After the previous two Lego films, The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie, fans have high expectations for The Lego Ninjago Movie, which hits theaters this weekend. Since Kingsman: The Golden Circle received mixed reviews, will Lego Ninjago be the better choice to see?
Fortunately, the review embargo has dropped and critics are publishing their reviews, letting us know if the latest Lego movie is worth our top dollar ... and it looks like Warner Bros. Animation and #Lego have scored big once again!
As of now, the film has a 69 percent "fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes with 16 reviews in. While this score is most likely going to change, critics certainly have some nice words for the film. Here's what they had to say:
'The Worst Of The Lego Movies, But It's Still Pretty Darn Good'
The general consensus is that The Lego Ninjago Movie is the weakest of the three Lego movies. However, given the fact that both #TheLegoMovie and #TheLegoBatmanMovie were absolutely fantastic, that isn't a huge blow to Lego Ninjago, as most critics seemed to enjoy the movie. YouTube movie critic John Campea summed it up pretty well:
"It's the worst of the Lego movies, but it's still pretty darn good."
Brian Truitt from USA Today loved Lego Ninjago but felt it failed to live up to the high bar raised by the film's predecessors:
"Ninjago strongly captures the same manically entertaining and often hilarious nature of its predecessors, though it lacks The Lego Movie’s originality and The Lego Batman Movie's commitment to go-for-broke chaos. Kids will be all in for the martial-arts mojo and immersive visuals while their parents will be left wanting a smidge more."
Luke Thompson from Wizard World agrees that this is the weakest installment in the Lego franchise. Even though it's better than most of the other animated films released this year, he said that Lego has to step up their game in terms of creativity:
"The Lego Ninjago Movie is the third theatrical Lego movie, and it is the third-best. Fortunately, the prior two entries were strong enough that Lego's #3 still beats some studios' #1, but they can't afford to keep the decline going.
"The humor is still sharp, the story really feels like just a rehash of things we've seen before. An alternate build from the same basic brick set, if you will, when what we want are some new pieces."
Again, while the movie is still enjoyable and very entertaining, most critics agree that after this film, Lego needs to reignite their spark if they want to continue this ever-growing franchise.
Also, Benjamin Lee from The Guardian believes that the franchise is starting to show signs of fatigue. In his review, he said:
The franchise is showing signs of fatigue but for now, there's enough here to play with.
The Lego Movie was praised for how original the story was while combining pop culture icons to make one spectacular film. However, it looks like The Lego Ninjago Movie may have copied the instruction manual a bit too close and Warner Bros might have to fill the writing room with some more master builders.
The Positives Still Outweigh The Negatives
This is similar to how industry pundits worry about "superhero movie fatigue," but the comic book movie genre is stronger than ever as superhero films have managed to give us new and entertaining stories. Thus, David Ehrlich from IndieWire believes that this possibility of the Lego style getting stale won't become a real problem in the foreseeable future:
"There’s definitely a fear that audiences could get burned out on the sarcastic style of sensory overload that has come to define Warner Bros’ animation behemoth, but when even the studio’s most seemingly ill-advised attempts are this much fun, it’s tough to imagine that people will start complaining anytime soon."
Most critics agree that Justin Theroux's Lord Garmadon, who is the main antagonist, is the standout character of the film. Conner Schwerdtfeger from Cinema Blend writes that Garmadon stole almost every scene he was in and that Theroux killed it:
"As far as performances go, Justin Theroux represents the clear standout of the cast, as he apparently took full advantage of his opportunities to improvise in the recording booth. Garmadon is a maniacal scene-stealer in almost every single one of his scenes, and his manic energy helps give the film much of its comedic momentum. If a story truly is only as good as its villain, then The Lego Ninjago Movie definitely works best when it gives Theroux (and by extension, Garmadon) room to run wild."
I cannot deny that I am a bit surprised by some of the mixed reviews for The Lego Ninjago Movie. Nevertheless, the movie still looks very entertaining and funny, and it's worth going out and seeing this weekend. If you don't compare the film to its predecessors, The Lego Ninjago Movie sounds like a great movie on its own.
Will YOU guys be checking out 'The Lego Ninjago Movie' in theaters? Tell me below!