THE LEGO NIN­JAGO MOVIE (PG, 101 MINS), DI­RECTED BY CHAR­LIE BEAN, PAUL FISHER & BOB LO­GAN,

North Harbour News - - ATP[ 4BCPCT -

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 perma-erupt­ing volcano across the bay. The peo­ple of Nin­jago have a not-so-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

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