A Geeky Dad's Movie Guide to The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017)

in #movie-review4 years ago (edited)

I thought the first two LEGO movies were brilliant. I would have seen either of those movies even if I didn't have children. The LEGO Movie was a fun version of the hero's journey filled with laughs and heart. The LEGO Batman Movie was a fantastic comedic version of a usually very serious comic book character. I was pleasantly surprised that neither was the 90 minute long cash grab/toy commercial I thought it would be.

How many things on this poster do you think will be made into toys?

The LEGO Ninjago Movie did not continue this trend. Don't get me wrong, it is not a complete cash grab/toy commercial, but it is far closer to that than the previous two films (which were both surprisingly original).

My children have watched Ninjago on TV since it debuted in 2011. If they happen to have it on while I am in the room, I don't mind taking a peek. Sometimes its actually pretty funny. But the writers of the show definitely do not care about catering to adults. And that is ok. Sometimes kids need a little mindless fun that inspires them to build and play with their LEGO toys. The movie goes a step further in an attempt to be more than just three vapid TV episodes strung together... but it is still not great.

The first five minutes of the movie actually impressed me. The writers found a creative way to deal with the problem that this entire story has already been told during its six seasons on The Cartoon Network. The movie opens with a live action sequence involving a real child entering an unique store filled with Asian artifacts (similar to the one in Gremlins). The store is run by Jackie Chan (who also voices Sensei Wu). The store owner begins to tell the boy a story. He also tells the child that he (and the audience) must forget everything they already know (about the previous six seasons of the show). The rest of the movie is framed as if the boy is imagining the parable told by the wise store owner. The lesson of the parable is that it is OK to be different. It's a nice message... but sadly it doesn't really go anywhere. I never felt my kids were being taught anything by this movie.

Right there! All of those kids out there! Those are the ones who will buy all of the toys advertised by this movie.

After that opening sequence, the movie turns into a standard action movie with a teenager trying to defeat/redeem his evil father. Luke Lloyd desperately missed his childhood with his father and yearns to be reunited and accepted by Darth Vader Lord Garmadon (voiced by Justin Theroux).

Actually, that's it. That is nearly the whole story. Garmadon attacks the city. Lloyd and his friends try to protect it. Of course Lloyd eventually ends up having to work with his father and then... absolutely nothing original or shocking happens. I would have warned of a "spoiler alert" but there really is no way to spoil this. Every adult knows exactly what is going to happen in the movie.

This is definitely a kids movie. It is very formulaic and predictable. My own kids didn't even love it (and they seem to love everything). They thought it was "OK". After every movie, I always give them a one question test: "Do you think we should buy this when it comes out on DVD?" Both of my kids said that, although they were happy they saw it, they didn't care if they ever watched it again.

So there you go. Review over.

Perhaps that would be the case if there were no chance you'd have to take your kids. But it's a kids movie that has been advertised for months. Odds are, your kids want to go.

Therefore, I am going to approach the rest of this review a little differently. I was inspired by my wife's wisdom to try and help all of you. She was smart enough not to come with to this one.

The goal of the remainder of this review will be to help you decide if you, as parents, want to:

a. Go as an entire family.
b. Rock-paper-scissors to see which of you has to go with the kids.
c. Score some points with your spouse by taking the kids while he/she enjoys two hours to themselves.
d. Get one of your nieces or nephews to take your kids while you stay home and clean the garage.
e. Make your kids wait for DVD.

So, if you have to go, how much will you suffer?

Not that much.

At 90 minutes of actual runtime, the movie is fairly short. There is no "stinger" after the credits. Therefore, once the amusing cartoon dance number is over, you can immediately leave. The old school LEGO instruction-like animation during the credits is quite fun.

All of the animation is spectacular. I love the way the artists create the feeling of real LEGO figures and vehicles moving.

There is plenty of action. Although, that might be a double edged Katana (not sure if that is possible or redundant... but it was worth it). Because there is action almost every 5 minutes, there isn't much of a story.

There are lots of jokes. The writers cast a huge net. Some of them are bound to make you chuckle. There was one five minute sequence during which I simply could not stop laughing. That sequence combined with the fact that I got to watch it while sitting next to my kids, made it worth the $5.70 matinee price I paid.

If you get bored, you can always scan the backgrounds for Easter eggs. There are several references to other movies scattered throughout the film.

The director did some clever things with music. At certain points there are flute versions of popular songs.

If that isn't enough, at one point the villain operates a shark mech that fires live sharks out of a rocket launcher. It may be your only chance to see that.

If it were me, I'd stick with choice "c". The points I scored with my wife by giving her a couple of hours to do whatever she wanted was well worth sitting through this movie. The movie would have had to really suck if I'd rather spend my time cleaning the garage than watching it. It didn't suck that bad (few movies do).

Geeky Dad's Movie Guide

Number of times I fell asleep: 0 (But it was close)
Number of eye rolls: 0 (Low expectations)
Number of face palms: 0 (See above)
Number of times my kid asked to go to the bathroom or get food out of sheer boredom: 0 (But they did get a bit squirrelly a couple of times)
Number of times I checked steemit: 0
Number of times I said "That's ridiculous": 0 (See above again)
Did my kids like it: Both my 12 year old son and 10 year old daughter thought it was just "OK".
Would I see it without my kids: No chance.
Full price/Matinee/Rental/Free/Not worth the time: Matinee (to score points) or rent it if your kids will forget about it.

Images 1, 2, 3


This is super helpful. I was on the fence about whether or not to bring my kids... and now I'll definitely let my wife score the points on this one! Ha. Thanks @hanshotfirst!

LOL. My pleasure! Us parents need to stick together otherwise the kids will take over!!!!

Ok, if you didn't even check your steemit account, well that's a huge indicator it wasn't so bad 😁

LOL. I know! Anything that helps me resist the addiction can't be so bad.

I am a big fan of LEGO Ninjago Movie, eagerly waiting for red box to release.

From just watching the trailer I would say what your kids did "its OK" the reason I would watch the movie would be mostly to see how cool the legos look as I do like my Lego @hanshotfirst

Did you know that after the premiere of The LEGO Ninjago Movie, the official imdb site posted an official full list of actors who voiced not only the main characters but also secondary characters? At the same time, thanks to this list, it was clarified how to really call or what names have secondary heroes. Here are a few of them, which, in my opinion, are the most interesting:

  1. Pink ninja surprises are actually called Fuchsia Ninjas. If anyone suddenly did not know, Fuchsia is a purple color, named for the honor of a flower with the same name.
  2. Girl General of the Army Shark # 1 is called General Olivia (maybe she's named after Olivia Mann, who voiced Koko (Misako) in the film).
  3. Another General of the Army Shark # 1, who said that he was left only one day before retirement, and also which Garmadon first fired from the volcano, is called the Pension General.
  4. Scientist Girl, who interrupted the Garmadona with information about the creation of Robot Garm's model, is called Terry IT Botan. Another scientist who corrected Garmadon about the Super-Puper Weapon, the name is Azimov IT Botan (perhaps this is a reference to the writer Isaac Asimov, because they look a bit like appearance).
  5. The teacher of the class where the ninja learns is called Mrs. Laudita.
  6. The cheerleader's boyfriend's name is Chen Chirleader (the name may be a certain reference to Master Chen from the animated series, though unlikely), and one of the cheerleader girls is Maggie Cheerleader. It is not known why the name of another cheerleader girl is not on the list.

Nice easter eggs!!!

though you will follow me that why i ill follow you this is the good job for us .

Great post! informative! As I was reading this I was also watching my hubby play Lego's with my 3 year old which btw enjoyed the movie a lot! My husband chuckled a few times while my 9 year old was laughing and loving it but not my 11 year old. He'd rather watch something else! Thx for sharing!

Wow thats funny. Your husband sound like a wonderful man full of patience, romance and kindness. Keep writing about him.

This is such a sweet post.. giving your wife two hours of free time ...
Thank you for sharing (no children here) Best wishes :) - @splendorhub

I'm still single and have no kids, but I was very curious about this movie... (I love watching cartoons/animation in general)

I will have to think again whether to watch it in the theater or not... hahaha... Thanks for the review @hanshotfirst! ^^

We loved the first Lego Movie. We still toss out "I only work in black, and very dark gray". My boys love Ninjago, so I'm sure I'll be seeing this soon.

I was so impressed what they did with Batman. They could have just made him a simple Batman knockoff... but instead they decided to add a whole other layer of fun!

His speech when he wants to party on the Millennium Falcon is brilliant!

Awesome review! We were thinking about watching this since the others are extremely hilarious and they do include things for adults to be included. Do you recommend me and my fiancé to just wait for it to come out on tv?

If you don't have kids with you, it's not worth a trip to the theater.

so what would you say? should I give it a try with a 7 years old girl? :)

Does she like the other Lego movies? It is definitely geared more towards action than humor. At least one of the Ninjas is a girl My 10 year old girl liked it, but she likes the TV show already.

yes she does...thanks

Is Jackie looking at the camera? Breaking the 4th wall, huh? That generally doesn't end well... except maybe for Deadpool.

I loved Deadpool! Can't wait for the sequel.

I am not going to watch this now , thanks for saving for my time , I will wait and watch on TV , #peace #timeisprecious

Congratulations @hanshotfirst, this post is the third most rewarded post (based on pending payouts) in the last 12 hours written by a Superhero or Legend account holder (accounts hold greater than 100 Mega Vests). The total number of posts by Superhero and Legend account holders during this period was 31 and the total pending payments to posts in these categories was $1628.74. To see the full list of highest paid posts across all accounts categories, click here.

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Haha! Thanks for the review.

Hi, friend
I love to post you this one, Gives me a lot of motivation.
Hopefully you always post news like this, and give benefits to everyone.
May God always bless you and your family. 😍

I see this video such a good video like and follow you

Since we enjoyed our 1st movie while on holiday..i'll mention it and perhaps you'll check it if you haven't seen it already? It's a french movie with English subtitles "intouchable".
Sorry, a bit far off from this lego's :)

Very important post

Really cool how u layout the blog. Keep up the posts and we will follow.

Good post and I wish steemit had a sticky or pin option because this is one of those Exclusive posts.

that was great review thanks for it :D

Hahahaha. Man Lego movies are a cash cow.

Did you see the new Pacific Rim trailer?!?!?!? OMG!!!

Sometimes I really enjoy this cartoon movie with my kids. It is some how mind blowing to my kids and keep them indoor for sometimes.

Thank you for sharing. Best whishes

Thanks this is helpful I was thinking about watching it next weekend. 😀 😃 😄 😁 😆 I hope you have a WONDERFUL weekend!

WOW!!! so cool. thanks for sharing sir :)

great post.
plz, upvote.

great post. i followed you :)

Just watched on TV the final of the Lego building contest in the UK. The winning lifesized model was great: worried-looking Dad sitting at a (working) typewriter while his happy kid plays with Lego on the floor. Wonderful concept and execution. Go Lego!

hilarious but super helpful

Thanx a lot for the detailed review, I will surely make my kids watch it. Some movies need very much appreciation for the hard work.

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