Just an­other brick in the Lego fran­chise

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - BACKYARD BANTER -


There’s a lit­tle town on an is­land far away.

Every­thing is not awe­some all the time, but the peo­ple who live there mostly seem happy. De­spite, at least once every cou­ple of days, be­ing at­tacked by the evil Ninja Wiz­ard who lives in the per­maerupt­ing vol­cano across the bay. The peo­ple of Ninjago have a notso-se­cret de­fence force of Nin­jas of their own. Out of cos­tume, they are the five geeki­est teenagers at the lo­cal high school.

But once the evil Gar­madon and his many dis­pos­able min­ions at­tack, they trans­form – like Power Rangers or the Thun­der­bird’s Tracy boys – into colour-coded su­per­heroes with all man­ner of pow­ers and ro­bots at their dis­posal. Com­pli­cat­ing mat­ters just a lit­tle is the fact that Lloyd, the Green Ninja, is also the un­ac­knowl­edged son of Gar­madon.

There’s a mys­te­ri­ous Ninja mas­ter – of course – and a whole bunch of chal­lenges, quests and foes to over­come. But the plot of The Lego Ninjago Movie un­folds pretty much as it must. The plea­sures of this film, as with any genre piece in gen­eral and ones told with lit­tle plas­tic bricks in par­tic­u­lar, is in the de­tails.

The Lego Ninjago Movie has just enough laugh-out-loud mo­ments and flashes of true comic genius to al­most pa­per over the cracks that are ap­pear­ing in this fran­chise. Af­ter the blast of sheer creative genius that was the The Lego Movie, and the mostly ex­cel­lent The Lego Bat­man Movie, this in­stal­ment is suf­fer­ing just a lit­tle from seen-it-be­fore syn­drome.

The old fa­ther/son rec­on­cil­i­a­tion plot that un­der­pins The Lego Ninjago Movie es­pe­cially is start­ing to look more than a lit­tle thread­bare and com­mit­teewrit­ten.

But the pace never flags, the voice work – Jackie Chan as the mas­ter and Justin Th­er­oux as Gar­madon es­pe­cially – is pretty great and the mid-film in­tro­duc­tion of ‘‘The Ul­ti­mate Weapon’’ will bring the house down. It’s not spoiled by the trailer, and you would have to be a 1970s Good­ies fan to even spot the in­spi­ra­tion.

If you’re in charge of any­one who liked the other two Lego movies, then you can take them to The Lego Ninjago Movie con­fi­dent enough they’ll be happy with this one too.

– Graeme Tuckett

The fa­ther/son rec­on­cil­i­a­tion plot that un­der­pins The Lego Ninjago Movie may be a lit­tle thread­bare, but there are laughs enough to see you through.

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