Film: Lego: Ninjago
Cast: Dave Franco, Jackie Chan, Justin Theroux,Olivia Munn, Michael Pena, Fred Armisen, Kumail Nanjiani, Zach Woods
Directors: Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher & Bob Logan
Rating: * *
If you don’t know what Lego is – and I daresay there are people who don’t- this kiddies flick serves as a fun introductory lesson with a healthy dose of values thrown in. Also, product placement (see Title to begin with).
Mercifully, this toon also underlines the theme of family, courage and teamwork, and above all, forgiveness. Leading lights in the Hollywood firmament play the roles of good and weird characters, and I must say, I gnashed my teeth on finding the delicious Mr Theroux in yet another baddie role.
Since this is an out and out kiddies entertainer, the depiction of martial arts is not to be taken seriously. The story, for what it’s worth, is about the inhabitants of the Lego town of Ninjago, where good ninjas withstand the attacks of the evil warlord Garmadon (voiced by Justin Theroux).
As it happens, the ninja chief is Lord Garmadon’s sadly mistreated son, Lloyd (Dave Franco) only no one knows it. Lloyd and friends and their guru Sensei Wu (Jackie Chan) strive to find a way to defeat Garmadon and a monster. With a no brainer plot like this, it’s a mystery to me why it took a dozen people to write the story and screenplay. Still, the voice cast is exemplary, and the pop culture references, fun.