After the first two previous successes of the critically acclaimed “LEGO Movie” and the recently released “LEGO Batman Movie,” Warner Bros. Animation studios has assembled yet another animated flick in the LEGO Movie property entitled “The LEGO Ninjago Movie,” a film based on the ‘Ninjago’ product by LEGO. It was so beloved by fans that it became a television show for a few seasons on Cartoon Network, and now in 2017, it has turned into a feature-length animated film created by first time director, Charlie Bean.
When walking into this film after loving the first LEGO movies, one could only hope that this latest film would have a new and unique premise, with more a effective storyline and clever comedic hijinks that both kids and adults will enjoy. And for what it’s worth, “The LEGO Ninjago Movie” is a fun movie…for kids, however for adults and other fans of the franchise, this animated flick is nothing more than a stale, by-the-numbers animated feature, that feels like less of a movie and more of a 90 minute commercial for the LEGO Ninjago product (basically what everyone thought the first movie would be).
Lloyd (Dave Franco), a normal everyday highschool teenager, is unfortunately ostracized by most of Ninjago, only because he is the son of the evil, tyrannical overlord named Garmadon (Justin Theroux), who not only wants to take over the entire city as their maniacal leader, but also lacks in being a father as he has complete disregard and little care for his son. With the entire population of Ninjago at stake, Lloyd and the rest of his ragtag team of ninjas go out to stop Garmadon, while simultaneously trying to get Lloyd and Garmadon to reunite as father and son.
So yeah, the plot is basically the rehashed formula that has been done in the first two films, but here, it’s done to such a cliched degree. Literally, any movie where it revolves around a son having daddy issues only to reunite with his dad in the final act, is all lumped up into this one film. The voice acting isn’t anything to write home about and the characters aside from Garmadon and Master Wu, voiced by Jackie Chan of all people, aren’t remotely interesting or memorable.
That’s not to say that the “LEGO Ninjago Movie” is a complete bust. The animation still looks terrific, the comedy, while not as remarkable as the other movies, has some very chuckle worthy moments to spare, even some that caught me off-guard, and the fight scenes are pretty darn good.
“LEGO Ninjago Movie” is such a disappointment. Though while this film may be a bit suitable for a younger demographic, as far as good LEGO Movies go, this is less a step forward and more of a step backward for the franchise. But hey, two out of three ain’t bad, right?