The Lego Ninjago Movie – Film Review

Rating : 2.5 / 5 stars

What’s it about?

The Lego Ninjago Movie is the latest animated film in the Lego franchise and is directed by Charlie Bean and Paul Fischer. It has voice-over​ work by Jackie Chan, Dave Franco, Michael Pena and Justin Theroux among others.

The story follows the exploits of a group of teenagers who moonlight as ninjas, saving their city Ninjago, from the evil Garmadon. Garmadon wants to conquer the city and rule over it but is always thwarted by Lloyd, the leader of the Ninjas. Lloyd also happens to be the son of Garmadon and is often plagued with unresolved issues about his father leaving him for a life of crime. When a life changing event wreaks havoc across Ninjago, destiny throws both Lloyd and Garmadon together, and they must find a way to work through their differences and overcome their own personal issues to try and save the city from chaos and destruction. How they manage to do this is what the film is about.

What’s Good?

The animation of the film is good and is on par with the previous Lego films. Some of the jokes in the film are good, but are not of the laugh-out-loud variety. The film also has many poignant sequences that show father-son bonding and promote family values. Some of the action sequences are decent but have a familiar feel to it. The main plot point of the film is very unique and can be polarizing with viewers, as it merges animation and real life and is not what one would expect from an animated film.

What’s Not?

The film has a very generic story and has been seen before in films many a time. Inspite of a 100+ minute runtime, there are not many plot twists in the film and this can test the patience of the viewer  at times. Also, the climax feels anti-climactic and ends on a very underwhelming note. While some of the jokes in the film work, most of them don’t and this leads to long stretches of film where nothing much happens. Some of the big action set pieces have a Transformers like choreography where a lot of things happen at the same time, and this can get the viewer slightly confused as to what is happening on the screen.

Performances

Jackie Chan has a distinct voice and infuses some humor into proceedings as Master Wu, but is not present in the film as much as one would have liked. Justin Theroux as Garmadon is good and manages to get a few laughs. Dave Franco is perfect as the teenage Lloyd and brings out the character’s angst very well. Rest of the cast is good in their respective roles.

Final Word

Fun in parts, this film does not hold up to expectations and is strictly a one time watch for fans of animated films.


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