Blu-ray Review: The LEGO Ninjago Movie

By , Contributor
There was a cool animated short promoting The LEGO Ninjago Movie that preceded theatrical showings of last year's The LEGO Batman Movie. I didn't know squat about the Ninjago line of LEGO toys, but the short promised an offbeat, funny movie. And after The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie it seemed the franchise couldn't miss.

Yet it did. Somehow The LEGO Ninjago Movie didn't gel with audiences or critics the way the earlier two features did. Tonally it feels like more of the same, with jokes that feel recycled from the earlier films.

Lloyd Garmadon (voiced by Dave Franco) heads up a secret team of elite ninja heroes. But the world of Ninjago takes issue with his paternal lineage—his dad is Lord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), the biggest, baddest villain around. But Lloyd wants to reconnect with his evil dad and find the good in him (shades of Star Wars). He teams with benefactor Master Wu (Jackie Chan, also part of the film's live-action framing device) to take on bad guys, win his father's respect, and so on.

It's fun to watch for awhile, with all the dazzling CG animation that bolstered the other LEGO movies. But at 101 minutes it wears out its welcome. Maybe only for adult viewers. A friend tells me that his ten-year-old absolutely loves it, so what do I know. There are far worse kid-vid releases out there, so if the youngsters like it, great—that's who it's for.

Warner Bros. brings Ninjago to Blu-ray with the same sense of A/V style that made LEGO Movie and LEGO Batman such visual treats. The Blu-ray has audio commentary, promotional materials, deleted scenes, "outtakes," music videos, and a series of short featurettes. Lots of stuff to keep your kid entertained, even if you're not. Maybe the forthcoming LEGO Movie Sequel (not due until 2019) will restore some of the sheen to the franchise.
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Chaz Lipp is a Las Vegas-based musician and freelance writer. His new jazz album 'Good Merlin' is now available.

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