The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017)

Posted in Reviews by - October 18, 2017
The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017)

A big-screen outing for the Lego Ninjago characters, which can be found in the long-running TV series, Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, and its associated merchandise. If you’re not aware of the Lego Ninjago franchise, then that’s probably because you’re not eight years old. The story concerns the evil Lord Garmadon who is thwarted by the Five Element Ninjas (a nice nod towards Chang Cheh) in his attempts to take over the land of Ninjago. This family-friendly animation follows the sleeper hit The Lego Movie and its follow-up, The Lego Batman Movie, which wrapped its positive message in an exhaustive succession of zingers. The gag-rate here is still strong, but the message feels more laboured and saccharine. The story centres on the leader of the ninjas, the Green ninja, who is revealed to be Lord Garmadon’s estranged son, still seeking his father’s approval despite his dad’s hilarious indifference. He instead finds guidance – both spiritual and physical – in the form of his kung fu uncle, the wise Master Wu, who is voiced by Jackie Chan. Jackie also appears in person to set up the story-within-a-story concept, adding a layer of authenticity to the film. It is clear from the outset – when the company logos appear in the same format as the iconic Shaw Brothers ident – that this is a film which celebrates the tropes of the kung fu genre in a form which feels modern, universal and fun too.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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