The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017) Poster

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7/10
Weakest Link in the Chain
bkrauser-81-31106424 September 2017
It's amazing how far this franchise has gone on the power of post-modern yuck-yucks and an overall chipper attitude towards the cynicism of its central premise. The first film burst onto the scene with so much frenetic energy and easygoing glee that the kid in all of us rightfully celebrated. When the long awaited LEGO Batman Movie (2017) followed earlier this year, we all got a little older and a little wiser but nonetheless enjoyed it largely for its nostalgic qualities.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie on the other hand feels like a funny joke that you've heard three times on the same night. It's still funny but lacks the surprise from the first time and the sense of being in the in-group the second time around. Now it's just forced laughter jumbled into the same chock-a-block world and lovingly wrapped around the same old themes of daddy issues and struggling to work as a team. Are LEGOs a generational symbol for latchkey kids and I just didn't know it?

Ninjago however seems geared towards the younger set. It takes the same setup as the TV show (I guess), pitting a group of color-coded ninjas with building-sized mech suits against an evil four-armed warlord named Garmadon (Theroux). The kicker is one of Ninjago's heroes; the enigmatic Green ninja (Franco) is secretly Garmadon son Lloyd. A fact that makes Lloyd a social pariah at his high school and morphs the plot from the expected mech v monster setup to one with more personal stakes.

The personal stakes vis a vis resentments and eventual reconciliation are arguably the best parts of the movie. The antagonizing father/son relationship provides the plot with much needed complexity and impetus while also landing some of the most unexpected jokes. One reoccurring gag involves Lloyd's inability to catch and throw because (sob) he never had a father to teach him. It's a gag approached with the franchise's trademark absurdist glee guaranteeing that the kids will be none the wiser, but the characterizations still hint at unspoken sadness that adults are likely to connect with.

The franchise further bolsters its "something-for-everyone" style by parodying Japanese tokusatsu tropes and characters that most will knowingly catch. The sextet of ninjas is of course color-coded and, of course is given elemental themes that fit their personalities. Much of their quest is informed by a wise master (Chan) who speaks vaguely about this and that and of course at some point there's a monster that rampages through the city. Instead of being sincere about these predictable tropes, in true LEGO fashion, the film undermines and lampoons them to variant levels of success.

But despite a few good setups, Ninjago can't help but feel like déjà vu. Stripped of its genre trappings, its specialty bricks and its unnecessary framing device with a live-action Jackie Chan, Ninjago is left with many of the same things that worked the last two times. i.e. a self-effacing heroes journey where the story's twists and turns boils down to a secret f**k you to absent fathers. Add to that the sneaking suspicion that I'm not just being sold LEGOs but Ninjago brand LEGOs and it becomes clear the glibness of the franchise as a whole is starting to show its shortcomings. As far as kids movies released this year, Ninjago is pretty much on par. But as far as Lego movies go, Ninjago is definitely the weakest link in the chain.
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7/10
not the best but fun
bigfatman-0588413 October 2017
OK after seeing the lego batman movie earlier this year I expected nothing but the best from this too and I will say that I was disappointed it had its moments of genies and funny parts but not what I expected or wanted I really had high hopes with the trailer and all but I don't believe its the best of the year though fun
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7/10
Not the best Lego Movie But Cute
ShelbyTMItchell29 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
It may not be the best Lego movie but it is cute and go and see it as really it should had been released possibly in the late spring there

Lloyd is the protagonist and is the outcast due to being the son of the main antagonist Garmadon and how that just because one person is bad does not mean the other person is not as he and the only friends that are ninjas like him.

And how that he struggles to defeat as well as not to really be the son of the villain. But when they fail to save the town, the wise teacher and mentor played by Jackie Chan is not just teaching them martial arts but the way of life and how Lloyd needs to get through being the son of a villain. Must task them in saving the town and Lloyd getting respect.

As throughout the film it is not just about fighting. But about looking at two sides to every story. And even though the main villain really is not bad. Just really lonely. But as he follows the team to find out how to save the city and world, he and Lloyd connect in a strange but reliable way

As you do not need weapons or martial arts, but need to find who you are as a person and with heart.

Will Lloyd and his estranged father be able to reunite and put aside their differences and the young boy gaining respect from the town. As the town regardless must rely upon him and his friends.

Not the best Lego movie but it is cute.
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4/10
Everything The Lego Movie isn't
machinepieman20 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I think The Lego Movie is not only a masterpiece, but probably the greatest animated movie ever made. The movie is filled to the brim with fun characters, hilarious jokes, a surprising amount of sociopolitical commentary, and to top it all off it makes fun of all the tropes you see in Hollywood blockbusters and children's movies today by USING THOSE TROPES WITHIN THE FILM TO MAKE FUN OF IT. It's a genius film that kids enjoy because they don't realize what it's doing and see it as a regular kids movie, and adults can enjoy it because they can see what they're ACTUALLY doing.

