The latest Lego movie, like its predecessors, does a great job poking fun at the simplest elements of life—including the movie itself. Lego Ninjago is yet another tongue-in-cheek escapade through the land of colorful square bricks, but with a lot less smoothness. The storyline of Lego Ninjago is a heavier-than-necessary version of villian-dad-neglecting-nerdy-but-powerful son. But the gags and explosions are enough to keep the young ones happy, and we do get a few delightful laugh-out-loud moments for mom and dad.
The story is simple enough. Lloyd and his dad Lord Garmadon have to figure out if they belong together. In the midst of that theme, we see the town annihilated by a feline—with, of course, lots of explosions to go around. The voices are brilliant, but the Ultimate Weapon is not so brilliant—all those writers, and they couldn’t match the previous Lego movies for ingenuity. The characters don’t show a high level of loyalty to each other, so there were many lost opportunities to weave in a little integrity!
But wait! Amidst the needlessly cryptic metaphors of the Master Ninja Wu, we learn something relevant to our life. The ultimate Ultimate Weapon actually turns out to be the unique and special force inside each of the ninjas; indeed, inside each of of us!
Go for it. Go ahead and take that Holy Spirit analogy and run with it. It’s the best thing Lego Ninjago has going. And after a summer of so few excellent family movies, we’ll take it as a sweet diversion.