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Review: 'The Lego Ninjago Movie' — What parents should know


A lot of parents will see "The Lego Ninjago Movie" simply because their kids love Lego, but how does this one compare to the much-loved "The Lego Movie"? 

First, let me explain what "The Lego Ninjago Movie" is about. Ninjago is a fictional city in the world of Lego that is frequently attacked by the villainous Garmadon (voiced by Justin Theroux), even though his ex-wife and teenage son Lloyd (voiced by Dave Franco) live there. This makes Lloyd a social outcast, and Lloyd has channeled his resentment for his absentee father into being a ninja. He leads a secret ninja team consisting of his friends Kai (Michael Peña), Zane (Zach Woods), Jay (Kumail Nanjiani), Nya (Abbi Jackson), and Cole (Fred Armisen), who regularly thwart Garmadon's attacks and save the citizens of Ninjago, thanks to guidance from Lloyd's uncle, Master Wu (voiced by Jackie Chan). During one of their battles, Lloyd lets his emotions get out of control, which results in Garmadon conquering Ninjago. To make amends, Lloyd leads his fellow ninjas on a dangerous journey to find the "ultimate, ultimate weapon," unaware Garmadon is tracking their every move.

So how does this one measure up to previous Lego movies? It falls short of being as clever and fun as "The Lego Movie," but in my opinion, it's more enjoyable than "The Lego Batman Movie." There are no deep messages here, but some important lessons about teamwork, forgiveness, acceptance, and courage.

If you've seen the previews for this movie, you've already seen the funniest parts. Family is a big theme throughout the story, with many dynamics coming into play. It gets a little emotional at times, as Lloyd and Garmadon explore their shaky relationship, but it's nothing that will move you to tears.

Overall, the movie is fairly clean, with a few instances of innuendo. The action is silly and nothing more than a showcase for Lego toys. Be prepared for your kids to want to buy Lego Ninjago pieces after they see this.

 "The Lego Ninjago Movie" is rated PG and now playing in theaters.