The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017)

lego ninjago movie poster 2018 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting : 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Still looks good and good cast

Doesn't have the energy or fun of the previous entries

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Lego Ninjago Movie

Studio:  Warner Bros. Pictures

Genre(s):  Animated/Action/Adventure/Comedy/Family

Release Date(s):  September 16, 2017 (Premiere)/September 22, 2017 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG

lego ninjago movie vs lord garmadon dragon

Well, that didn’t go as I hoped…

The town of Ninjago is menaced by the evil Lord Garmadon, but fortunately, the town is protected by a team of ninjas and their mechs.  Unfortunately, the town is home to Lloyd Garmadon, the abandoned son of Lord Garmadon, but unbeknownst to the people of Ninjago, Lloyd is secretly the Green Ninja and leader of the ninjas fighting Lord Garmadon.  When Lord Garmadon’s attack forces Lloyd to unleash the Ultimate Weapon, Ninjago could be doomed!  The only hope could be the Ultimate, Ultimate Weapon, and Lord Garmadon could be the key to finding it!

Directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher, and Bob Logan, The Lego Ninjago Movie is a stop-motion animated action-adventure family comedy.  The movie follows The Lego Batman Movie (also released in 2018) and is the third entry in the Lego Movie series.  The film was met with average to mixed reviews.

lego ninjago movie lord garmadon vs master wu jackie chan

Brother vs Brother!!!

The Lego Movie was fun, and as a comic book reader, I also enjoyed The Lego Batman Movie.  Though the trailer didn’t do much for me, I had high hopes that the cleverness of the two previous films would rub off on The Lego Ninjago Movie…but I was kind of disappointed.

To be clear, the movie wasn’t bad, but it also didn’t rise above the average movie or come close to reaching the two previous films.  The writing isn’t as peppy, and the plot is rather predictable (even for a kid’s film).  There are some clever jokes and fun moments peppered through the script, but the laughs are farther between than you’d expect.

Like the previous Lego movies, the cast is strong.  The movie is bookended with live action sequences featuring Jackie Chan and Kaan Guldur (Jackie Chan also provides the voice of Master Wu).  Dave Franco, Michael Peña, Kumail Nanjiani, Abbi Jacobson, Zach Woods, and Fred Armison make up the ninja team while Justin Theroux plays the evil Lord Garmadon.  Robin Roberts, Michael Strahan, Chris Hardwick, Charlyne Yi, Constance Wu, and Randall Park also provide voices.

lego ninjago movie lord garmadon vs meowthra cat

Feel the fury of Meowthra!!!

While the picture still looks sharp, The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie were aided by a lot more pop culture references since they were utilizing licensed material. The Ninjago line was introduced by Lego in 2011 and unless you are really into collecting Legos (and not just the licensed ones), there isn’t much connection to the source material…and a lot of the gimmicks from the first two films aren’t new anymore (I do like the cat attack though).

The Lego Ninjago Movie is a slightly better than average movie for kids.  It feels less targeted at a wide audience than the previous entries (and that isn’t wrong to make movies just for kids), but it is still peppered with jokes that kids won’t get.  It feels like it has more of an identity crisis than the other movies.  Even though it is a little stumble, I still have hope for future Lego Movie entries.  The Lego Ninjago Movie is followed by The Lego Movie 2:  The Second Part in 2019.

Related Links:

The Lego Movie (2014)

The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

The Lego Movie 2:  The Second Part (2019)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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