The Lego Ninjago Movie is none of those things.

The Lego Ninjago Movie is, in fact, everything that the original Lego Movie was making fun of. The characters here are exactly what you'd expect: loner high school students that are made fun of constantly that are also actually heroes and no one knows it. They're fighting the bad guy who is actually the dad of the main hero and if you've seen any family movie ever made, you know the rest of the plot. It's the most cookie cutter kids movie you could make, unfortunately, and it seems as if the directors here never even watched The Lego Movie or understood the actual complexity of the film.

Even comparing it to The Lego Batman Movie, which also drops a lot of the complexity of The Lego Movie and just tries for a hilarious and fun movie for adults and kids, The Lego Ninjago Movie still can't compare. The jokes within here will make kids laugh for days, but for adults will fall flat on their ears, save one or two good lines. The emotional moments feel completely forced and don't carry the weight you expect from the previous Lego movies. Even the action scenes are boring, existing only to fill the 90 minute run time.

Compared to other kids movies, The Lego Ninjago Movie is fine. There are times where it doesn't take itself seriously, and those moments are actually great and will remind you of the previous Lego movies. The environment is also very well done, and I'll go so far as to say they did a better job designing Ninjago City than Gotham from The Lego Batman Movie. It's an average movie that kids will definitely enjoy, but when you've made two great Lego movies so far that shows how you can create unique animated and children's movies, it's disappointing to see them turn their backs on those lessons and create something so mediocre.
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9/10
Good, not as bad as people say from my point of view
ericmagana21 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I think it was great, yes it had a more or less good story, but that isn't the writers' fault because there is so much that's taken from the other Lego movies, feeling so cliché, but the animation is the best of all three so far, mixing Lego and real elements was the coolest thing the last two didn't have, it doesn't have as many jokes as the last two movies, it's not supposed to, and it's really hard to keep both fans of the TV show and new fans because they had to change a lot from it, and also keep some things from it, maybe if people watched the TV show before watching the movie would understand what I'm talking about, that's why I understand why people doesn't like it as much as the other 2, having to deal with keeping us fans of the show happy and also everyone else is a hard job, so I'm thankful for their work, and also there is some great music in the soundtrack and the voice actors are amazing, some great highlights would be Jackie Chan as sensei Wu , Dave Franco as Lloyd,Zach woods, Michael Peña as Kai and the best is Justin Theroux as Lord Garmadon, he did it great, and his lines really are the best, and the action is unbelievable, it's great that a stunt team recorded all those moves, something that the last 2 movies didn't have, so there are all my reasons to like this movie, and I hope if someone reads this can understand why I really enjoyed the movie and maybe learn to appreciate it a little bit more and change your opinion if possible.
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7/10
Like it, but not news anymore
Ole Sandbaek Joergensen23 October 2017
The Lego Movie was very enjoyable, so was the "side" story about Batman, but this one is kind of not news anymore, yes it is a different Lego universe and yes it is fun for both kids and adults, but something is missing to make it really good.

Location, seating & time: Palads, København, Denmark - Bio 1, row 8 seat 1, 3 & 5 - 29.09.2017 at 16.40
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7/10
Fun to watch, not groundbreaking, but entertaining nonetheless
bementar1 October 2017
First off, this wasn't THE LEGO Movie (And few movies likely will live up to that accolade). The Ninjago Movie was just a movie made with LEGO. If you've ever touched a brick you'll likely enjoy this movie. If not, you're less likely to.

This isn't a groundbreaking film. I doubt it's cannon for those who are familiar with the Ninjago story line, this is a big rewrite of events. But it fits that cozy realm of watchable and entertaining.

You don't have to be a LEGO fanatic to get every inside joke, but having the childhood experience of play helps. It'll make you laugh a few times, and there are indeed lots of colors. Why professional critics think that's a bad thing is beyond me.

This movie likely isn't for everyone. And I doubt it was intended to be. It's a kids film and stays comfortably in that realm while not boring adults to death - which is more than can be said about a number of other films for 'grown ups' in 2017.
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8/10
A great film, yet filled with a few noticeable flaws. Still a MUST SEE...
farzan-1980821 September 2017
I'm 15 years old, and I can honestly say that this was a good movie. Although some sections of the movie were definitely a bit dry, the fight sequences and voice talent surely made up for it. I've been a Lego Ninjago fan for a long time and this was a good refresher to the brand. Compared to the previous Lego movies, this might not have been the best, however when you compare to other kids movies- this is a pretty nice film. I do feel however that the other ninjas should have been given more of a story and much more character development.
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7/10
Not Up To Predecessors
Carl Schultz24 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
While the folks as Disney/Pixar don't have anything to worry about quite yet, the creative minds behind the Lego Movie franchise have created a nifty little enterprise for themselves.

