Lego Ninjago Movie (2017) Review

4/5* Shiv’s Show | Siobhan Divers

Dir: Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher, Bob Logan

 101 mins 

Starring: Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Fred Armisen, Abbi Jacobson, Olivia Munn, Kumail Nanjiani Michael Pena, Zack Woods, Jackie Chan.

The latest Lego Universe movie is just an entertaining as the other two, with sly adult humour among some child-friendly jokes. With strong voice performances, The Lego Ninjago Movie is fun, original and filled with pop culture references.

The movie centres around the Ninjago community, another Lego World, which is constantly under attack from evil villain Garmadon (Justin Theroux). His evil plans are frequently thwarted, however, by a group of six ninja superheroes, taught by Master Wu (Jackie Chan), who by day are just local school students – one of them being the estranged son of Garmadon, Lloyd (Dave Franco). Lloyd’s emotions and daddy issues get the better of him in a few battles though, leading to him using the Ultimate Weapon on Garmadon and ultimately resulting in the mass destruction of Ninjago from an even more terrifying force – a cat. On a quest to find and retrieve the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon, the Ninja’s are forced to trust and work alongside Garmadon with humourous consequences.

The Lego Ninjago Movie is less crammed with jokes, like The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie were, however this does not impact negatively on the narrative which is as equally well-scripted as the other films. Like within The Lego Movie, the first film in the universe, live action elements are incorporated into the animated storyline.

Using 3D computer animation, it’s beautifully animated with fun, energetic action sequences and complete attention to detail in everything from the script to background sets and character costuming.

Like within other comedy films, it’s the background actors and supporting cast who provide some of the best lines and scenes. When Master Wu details the powers of the ninjas who have elemental powers (earth, lightening, water, ice, fire), he tells Lloyd he has the power of green, to which Lloyd asks: ‘can I be the element of surprise?’ and Master Wu replies: ‘no, that’s the fuchsia ninja’ and queue a very dramatic luminous pink ninja on screen.

Weird and wonderful throughout, the main characters also deliver some great lines. Following his apparent success, at one point Garmadon questions one of his Generals while she’s slurping on a drink, if she had found his son, the ninja’s, Master Wu or his ex (Lloyd’s mum). She replies that she hadn’t and he retorts with: ‘well you certainly had no trouble finding the bar, did you?’ before firing her out of a volcano.

With a compelling storyline, humour for all ages and a great cast of voice actors, the beautifully animated Lego Ninjago Movie is entertaining and fun (with the best description of cats ever: ‘The six toed fluffy demon with her sandpaper tongue). And as usual features an incredibly catchy song within the end credits.

However with some elements and ideas being repeated through the franchise, is the formula for its success wearing thin? Guess we’ll find out when The Lego Movie sequel is released…

If you liked this, please read, like and comment on my other reviews here.

I also have a Letterboxd account where I post some short reviews of the most recent films I’ve seen.

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Siobhan x

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