‘Ninjago’ is colossal misstep for LEGO movie franchise

Written By Michael Richter, Co-A&E Editor

Movies, of course, are a source of escapism. We, the audience, are meant to get lost in a film’s world and forget about our problems. Sometimes, we confront our issues during movies as well. Nonetheless, I thought “The LEGO Ninjago Movie” would be a movie that would allow me to relax and have fun for an hour and a half. However, I was terribly wrong — inconceivably wrong. I was so disengaged from the movie that I found myself thinking about all of the chores I had to do over the weekend, and then coming back to the movie, realizing that the plot was still stuck in the same standstill it was before. “Ninjago” fails to be as witty, charming or funny as the previous LEGO movies.

This movie follows 16-year-old Lloyd (Dave Franco) who is part of a ninja warrior team similar to the Power Rangers. The ninjas routinely protect their city against the evil Lord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), who is also the absentee father of Lloyd. The relationship between Lloyd and his father is trite at best. The story arc of those two end in a frustrating, stupidly apologetic fashion. Unfortunately, the movie is more concerned with Lloyd than any of other characters.

When the ninja warrior team is preparing for its first battle of the film, we get a quick rundown of each character, but none of them is indistinguishable from the rest. In fact, it just felt like a quick advertisement for toys in the middle of the movie — it was akin to the scene from “Batman v. Superman” in which Wonder Woman watches security footage of Aquaman, the Flash and Cyborg, which served no purpose in the context of the story for that movie, and just felt like a teaser trailer for “Justice League.”

“Ninjago” tried its best to not become another boring origin story, but by doing so, it also eliminated most of the characters’ personalities.

Moreover, it is not as if this movie did not shell out a large chunk of cash to get good actors. Along with Franco, Fred Armisen, Kumail Nanjiani, Michael Peña, Abbi Jacobson and Zach Woods voice the team of teenage ninja warriors.

But the movie’s script provided them with trite lines or nothing at all with which to work. That could be attributed to the fact that 13 people received a story credit for “Ninjago.” Therefore, the screenplay was likely hacked to death by the large amount of input.

The movie’s action is lame, repetitive, comes-at-you-fast schlock. There is not a single memorable action sequence, and this is a friggin’ LEGO movie. LEGO is a living embodiment of imagination.

“Ninjago” is devoid of any semblance of creativity or inspiration. I love movies so much, and I even love seeing terrible ones. Hell, I recommend that people go see bad movies. Usually, I am able to glean something from any movie, good or bad. “Ninjago” is a rare case in which I believe movie has no value — it is easily the worst film I’ve seen thus far this year.