The Lego Ninjago Movie comes on the back of several successful films in the Lego universe.
The 2014 release The Lego Movie was a fresh, funny and innovative story that introduced us to the lives of Lego minfigures and the tale of conformity.
Then, with The Lego Batman Movie, we received a cluttered, less innovative, one man show (Will Arnett’s Batman). The film was not quite as funny as The Lego Movie, and it was loaded with almost too many jokes.
The Lego Ninjago Movie has the same plastic based source material and boasts its own successful television series on Nickelodeon, so the film has a predictable content and tonal base to start with.
The plot centres around Lloyd Garmadon, aka The Green Ninja, and his relationship with his father, his classmates, and the responsibility of leading a band of Ninjas in saving the metropolis of Ninjago.
Lloyd is actually the son of the evil Lord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), the antagonist who’s constantly trying to attack and overthrow Ninjago, and is unaware that Lloyd even exists.
Lloyd struggles initially with having a double life, and with resenting his father, but when a former group of Lord Garmadons followers, including a live action cat, decide to rebel. Lloyd is soon forced to team up with his father to save Ninjago from total annihilation,
So while the Ninjago characters may not be familiar to all, the movie feels very familiar in style and in tone to the two previous Lego films.
There are pop-culture references aplenty, a tyrannical bad guy, a warped hero-villain relationship, and a couple of scenes in live-action featuring one of the film’s stars.
The downside to this is that the novelty is wearing a little thin, although it does just enough with its humours and reference material to be a solid movie to those new to Ninjago, to fans, it ticks pretty much all the boxes.
Written: JW, Editor