Welcome to the city of Ninjago, where everyone has somewhere to go, and everything is made out of Lego.
Every day, the citizens of Ninjago brace themselves for an attack by the evil warlord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), who is constantly trying to take over the city with his army of generals and shark-themed machines.
Thwarting his almost daily attacks on the city, however, is a squad of ninjas driving awesomely cool mechs, tanks and ships.
The ninja squad comprises Kai the Fire Ninja (Michael Pena), Lightning Ninja Jay (Kumail Nanjiani), Earth Ninja Cole (Fred Armisen), Water Ninja Nya (Abbi Jacobson), Ice Ninja Zane (Zach Woods) and the leader, the Green Ninja, Lloyd (Dave Franco).
Lloyd has a tragic backstory though – he is also the only son of Garmadon, a fact that is known throughout the city of Ninjago, causing him to be mocked, feared and hated throughout his life.
But things soon come to a head when Garmadon actually finds a way to conquer Ninjago, and Lloyd is forced to confront his father with an Ultimate Weapon that had been hidden away by his mentor, Master Wu (Jackie Chan).
Three movies in, the Lego juggernaut is already showing signs of franchise fatigue. Granted, The Lego Ninjago Movie has a lot to live up to.
The Lego Movie in 2014 was a masterclass in turning a toy franchise into a wildly original and entertaining movie. The Lego Batman Movie took things to another level with a funny and irreverent take on the superhero that made you want more of Lego Batman than its current live-action counterpart.
It’s not that The Lego Ninjago Movie is a BAD movie; on the contrary, it’s just as fun and entertaining as its predecessors. It also has everything you would expect from a Lego movie – wacky dialogue, far-out story, improbable scenarios, Lego constructing, and even a cat. Yes, a real-life cat.
But unlike the first two movies, The Lego Ninjago Movie feels more like an animated movie with Lego ninjas rather than a Lego movie about ninjas.
Somehow, the spirit of Lego seems a little lagging here. Maybe it’s just that three movies in, the novelty factor of a Lego movie has diminished.
Or maybe it’s because The Lego Ninjago Movie is the first one to be based on an original Lego concept, and as a result, would appeal more to established fans of the toy and previous cartoon series (Lego Ninjago: Masters Of Spinjitzu) rather than general moviegoers. (Adult ones, I mean. Kids will still love this).
Whatever it is, after the wild success of the first two Lego movies, the franchise’s bricks are starting to feel a little loose fitting.
The Lego Ninjago Movie
Directors: Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan
Cast: Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Fred Armisen, Abbi Jacobson, Olivia Munn, Kumail Nanjiani, Michael Peña, Zach Woods, Jackie Chan