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The Lego Ninjago Movie (A Movie Review)

Updated: Mar 17, 2020

Lego Ninjago Movie


Featuring the voices of Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Jackie Chan, Michael Pena, Kumail Nanjiani, Abbi Jacobson, Zach Woods, Fred Armisen, Olivia Munn, Michael Strahan and Robin Roberts.

Screenplay by Bob Logan, Paul Fisher, William Wheeler, Tom Wheeler, Jared Stern and John Whittington.

Directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan.

Distributed by Warner Bros. 101 minutes. Rated PG.

So, I took two teenagers to see this movie – two teenagers with a strong appreciation for the original Lego Movie and an even stronger appreciation for Lego Batman. Teenagers are NOT the focus demographic for Lego Ninjago. Teenagers like to rant about movie plot fails, throwaway character details that don’t add to the story, and painful, irrelevant YouTube montages. Needless to say, it was a long ride home.

Here are some positive points where we agreed:

  1. The relationship between Lloyd (voiced by Dave Franco) and his father, Garmadon (voiced by Justin Theroux) is the highlight of this movie. Their dialogue is clever and emotional. Their overall dynamic is very well developed throughout the movie. By the end, we really felt for both characters.

  2. The ninja action scenes, particularly between Master Wu (voiced by Jackie Chan) and Garmadon, were stellar. There were scenes enacted entirely out of Lego pieces that I swear I have seen Jackie Chan do in live action. Super impressive.

  3. Although it was their least favorite of the three, we all agreed Lego Ninjago would still be super entertaining for kids, tweens, and their parents.

Here are some negative points where we agreed:

  1. We didn’t care a whole lot about the ninja characters other than Lloyd.

  2. Lloyd’s mom is a warrior in support of her kid – she doesn’t need irrelevant character details added mid-movie and never used or acknowledged again.

  3. Part of the magic of the first Lego Movie was the original use of Lego pieces to illustrate every detail. There was a lot of use of non-Lego animation in this movie that made us wish the animators stayed true to the original Lego focus.

The teens have deemed that once was indeed enough, an unlike the first two movies, they will not be re-watching Lego Ninjago Movie.  As a parent, I found enough humor and emotion in the story that if my child watched the movie on repeat, I would probably join them on the sofa at least the first few times.

Bonnie Paul

Copyright ©2017 All rights reserved. Posted: September 21, 2017.

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