Late last month Warner Bros. Studios released the Lego Ninjago movie to theaters nationwide. It is the third installment in the Warner Bros. Lego movie franchise that started with the Lego Batman movies. It features many characters from the beloved Cartoon Network show, along with a few new characters as well. Dave Franco stars as the main protagonist, Lloyd Garmadon, son of the film’s primary antagonist the evil Lord Garmadon. Jackie Chan also stars as Master Wu, the elder brother of Lord Garmadon and the ninja’s leader.
Garmadon in this movie is a lot different from his TV show counterpart, as he’s a lot more comical and quirky. His ego and power hungry nature still linger, albeit on a more lighthearted scale. He enjoys blasting his subordinates out of the top of his evil lair nestled in a volcano conveniently located across the bay from Ninjago city.
The film centers on the power-hungry Lord Garmadon and his attempts at taking over the city of Ninjago, while trying to defeat the six ninjas that defend it from him. This film also plays upon the strained relationship Lloyd has with his father, Lord Garmadon, with the latter struggling with the fact that he was never the father he wanted him to be. He forgets Lloyd’s birthday and hardly pays any attention to him when Lloyd manages to speak to him one-on-one. Lloyd also struggles with the negative attention he gets from Ninjago’s inhabitants since they dislike him immensely for being Garmadon’s son.
The ninjas master Wu is unimpressed with the team’s hotheadedness and sends them on a personal quest of self-discovery through the hazardous jungles that lie outside of Ninjago city. On that journey, they run into Garmadon right away and become separated from Wu. They are forced to work together if they are to get out of the jungle alive. They soon run into a rogue group of former lieutenants that were in league with Garmadon before he shot them out of his volcanic lair, and as such, want revenge on him for that. Towards the end of this journey in the jungle, each of the ninjas discover their respective elemental powers. As a result, Garmadon and Lloyd become closer.
This movie did have a few inconsistencies from the original television show and caused the plot to differ somewhat. Lloyd doesn’t have the normal powers associated with him being the green ninja as he did in the TV show. Instead, in the movie he discovers that his true power is leading the other ninjas. There’s a notable absence of the gold weapons that were central to the plot of the original TV show, and they were omitted entirely from the movie. Alternately, the ninjas in the movie preferred huge robotic mechas as opposed to their traditional weapons they had in the TV show. The film’s climax and ending resolution also seemed hastily done and rather unbelievable. These inconsistencies detracted from the movie as a result.
These inconsistencies might seem unappealing to an older audience, but its G-rating still makes it a good movie for young children to see since they won’t know any better. Older audiences might just see it as mindless entertainment for an hour and forty minutes.