The Lego Ninjago Movie
The new spin off to the Lego Movie franchise is set in a fictional place in what looks like modern-day Japan, an industrial city called Ninjago.
The film wastes no time diving in to tell its tale, with Kung Fu veteran Jackie Chan taking the lead as the storyteller to a young boy (Kaan Guldur) who happens upon his curiosity shop. However, it lacks a much-needed foundation, as a movie that fails to set the scene becomes poor in its essence.
As per the previous Lego features, the crux of the tale in Ninjago is the broken bond between a father, the evil villain Garmadon, and his teenage son Lloyd, voiced by Justin Theroux and Dave Franco respectively. Though much of the humour derives from the genuinely funny gags from Garmadon, there are few other such funny moments. Garmadon is intent on ruling over Ninjago, while his son has to bear the embarrassment of having an evil mastermind for a father. Through this rushed introduction, typical high school scenes are played out, where Lloyd and his friends have secretly gathered to become ninjas: Green, Water, Earth, Lightning, Fire and Ice.
The scenes in which the villain attempts to bring the city to its knees are brash and unsophisticated, rendering them unmemorable and a blur. The unoriginality of the story, coupled with the predictable jokes, make this a tiresome action movie. Though primarily aimed at children, who seem to be entertained, the animation lacks the same charm for adults. With this genre, it is understandably challenging to achieve the right amount of fun, action and sentimentality for all age groups, as we have seen in classics such as the Toy Story series.
The Lego Ninjago Movie has a few aspects working in its favour, such as the well-animated Lego characters and scenery, Garmadon’s humour and the music deployed in a scene between Lloyd and his father in which Bruce Springsteen’s Secret Garden is used, creating a laugh-out-loud, funny moment. However, what lets the film down is its rush to tell the tale, and the formulaic way in which it goes about doing so.
The repetition of the action scenes and feeding off the first Lego Movie themes do not work in Ninjago‘s favour, and the alliance between Garmadon and Lloyd, who team up to fight off an even greater threat, is not enough for the animation to reach its potential. Predictable to the point of dullness, perhaps it is entertainment for the very young children, and one the adults will have to endure.
The Lego Ninjago Movie is released nationwide on 13th October 2017.
Watch the trailer for The Lego Ninjago Movie here: