Written By: Artur Galvao
Warner Bros. has struck gold with the Lego movie franchise. The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie were both critically and commercially successful thanks to their hilarity, emotional narratives and beautiful animation. Now, Lego is back for the second time in 2017 with The Lego Ninjago Movie. Starring Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Jackie Chan and Abbi Jackson, the film grows the Lego cinematic universe with a smaller story. So, what do critics think of the newest Lego feature? Despite treading on similar water, it looks to be another hit for Lego and Warner Bros.
Reviews have just begun to trickle out now and so, there isn’t an official Rotten Tomatoes rating. However, given that every review listed here is positive, you can assume that the film will have an initial rating of 100%. Check out what the critics are saying below!
Matt Goldberg from Collider:
The LEGO Ninjago Movie is the first LEGO movie where I went in not having much of an investment on what happened. I cared about The LEGO Movie because I like LEGO, and I cared about The LEGO Batman Movie because I like Batman, but Ninjago is a LEGO sub-brand where I’ve never really been caught up with the toys (basically Japanese-inspired mechs) or the Cartoon Network series LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu. And yet what The LEGO Ninjago Movie shows is that these LEGO movies have now established an identity outside of the initial brand, and they can stand on their own as light, funny family comedies. While it’s the weakest of the three LEGO movies thus far, it’s still surprisingly sweet and charming even if its plot elements are reminiscent of the first two LEGO films.
John DeFore from The Hollywood Reporter:
The product of three credited directors, six credited screenwriters, five editors and one executive producer who helmed two of the most uninspired trilogy enders in recent memory (Brett Ratner, of X-Men: The Last Stand and Red Dragon), The Lego Ninjago Movie is, finally, more or less the kind of advertainment observers expected from the first big-screen adventure featuring Lego toys. A perfectly adequate family film for kids who love watching things they’ve seen many times before (which is to say, most kids), it offers plenty of chuckles for their parents but nothing approaching the glee of that first Lego Movie.
David Ehrlich from IndieWire:
…WB has shown that the LEGO saga can thrive without a superhero starting point (or the vocal talents of Chris Pratt). Every bit as irreverent, smart, and ridiculously entertaining as its predecessors, “The LEGO Ninjago Movie” proves that these films are now on the brink of becoming a viable brand unto themselves; it cements them as the most consistently delightful franchise in the contemporary world of corporate animation. Nothing else comes close.
Rebecca Pahle from Film Journal:
Fresh on the heels of The LEGO Movie and its Batman-themed spinoff comes Warner Bros.’ The LEGO Ninjago Movie, based on an extremely popular line of toys that you probably haven’t heard of unless you have kids. Want to know what a Ninjago is? Ask the closest ten-year-old. Or, if one’s not handy, here are the basics: Six high-school students, led by social outcast Lloyd (Dave Franco), live in the Japan-inspired city of Ninjago. They take time off from their studies to don disguises and hop in giant robot mechs to slap down the supervillain Lord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), who tries to take over the city at least twice a week. Oh, and Lord Garmadon is Lloyd’s absentee father. And…that’s it, really. Think Power Rangers, but as LEGO and with added father/son drama, and you’ve pretty much got the gist.
Charlie Ridgely from Comicbook:
On the surface, skeptics will say this is a film was being made as a cash-grab — especially following the success of The LEGO Movie and LEGO Batman — fortunately, this could not be further from the truth, as Warner Bros. once again proves that the LEGO franchise is a creative and heartfelt force to be reckoned with.
Andrew Barker from Variety:
“Ninjago” is beautifully animated, however, even if it’s a bit less comprehensively Lego-y than usual, with brickless water, fireballs and flora abounding. Among the Lego films’ greatest pleasures is the way one starts watching hyperaware of the obsessive detail put into the digital bricolage, only to gradually start believing in the world it creates. That’s no different here, and as long as the company proves more willing to give its storytellers leeway to shake up the formulas, there’s plenty of potential for invention and surprise left in this toy box.
So what do you think? Are you watching The Lego Ninjago Movie this weekend? Comment below and on social media and for all things in nerd culture and entertainment, keep it locked on Talkies Network!