The comedy it produces is far more placid, with its jokes not necessarily falling flat but certainly not bringing the hilarity that is expected
The expectation around the Lego cinematic universe is unnaturally high. There are moments for children, jokes for adults and genuine fun for everyone. So when the Lego Ninjago Movie aimed to target a different audience in only children, skepticism was rife in the film community. Eventually, upon release, this skepticism certainly wasn’t helped by it easily slotting in as the worst film of the bunch.
By day, Lloyd (Dave Franco) is an outcast, ostracised for being the son of the evil mastermind Garmadon (Justin Theroux). However, whenever the evil lord arrives to ruin Ninjago city, Lloyd and his gang don their disguises and stop him in any way they can. Only when Garmadon realises how little he knows about his son, does his mind begin to turn to making that change.
Having such tough acts to follow, The Lego Ninjago Movie didn’t need to do a lot wrong to fail, yet it struggled to take off from the springboard it was loaded onto, managing to keep only brief moments of the charm the Lego franchise has become to represent.
There is always a cynical view that comedies put all their jokes into the trailer, yet the Lego cinematic universe usually has enough to avoid having to show any of its funniest moments in the trailer. Ninjago, however, soaks up that cynicism and proves the doubters right. The comedy it produces is far more placid, with its jokes not necessarily falling flat but certainly not bringing the hilarity that is expected.
It is not badly made, The Lego Ninjago Movie is an engaging film, and it has moments that would make anyone smile. It just does not stand with its partner films and it is a shame because the Lego cinematic universe was gathering momentum with such a pace. However, it is not the end of the line, and this certainly will not stop them from giving it another attempt.