Although it doesn't quite live up to the heights of The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie in originality, The Lego Ninjago Movie still makes for a very enjoyable watch.
Is there any better combination for true movie magic than Lego and a cat? My answer would have to be no after watching The LEGO Ninjago movie. We follow the story of Lloyd, one of six ninjas who make up The Secret Ninja Force (original I know). While all of the other ninjas in the group represent an element – fire, water etc. – Lloyd Garmadon is simply known as The Green Ninja; he always feels a little left out and unsure of his purpose (again, original). These feelings are not helped by his absent father, who also happens to be the evil Lord Garmadon, official terror to the city of Ninjago. He dresses all in black and has glowing red eyes just so we’re all aware that he’s very evil. However, when the city comes under attack from the aforementioned real-life cat, who of course seems giant amongst all of the Lego figures and causes havoc despite its adorable appearance, Lloyd and Lord Garmadon must come together to defeat it. Essentially a story of redemption for Lloyd’s father who pronounces his son’s name as Luh-Lloyd due to the double L, The LEGO Ninjago Movie is surprisingly endearing and just as funny and entertaining as its predecessors, The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie.
As with the two Lego movies which came before it, the first element of Ninjago (I’ll show myself out) which must be commended is the stunning visual graphics used within the film. Stop-motion animation technology has become incredibly sophisticated, and, as we saw with the original LEGO Movie, the filmmakers are able to make the characters of Ninjago move realistically whilst still keeping that blocky Lego flair, since they are ultimately made of plastic. This visual magic transports and immerses you into the Lego world in depth you wouldn’t believe was possible.
This immersion into the Ninjago world brings us face to face with the characters who reside there. The cast of the film bring these Lego figures to life in a brilliant, hilarious way. As in the previous two movies, there is a sense of improvisation and ridiculousness in the voicing of the characters – unsurprising given the cast is composed of such talents as Dave Franco (Lloyd), Justin Theroux (Lord Garmadon), and even Jackie Chan as the voice of Master Wu, the ninjas’ ancient but wise teacher. The way the voice actors play off each other brings a fresh and funny feel to the whole film.
Ultimately, The LEGO Ninjago movie is mostly targeted towards kids, and this movie contains less humour for the adult viewers than we saw in The LEGO Movie and LEGO Batman. However, there is still enough content in there to not only make it a family film, but also one for older viewers to enjoy on their own if they’re fans of the Lego company and the other Lego films. Blink-and-you’ll-miss-it jokes and fantastic one-liners make this film an entertaining watch for anyone, and especially for those who happen to be big fans of cats.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017), directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan, is distributed in the UK by Warner Bros., certificate U.