The LEGO franchise has begun like a house on freakin’ fire with 2014’s “everything is awesome” The LEGO Movie and this years super-enjoyable self-referential joke-fest The LEGO Batman Movie. The Jackie Chan and Dave Franco starring The LEGO Ninjago Movie has, therefore, big, brick-built shoes to fill… and fill ’em moderately well it sure has.
A frantic start made me think of LEGO Batman but without Will Arnett’s deep tones to keep me occupied. Though when the blocks settled and we got to see Ninjago – the fictional LEGO city at the heart of the film – and the gang of ninjas protecting it in all their varying glory, I settled in, snuggled up and enjoyed a stereotype-busting, mickey-taking ride.
At its heart is both an ace villain and one heck of a daddy issue. Garmadon has both the voice (Justin Theroux) and the comedy chops to carry a film by himself and he’s the clear stand-out. Franco also deserves a shout-out, doing the teenage anxiety thing well, whilst Silicon Valley’s Kumail Najiani has some sharp one-liners that leave us feeling like he’s been vastly underused.
It’ll be forgotten under the mighty weight of what came before it, but don’t be fooled: Ninjago is a worthy edition to the franchise and has plenty enough about it to keep you well entertained.
IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3014284/