Ever since I was a child, LEGO bricks have been in my life. I still remember getting my first set – a very small spaceship with a transparent green plastic cockpit and a minifigure with a big “B” printed on his chest. I was five years old and I loved it. Due to that love, my parents would go on to buy me more and more sets. I would use the instructions and build the models but as soon as I was done I would tear them apart and build new things from all the different pieces. At one point, I had a giant plastic box filled with tons of LEGO pieces that I would completely empty all over the floor in our family room. My mom would scold me for not cleaning them up when the company was coming over but I could care less. All I wanted to do was keep building.
Over the years my passion waned and eventually, I gave all of my LEGOs away. Then in 2015 my now ex-girlfriend and I decided to purchase a LEGO Star Wars Snowspeeder set just for fun. As soon as we began building the passion came right back to me and I’ve been purchasing and building sets ever since. So now anything that involves LEGOs piques my interest which happens to include The LEGO Ninjago Movie.
Lloyd (Dave Franco) is a young ninja kid. Garmadon (Justin Theroux) is his villainous estranged ninja father. Due to Garmadon and his crew’s constant attacks on Ninjago city, Lloyd and his five ninja friends have to regularly thwart Garmadon’s evil schemes. One day, Garmadon goes too far and Lloyd is forced to use a super special weapon. Unfortunately, the weapon backfires and he ends up unleashing a giant monster on the city. In order to fix the problem, Lloyd’s teacher named Master Wu (Jackie Chan) tells him about an even more special weapon that is hidden very far away. Lloyd and his friends must embark on a journey to find the weapon, destroy the monster, and stop Garmadon at all costs.
In comparison to the two other LEGO theatrical films, this one is definitely the weakest overall. The humour is unquestionably geared more towards children and the adult jokes are few and far between. In addition, I felt that Garmadon became a significantly less threatening villain as the film progressed. It isn’t a terrible issue because the monster was still a major menace, but I wish he was consistently more of an ongoing adversary.
Switching gears as to what I really enjoyed about the film – pretty much everything else. The film is absolutely stunning to look at. From a beautiful tropical island filled with a dense neo-Tokyo type of city to a striking mountain in the clouds housing an ancient temple; every piece of the film is worthy of being considered “high art”. Also, the character and mech designs are very distinctive and don’t fall into a lot of the standard Japanese blueprints.
Above and beyond anything else within the film is its story. It does a fantastic job of portraying the life of a kid who is looked down upon solely due to his father essentially being a terrorist. Lloyd still has his main crew of friends but everyone else in this world knows who his father is and places some unwarranted blame on him as well. As the films advances, that father-son relationship dynamically changes which adds some fantastic new elements to a well-worn plot device.
Overall I really enjoyed The LEGO Ninjago Movie and I would highly suggest seeing it for both parents and kids alike.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie:
About The LEGO Ninjago Movie
Synopsis: Six young ninjas Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane and Nya are tasked with defending their island home from an evil madman named Garmadon.
Directors: Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher, Bob Logan
Writers: Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher, William Wheeler, Tom Wheeler, Jared Stern, John Whittington
Stars: Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Jackie Chan, Fred Armisen
Runtime: 1 Hour, 41 Minutes