MOVIE REVIEW: The Lego Ninjago Movie

written by David Steffen

The Lego Ninjago movie is a computer animated children’s movie from Warner Bros, released in September 2017.  It is in the loosely connected series of Lego movies that include The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie.  Similar to those movies, pretty much everything in the movie is made as though it were built out of Lego blocks, and though the movies generally don’t often acknowledge that they are actually toys, it occasionally does (usually for comic effect).

Ninjago Island has, for decades, been terrorized by the monstrous villain Garmadon (Justin Thoreau), who builds fanciful mechs and leads armies of fighters to take over the island.  The island’s only defense is a group of ninja heroes who pilot elemental-themed mechs to thwart Garmadon at every turn: Water Ninja (Abbi Jacobson), Ice Ninja (Zach Woods), Earth Ninja (Fred Armisen), Lightning Ninja (Kumail Nanjiani), Fire Ninja (Michael Peña), and their leader: Green Ninja (Dave Franco).  The ninja team is secretly a group of high school students trained by Master Wu (Jackie Chan), and the Green Ninja is the second-most despised person in all of Ninjago–Lloyd Garmadon, son of the villain himself.  Garmadon wins one of their battles and takes over Ninjago, and the ninja team heads off with Master Wu to begin their training to come back and finish the job.

This is a fun, action-packed movie, but I didn’t think it was as funny as the previous two, which was my main appeal to the series.  Garmadon was the highlight of most of the movie for me, had a lot of good lines.  With one exception.  There is a scene. Where the use of Master Wu’s super secret Ultimate Weapon is revealed.  And that alone is worth seeing the movie for.  I laughed until I cried.  Great moment, perfectly executed, and I am super happy I saw the movie for that scene alone.  But, you can’t go wrong with it if you’re looking for an action movie with some comedy.

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David Steffen

David Steffen is an editor, publisher, and writer. If you like what he does you can visit the Support page or buy him a coffee! He is probably best known for being co-founder and administrator of The Submission Grinder, a donation-supported tool to help writers track their submissions and find publishers for their work . David is also the editor-in-chief here at Diabolical Plots. He is also the editor and publisher of The Long List Anthology: More Stories From the Hugo Award Nomination List series. David also (sometimes) writes fiction, and you can follow on BlueSky for updates on cross-stitch projects and occasionally other things.

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