‘LEGO Ninjago Movie’ Review Roundup: A Worse Carbon-Copy Of Past ‘LEGO’ Movies
The LEGO Ninjago Movie is a fun-filled ride for lego builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja to save Ninjago City and defeat Garmadon, aka the Worst Guy Ever, aka Lloyd’s dad. The star studded cast, including Chackie Chan, Justin Theroux, Fred Armisen, Dave Franco, Abbi Jacobson, and Olivia Munn, provides a fun family movie experience that may not be quite up to par with the previous Lego films.
Critics agree that the movie felt more cookie-cutter and lazy than The LEGO Movie or The LEGO Batman Movie. This film garnered just a 53% on Rottentomatoes from critics, but still 89% of fans want to see the movie when it comes out on Sept. 22.
THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE REVIEW ROUNDUP
“For the most part, the animation doesn’t appear up to par with what The LEGO Movie offered. The overall style is the same but a lot of short-cuts were taken and the visuals don’t ‘pop’ as effectively. It’s hard to say whether this was a budgetary issue or whether the project was rushed through production. Whatever the case, the film’s look is another indication of the step-down in quality. Presumably, The LEGO Ninjago Movie will find favor with those who are familiar with the franchise in any of its earlier formats. It should also entertain children, many of whom will begin immediately lobbying their parents to visit the toy store. Adults, however – especially those who enjoyed The LEGO Movie and/or The LEGO Batman Movie – are in for a disappointment. A 90-second toy commercial is generally innocuous but stretch it out to 90 minutes and it can be a challenge to endure.”
–James Berardinelli, reelviews.net
“An amiable nobody must save his plastic world from a dictator in The Lego Ninjago Movie, an animated sequel to 2014’s The Lego Movie. Does the storyline ring a bell? It’s identical to the first film, even including a wisdom-spouting guru, a coveted weapon that turns out to be a common household object and a live-action character who breaks the animation format. Ninjago is such a carbon copy that it barely counts as its own movie.”
–Rafer Guzmán, Newsday
“It’s a group effort in the extreme, with three directors and six screenwriters; occasionally it predictably suffers from too-many-chefs-in-the-kitchen syndrome… The LEGO Ninjago Movie is a worthwhile entry into this growing universe, expanding it but not really evolving it. It’s fun, but not especially memorable.”
Bill Goodykoontz, USA Today Network
“While both films have managed to maintain the same comedic style and emotional themes of the original LEGO Movie, they’ve also both shown signs of how quickly this formula can start to wear thin. Fortunately, The LEGO Ninjago Movie has a different enough backdrop and story to keep it from ever becoming too familiar or boring. Based on the LEGO property of the same name, Ninjago keeps the self-referential and parodical style of its two franchise predecessors, but swaps out the underdog and comic book movie settings of those films for a ninja-themed coming-of-age story. The result is an exuberantly told, if occasionally familiar and comedically uneven, story about a family learning how to come together for the first time. Had the film not been able to recover from its clunky first act, which suffers heavily from having to set up the main adventure plot and characters, The LEGO Ninjago Movie would have likely been a major disappointment. If there’s any reason to see The LEGO Ninjago Movie, though, it’s Justin Theroux, who absolutely steals the film with his performance as Garmadon. He’s a comically evil character, who is both oblivious to and sometimes even hilariously aware of his own self-destructive tendencies, much to the shared frustration of Lloyd and everyone around him.”
–Alex Welch, IGN
“The pieces are all there, but they never really snap into place in The LEGO Ninjago Movie. The feature-film version of the long-running animated TV series Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu only superficially resembles its source material, and it pales in comparison to its cinematic predecessors.”
–Christy Lemire, rogerebert.com