Words Glenn Blomfield
Well here is a bombastic loud crazy film, literally built with Lego. The movie is an example of relentless pacing that doesn’t let up – there is no time for contemplation, we are just moving on.
If the jokes feel flat, no worries mate, we have already moved onto the next. It feels like a action film that is one long scene. Now when I say action film, that is a length of a film, I am not comparing to the Masterpiece that is Mad Max Fury Road, I am more in line to compare with the putrid mass that is Transformers by Michael Bay. As with the Transformers franchise, it hides its convoluted mess in its “lets move on” action focus, and like the mind of the Gold Fish, thirty seconds later memory is of no consequence.
Ok, I am not saying this is a crappy film, nowhere near the comparison to the formentioned movies. Lego Ninjago, does have a heart to its story, there is a soul, though admiringly as it is, this time around, the concept is more stretched than its predecessor, which was a great success. Lloyd our protagonist is a high school student with all its trials and tribulations, with his close friends they have secret identities, as heroic fighting Ninja Warriors in disguise.
Led by old wise-cracking Master Wu, as with every superhero style film and story, the heroes journey is always filled with tasks, trials, life threatening choices and decisions. Lloyd lives on a Island called Ninjago, their livelihood threatened by a Villain, Overlord Garmadon. To save their Island, Lloyd and his Ninja warrior friends, must fight against the mean old Overlord, but at the same time fight with there own egos, and overcome there own fears.
There is nothing new story wise, but fresh in the way it is built with Lego. For Lloyd the extra twist in its tale is that the Villain Overlord Garmadon, is his Father, which he has had no connection since he was a baby, taken away to be brought up by a solo mum, who wanted a better life for him.
As you can see there is a lot of deep and meaningful stuff crammed into what really is a kids action film. It tries with earnest, and I give credit to its ambition, but it personally felt there was to much ‘sugar coating’, it tries had to find connection.
Lego Ninjago feels a bit messy, and too fast paced to really have those type of emotions to connect through with the audience. All that being said, it is fun ride for the kids. It moves along at break-neck speed with no excess waste.
One thing I did find of interest, from an adults point of view, the film with all its crazy pacing, can feel tiring on the eyes. It wears you down just simply taking in all the visual mise- en-scène that is thrown at the viewer, or maybe, it is an example of the short ‘texting’ attention span of todays Youth.