“LEGO Ninjago Movie” proves to be another strong installment in franchise

Rating: 4/5 stars

The highly anticipated computer animated 3-D action-comedy movie, “The LEGO Ninjago Movie,” co-directed by Charlie Bean (“Tron: Uprising”), Paul Fisher and Bob Logan came out in theaters on Sept. 22. Despite not doing as well in box office sales as originally predicted, it remains an exciting and enjoyable movie experience for people of all ages, LEGO fans or not.

The film is the second spin-off of “The LEGO Movie,” directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (“The Last Man on Earth”), which was meant to start a series of LEGO-verse films. “The LEGO Batman Movie” was the second entry in the franchise and scored big with both fans and at the box office. The LEGO-verse is meant to explore many LEGO-owned properties, both original and of other popular pop culture characters.

The film follows the story of high schooler Lloyd Garmadon (Dave Franco, “The Disaster Artist”) who just so happens to be the son of the evil villain terrorizing the city of Ninjago, Lord Garmadon, (Justin Theroux “The Leftovers”). In his daily life, Llyod is an outcast, hated by almost everyone for being the son of an evil villain. However, he and his five friends are secretly a team of ninjas lead by the wise and comical Master Wu, voiced by Jackie Chan (“Kung Fu Yoga”), who fight off Lord Garmadon. When a super powerful weapon finds its way into the wrong hands, Lloyd and his friends must go on a dangerous journey to find an even stronger weapon to stop it and must learn how to become better ninjas along the way.

For those who have never seen the original “LEGO Ninjago” TV show, the movie does a nice job of quickly introducing each of the characters without spending an unnecessary amount of time explaining them or their backstories.

The humor and silliness are well-paced throughout the movie, allowing the audience to chuckle every other minute and still enjoy the movie for the plot and the action, not just the comedy. However, it did seem like many of the jokes were forced or thrown in there to fill a handful of actionless voids here and there, but those could be easily overlooked in the bigger picture.

As in the previous LEGO movies, despite the comedy genre, the film does have its fair share of serious moments, which help to balance out the otherwise constant barrage of quips and punchlines. Surprisingly, and pleasantly so, those serious moments are not ruined by some last-minute joke, and the transitions from those serious moments back to the comedy-filled action scenes are smooth and painless.

Overall, “The LEGO Ninjago Movie” is a highly enjoyable experience overflowing with humor and a solid plotline to advance the narrative. For those seeking a good light-hearted laugh, this movie is a fantastic choice.

Photo provided by Warner Bros. via Youtube