After "The Lego Movie" in 2014 became a surprise hit, earning $469 million on a budget of $60 million, and "The Lego Batman Movie" this year did nearly as well, the folks at Denmark's The Lego Group found themselves with a solid foothold in the animated movie business.

The Lego Group's signature product, of course, is their line of toys, the colorful and seemingly-indestructible plastic bricks children can use to design and build virtually anything. Lego bricks have since their introduction in 1949 become a worldwide phenomenon, actually replacing Ferrari in 2015 as the world's most powerful brand name.

The creative minds behind the Lego movies so far are navigating with remarkable grace the razor-thin line which separates silliness from camp, and archness from innocence. And they're doing it by somehow channeling the undiluted wonder of a child's infinite imagination and combining it with the elbow-in-the-ribs, wiseguy brand humor of the animators at the Warner Bros. studios, the creators of Bugs Bunny, the Road Runner, and dozens of other beloved characters.

"The Lego Ninjago Movie" is the first Lego production to be based on a specific Lego product instead of a genre or a character, and therefore bears the faint scent of commercialism. Such an enterprise has worked quite well, however, for the Walt Disney organization, which has built entire film franchises around individual attractions at their theme parks—the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film series after five installments has earned a worldwide total of nearly $4.5 trillion.

Opening in 4047 theaters across the country, "The Lego Ninjago Movie" was expected to earn over $27 million during its opening weekend, but due to lackluster ticket sales the picture actually finished with a little over $21 million in gross earnings.

The picture has received a 53% average approval rating from 64 reviews included on the Rotten Tomatoes website, and an average audience rating of B-plus from CinemaScore—fairly undistinguished by Lego Movie standards, but still eminently respectable for an animated motion picture.

"The Lego Ninjago Movie," with a PG rating from the MPAA, is suitable for all audiences...and recommended for most.
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7/10
It'll please the little tykes and meet with their approval
Dan Franzen (dfranzen70)30 September 2017
Fresh off the success of The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie comes The LEGO Ninjago Movie, about an elite ninja force fighting an evil warlord by night and existing as unpopular high schoolers by day. The kids are sort of like the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, in that each of them has a distinct color scheme and elemental theme going for them, like fire, water, ice(?), earth, and lightning(?).

The de facto leader of this young crew is Lloyd (Dave Franco), whose color is green and whose theme is…also green. (It's explained later.) Together, the team fights the ever-invading forces of Garmadon (Justin Theroux). The name of the city Garmadon wants to conquer is Ninjago, which looks like it should be pronounced like "Ninja Go!" but really is pronounced with the emphasis on the middle syllable: "NinJAgo." Anyway, the big secret that Lloyd and the gang hide, aside from their real-life identities as high school students, is that Green Ninja is – dun dun DUN – the son of Garmadon. Lloyd the teenager, on the other hand, is well known as the warlord's kid, and man does he bear the brunt of their ire. Kids sit on the opposite side of the bus from him. People boo him. He just has to deal, because it's what being a kid is all about, right? Now Lloyd, being a teenager, is just slightly resentful that he has had an absentee dad, so after one of the many battles with Garmadon, he takes things personal and unleashes holy heck on his nemesis. Oh, I should mention that although each of them calls himself a ninja, they're just kids in mech suits. Totally not ninja like at all. This leads to Garmadon coming back with a vengeance, and…well, I think you get the idea. Someone is going to learn a Very Important Lesson here.

And if that were all that was to this movie, I'd say let's leave it to the kids and never watch it, fellow grownups! But the movie does inherit a bit of the sly humor from its predecessors. Remember how, when guns were fired in The LEGO Movie, the characters would make "pew pew pew" sounds? During one long battle scene, Garmadon actually fires sharks from (presumably) a shark cannon, and each time a shark is shot one hears "dun dun dun" aka the theme from Jaws. Later on, a bigger enemy is revealed, one that dwarfs Garmadon in destructiveness – a tabby. As in a real cat. If you've ever wanted to see a cat demolish LEGOs that you didn't have to pick up, now's your chance.

I found a lot of The LEGO Ninjago Movie to be entertaining. What it lacks in creativity it makes up for in sincerity, as it never gets terribly maudlin. The characters are fun, and both Franco and Theroux really sell them well. Movie's good for kids. Rest of us can wait for home video, if at all.
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