Cert U 101mins Stars 3
Kick back with the ninja heroes of this entertaining animated action comedy, based on the popular Ninjago TV series.
The third in the Lego Movie franchise is aimed at primary school kids, and once it settles into its rhythm is another brightly coloured and fast paced romp.
Lloyd is a high school kid whose life is complicated by his secret identity as the leader of a team of colour coded ninjas. With the exception of a girl and a robot, they’re all anonymous blokes.
They protect Ninjago city from the frequent attacks by the warlord Lord Garmadon, who happens to be Lloyd’s estranged father.
When the forbidden Ultimate Weapon is unleashed – a brilliantly funny moment I don’t want to spoil – the ninjas set off to find the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon to defeat Garmadon.
2014’s superior The Lego Movie devised a brilliant shift into the real world to allow for a father and son reconciliation.
In this movie there’s a brief opening scene in the real world when a young boy encounters Jackie Chan’s wise old shopkeeper. He tells he boy to ignore everything he knows of Ninjago, for he’s about to learn the legend behind the legend.
This allows the film plunge into the animated realm and reboot the characters, unencumbered by their existing TV history.
For example there’s no mention of their special powers of Spinjitsu. And everyone having entirely new voices is initially distractingly. Chan also voices the ninja’s teacher, Master Wu.
With each ninja having their own mechanised transport such as a dragon, giant spider or huge, shark firing mechanoid, no child will leave bereft of ideas for Christmas.
This hasn’t been such a hit in the US as previous Lego movies, possibly because there are seven series available on TV. But mostly I suspect because it doesn’t have Lego Batman in it.