Well, here are my thoughts for the LEGO NINJAGO Movie. I'll put the entire thing in invisible ink, even though it's not going to be entirely spoilers. I will have some spoilers, so before each of those, I'll put one of these: (SPOILER). And yes, I know the red ink will still show up. That description sounds kind of confusing, so here's what it will be like:
Everything, even if it's not a spoiler, will be written like this, except (SPOILER) the red warnings when I'm about to say a plot point from the movie. (End Spoiler)
(Btw, that first warning in the middle of the invisible ink was just a sample, there wasn't actually a spoiler.) Let's begin!
I'm going to do a little introduction, then go into categories, and leave a final verdict on the bottom.
First things first, this is my least favorite of the LEGO movies. That is in no way a dig, as each one has been SPECTACULAR and received quite well by critics. However, this is the first one that has not been as impressive to those same critics. I really enjoyed it, but I could definitely sense that it was geared more towards kids than the other two films have been. The other two were kid-friendly, of course, but they had plenty of jokes and references that were thrown in there for the 10+ age range. In case you didn't know, I'm now 16 years old, so I really appreciated it when they made the movie enjoyable for my age as well as smaller children. This movie had some of that - a good amount, actually - but not to the extent that TLM and TLBM had. There were more times when the kids were laughing and I wasn't than when I saw the other two films. I know I said I'd do categories, and I will, but I just went about as deep into the humor as I can, so I'm not going to do a "Humor" category. This intro kind of became that category. So, to finish it up, I'll paraphrase what I heard from another critic: "These jokes were made to be funny the first time you saw them." It's that rewatchable quality that TLM and TLBM have that this one doesn't. But I'll elaborate.
First off all, the dynamic between Lloyd and Garmadon is PHENOMENAL. This was by far a highlight of the movie. If you've read any review of the movie, you've probably heard that Justin Theroux's Lord Garmadon stole the show. And he definitely did. He was hilarious when he needed to be, and emotive in all the right situations. He and Lloyd played off of each other brilliantly. Dave Franco...I'm sorry, IMO, he blows Jillian Michael's MoS (Masters of Spinjitzu, the TV show) Lloyd out of the water. He was incredible, and absolutely earned being the star of the film. That being said, the other ninja were basically discarded. Each of them were definitely characterized, but they weren't given very much depth as characters. They had very distinct personalities, but, for example, you could barely tell (SPOILER) Jay liked Nya at all. There were maybe two lines to indicate he had a crush. (End Spoiler) (SPOILER) Kai and Nya barely had a sibling dynamic, even though they called each other "bro" and "sis". (End Spoiler) Zane is purposefully awkward, but he didn't really land with me personally. He was all right, but instead of being funny or endearing in his awkwardness, he was a bit off-putting. But that was just a personal thing. Finally, Cole - he was just cool. (SPOILER) He controlled his mech with TURNTABLES. How amazing is that? I'm a music guy, so he's the one I most identified with. (End Spoiler) He's probably my favorite ninja from the movie. But see how they're all kind of one-dimensional? They have fun personalities, but they lack stories. They're fun to watch but not that compelling. That's it for the ninja and Garmadon. Koko (technically Misako from some of the advertising, but they never once use anything but the nickname "KoKo" in the movie) and Wu were just OK. I actually liked Koko more than Wu - Wu didn't really do much. He had some good fight scenes, but (SPOILER) he wasn't that great (or even that much) of a mentor. (End Spoiler) And he was over-the-top silly, directed solely towards kids, so I didn't really enjoy him. Koko was endearing in all the ways Zane wasn't. (SPOILER) She had a little backstory, but she didn't have much of a role beyond oh-I-love-my-son-so-much-be-safe-Lloyd mothering. (End Spoiler) She was fun to watch, but not compelling either. In summary, the Garmadon-Lloyd dynamic was wonderful, but overbearing. It didn't leave much room for other characters. So there are some pros and cons right there.
Well, that took much longer than I thought. I've decided I'm going to put the categories into posts all for themselves, and let you guys decide what you want to read. Hopefully it's not too boring. Talk to you guys later!