable story of reconciliation, forgiveness and finding yourself.
The Lego Ninjago Movie is self-aware enough that it’s not too tired, but it’s lacking the zingy magic of its predecessors and that makes it the weakest of the three by far. Lego Movie masterminds Chris Miller and Phil Lord just act as producers here, and maybe their less hands on approach, plus a cast of 7 writers and 3 directors, meant a rushed movie not just as good as it could have been?
None of that takes away from the rollicking fun that is The Lego Ninjago Movie. It’s a good, simple film with a strong take home message. Take the kids, and they’re guaranteed a good time. The Lego Movie magic, though, is mostly absent from this one. I won’t be watching it again.