The LEGO Ninjago Movie               review by Bobby Blakey

After the success of both The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie, the LEGO brand looks to keep delivering new films to the fans. The next feature that hit the big screen was their hit property NINJAGO featuring an all-star voice cast including Jackie Chan as Master Wu; Justin Theroux as Garmadon; Dave Franco as Lloyd; and Olivia Munn as Lloyd’s mom, Koko. Making up the secret ninja crew, Fred Armisen as Cole; Abbi Jacobson as Nya; Kumail Nanjiani as Jay; Michael Peña  as Kai; and Zach Woods as Zane, but did it capture the martial arts building magic of the ninja or will it fail to snap together?

The LEGO Ninjago Movie follows 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.  Pitting mech against mech and father against son, the epic showdown will test this fierce but undisciplined team of modern-day ninjas who must learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash their inner power of Spinjitzu. I have only seen a couple of Ninjago episodes so going into this film I knew very little about the series, but have to admit the live action opening with Jackie Chan himself and the old school Shaw Brothers type opening instantly sucked me in. Once it gets into the animated style of the film, it does a decent job of getting the newbies to the franchise a bit up to speed in a fun creative way.

I love that the idea behind these characters are reminiscent of the five element ninjas which is one of my favorite Shaw Brothers films of all time. Add to the mix the use of mech robots and the world of LEGO and once again they have another great film on their hands. This is one I thought would be a harder sell, but all of these elements work great together and make for a lot of action and fun. There are some funny elements, but they don’t just play it up for jokes the way the early LEGO animated projects do. Instead they offer up fun stories that just happen to be in the LEGO Universe, but at the same time take full advantage of it all.

 

The animation is as good as the previous LEGO outings that have set a tone that will no doubt keep fans wanting more. I hope we get to see these ninjas in action again soon on the big screen. The live action end caps offer up a great martial arts life lesson with Chan that perfectly wraps the film. 

In addition to the film this release included a ton of bonus content including mini-movies, featurettes, music videos, deleted scenes, and more. Join the fight with The LEGO Ninjago Movie available now on Digital HD, 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray combo pack and DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

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