I grew up playing with LEGO (and I probably still would if I wasn't busy all the time and their stuff wasn't so expensive -- a thing is having your parents paying it, a thing is paying it yourself) and, on my teen years, I occasionally stumbled upon the series Ninjago on TV. I didn't love it but it was okay when there wasn't anything else interesting on TV. I guess I watched The LEGO Ninjago Movie for the same reason, I didn't have anything better to watch and although I had very little expectations, the film managed to disappoint me.
It's a hard knock life for Lloyd (Dave Franco), the 16-year-old estranged son of Garmadon (Justin Theroux), the evil warlord who keeps trying to take control of Ninjago City and keeps failing because of a secret gang of ninjas. Turns out Lloyd is the leader of those ninjas but this time the battle against his father will be much harder as the ultimate weapon is unleashed.
The plot is like a ninja, so thin you don't even notice it. It has no complexity, which the previous instalments of the LEGO franchise had, no real twists (Lloyd being Garmadon's father is revealed within the first 5 minutes) and it's not engaging. Actually, it's quite boring.
I admit the plot wasn't great in the other movies either, but at least those have great characters. The LEGO Ninjago Movie hasn't got any of those. There's very little characterization, even less development, but most of all, they are not very funny. They are just meh. Also, the villain is pretty stupid. I did, however, like Dave Franco's performance. He really captures the kid's exasperation.
|Warner Bros. Pictures|
The characters aren't the only unfunny element in the film, the whole thing is unfunny. That happened because first, many funny gags and jokes were given away in the trailer; second, the humour isn't sharp or wit or clever. It's just bland. I did chuckle a couple of times while watching this, but that's not what you expect when watching a comedy, is it?
The father-and-son relationship does have heart though. It doesn't break any new ground, and it really felt like watching The Empire Strikes Back at some points, but it was nice having it.
The animation is still very enjoyable. The colours are vibrant, the settings are very beautiful and the characters look good too. The songs are nice too but it's a bit all over the place and they get a little distracting at times.