Martens' Movie Reviews

Movie Reviews from an avid movie-goer

The Lego Ninjago Movie – Non – Spoiler Review

Released: September 22, 2017
Running Time: 1 hour 41 minutes

“The battle for Ninjago City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, who are all secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu, as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat evil warlord Garmadon, The Worst Guy Ever, who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad.”

I’ve been excited for this movie since I heard about it earlier this year, as I’ve loved the two other Lego Movies, and was excited to get another film about a different area of the “Lego World”. The absolute surprise that The Lego Movie was, can’t be understated, a lot of people, including myself had heard about the movie, and thought “well, that’s just a blatant cash grab, and really long commercial for Lego. It turned out that it had a charming and fun story, even though it was a long commercial for Lego at the same time. Then The Lego Batman Movie came out earlier this year, and even though a lot of people had high expectations due to the Batman character stealing every scene that he was in in The Lego Movie, the movie still managed to be a lot of fun, and at the time of my writing this review, the best animated movie of the year thus far.

I was lucky enough to get advanced tickets through a contest run by Cinemaniax.net, and got to see the movie on Wednesday September 20, 2017. I brought my girlfriend who absolutely loved the previous two Lego Movies, and she wanted me to write that she really loved the “pew pew” noises that Lego Batman was making when he was shooting at others.

Once again, I’m going to stick with the conversational format that I tried out with American Assassin, instead of the format that I’ve been using in most of my other reviews. If you have any comments, whether it be good or bad about the format, please let me know in the comments, I’d like to know what people think!

NOTE: I’ve recently realized that people are now able to log in through Facebook to leave comments on these reviews, so feel free to do so to get notified if there’s a reply.

Cast and Crew

This movie was directed by a trio of directors that include Charlie BeanPaul Fisher, and Bob Logan. The screenplay for Lego Ninjago was written by a group of six writers that include Paul Fisher, Bob Logan, William WheelerTom WheelerJared Stern and John Whittington. The story for The Lego Ninjago Movie was written by Paul Fisher, Bob Logan, William Wheeler, Tom Wheeler, Hilary WinstonDan Hageman and Kevin Hageman.

The voice cast for The Lego Ninjago Movie includes Jackie Chan as Master Wu / Mr. Liu, Dave Franco as the Lloyd / Green Ninja, Fred Armisen as Cole / Earth Ninja, Kumail Nanjiani as Jay / Lightning Ninja, Michael Peña as Kai / Fire Ninja, Abbi Jacobson as Nya / Water Ninja, Zach Woods as Zane / Ice Ninja, Justin Theroux as the worst guy ever Garmadon, and Olivia Munn as Lloyd’s mother Koko.

The Lego Ninjago Movie

From left to right: Kai, Nya, Jay, Lloyd, Zane, Cole. Source – Warner Brothers.

Review

Master Wu was the Wise – cracking and wise uncle / Ninja Master, Cole was the ‘music – loving teenager’, Jay was the ‘cowardly teenager’, Kai was the ‘macho teenager’, Nya was the ‘badass girl teenager’ that we’ve been seeing a lot of in various platforms lately, which I enjoy seeing, Zane was the ‘weird teenager’ in the sense that we don’t really know if he’s a cyborg, human, or robot, Koko was the typical ‘no – nonsense mother’. The Ninjas mostly had stereotypical personality traits, but the way that it was presented, and the tone of the movie acknowledged what they were, and made up for it.

The Lego Ninjago Movie

Master Wu. Source – Warner Brothers

After watching this movie, I have to say that I really enjoyed it, even though it never quite reached the quality of the previous two Lego Movies.. If you find the joke about the pronunciation of the name ‘Lloyd’ in the trailers to be annoying, then this movie is not for you. The joke never got old for me, and I was actually looking waiting to see if they would slip up, and pronounce it the ‘proper’ way, and it happened on three different occasions (yes, I counted, it’s a ‘quirk’ of mine).

The Monster in this movie – the evil cat Meowthra, named after the famous Monster Mothra mixed with the sound a cat makes to make one more pun in this pun – heavy film. The amount and style of humour in this movie was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the puns and the lame jokes. Warner Brothers has really nailed the comedy aspects in these films.

The Lego Ninjago Movie

The Most Evil Monster – Meowthra. Source – Warner Brothers

This movie’s main antagonist was Lloyd absentee “villain” Garmadon. The reason why I put quotation marks around the word villain, is because I think that Garmadon is really just an Anti – Hero in disguise. It’s one of the ongoing themes in the movie, where Lloyd wants to know his father, but hates him for abandoning him at the same time, and throughout the film, as we learn more about Garmadon, he’s not as terrible as he seems.

The Lego Ninjago Movie

Worst Guy / Dad Ever – Garmadon. Source – Warner Brothers.

I will just say a quick note about the music in Lego Ninjago, that’s to say that I enjoyed it, and I really loved the random and clever use of the flute. Mark Mothersbaugh, who was in charge of the music in the film did a good job, and I wanted to acknowledge that.

The overall message of the movie was subtle throughout the film, until the very end, where Warner Bros decided to make sure that everyone knew what the message was by shoving it down the audience’s throat during the climax of the film. While I fully support the message of the movie, and I understand that this is a good message to deliver to the younger audience, I prefer the more subtle take on the film, rather than the level of “preachy-ness” that ended up happening.

In the end, I would rank it as lowest in the Lego Movie franchise that Warner Brothers have put together, that is not to say that this movie wasn’t good, or that it the ‘franchise’ is in trouble, just that it didn’t quite meet the quality of ‘The Lego Movie (8.5/10)’ or ‘The Lego Batman Movie (8.5/10)’. I would give this film a score of 8/10. 

Are you planning on watching this film? Have you already seen this film, if yes, what did you think? What are your thoughts on the Lego movies that have come out in the last few years? Let me know in the comments below!

Let me know what you think of the format of this movie review in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Alex

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2 replies

  1. The thing i like about your reviews is that you take the genre for what it is and measure it against the genre.

    Liked by 1 person

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