Back in 2014, The LEGO Movie was released to the world. What most thought would be a two-hour long advert for the product turned out to be an Oscar-winning masterpiece. (Okay, I know it didn’t actually win an Academy Award – heck, it wasn’t even nominated – but sweet Jesus Christ*, it should have been, so I’m saying it should be.)
*And by ‘Jesus Christ’, I of course mean ‘Phil Lord and Chris Miller’.
Three years later, a spin-off from the original was released, The LEGO Batman Movie, and it became one of the year’s funniest films, with a joke every two and a half milliseconds. Like Tim Vine on crack.
Now, the LEGO franchise is pushing for its third instalment (because the less we say about the direct-to-DVD features, the better) – The LEGO Ninjago Movie. And before I get to ahead of myself, if someone from LEGO could help me with how to stylise the word ‘LEGO’, that would be great. Does it need to be capitalised, or am I just shouting it every damn time?
The Ninjago property has been around for several years, with a line of toys and its own animated TV series, but this year, the ninjas – who are just as skilled at using nunchucks as they are using high tech mech creations – are taking to the big screen in an animated feature, starring Jackie Chan, Dave Franco and Justin Theroux.
Now, these are all new characters, so I’m going to teach you about them and – guess what – you don’t have to do a single bit of waxing on or waxing off. I’m so good to you.
Lloyd. The name strikes fear into the heart of his enemies, right? Right? Okay, Lloyd isn’t a necessarily scary name, but wait until you see what his super elemental power is… Green energy. Sure, I don’t know what that means either – is he good at recycling? I dunno.
Either way, the protagonist, played by Dave Franco, is the leader of the team, and… Son of the movie’s antagonist, fire-breathing, four-arm-wielding Lord Garmadon. Darth Vader ain’t got Jack on this situation. As a ninja, Lloyd is a noble hero, but as soon as he takes the mask off, he becomes a straight-up outcast, because no-one can stand the carnage his father causes.
Tell me about it, Lloyd. My Dad once wore Crocs when he picked me up from school, and I had to eat lunch alone for a month.
This guy is an absolute G. Not only is he played by Jackie Chan, but his staff doubles-up as a flute, and he can use his hat as a floatation device. The only thing that would make him cooler is a long white beard, and… HE HAS ONE OF THOSE. (I’m only saying that because it takes me several weeks to grow a single hair, which – with a single sneeze – is likely to fall out.)
Like Jeremy Kyle 2.0, Wu is the brother of Lord Garmadon, and uncle to Lloyd. He is also master to all of the other ninjas. It does make sense – it would be really embarrassing if he was called Master Wu and actually wasn’t a master to anyone.
This bloke has red eyes, four arms and fangs. I’m lead to believe that Lord Garmadon is the villain of this feature. Finally, my years of watching and researching movies have finally paid off.
Justin Theroux’s character has the power to disintegrate objects and has his own Garma Mecha Man to his disposal, but there’s one thing Garmadon has yet to do… Reconnect with his son, Lloyd.
Oh, that and buy some real estate outside of a volcano. That would probably be first on my to-do list. Second; reconcile with son.
Things really heat up with Michael Peña’s character, Kai, who’s a really fiery character, often defying his Master’s instructions, but gets along like a house-on-fire with Lloyd and his sister, Nya. The enthusiatic ninja really burns off some calories, when he gets fired up to fight evil.
Did I mention Kai was a fire ninja?
Like a fish-out-of-water, Nya… Okay, I’m just going to give up on trying to come up with aqua-related puns for her. Is that alright with you?
Abbi Jacobson’s character is an acrobatic fighter, who can go from on-land to underwater with the greatest of ease thanks to her Water Strider mode of transport. Well, that beats the number 20 bus to Walthamstow, doesn’t it?
You thought the ninjas before this guy were cool? You ain’t seen nothing yet. And I’m not just saying ‘cool’ because he can control ice. Seriously, I’m giving up on this wordplay – don’t get your hopes up.
Even though he may look like the rest of the cast, Zane is actually part-man, part-cyborg, known as a Nindroid. He’s like a sexy Terminator, but without the harsh tones of Arnie, and the even harsher Zach Woods. His real, real scary voice. Shudder.
Zane doesn’t consider himself to be a robot, and whatever you do – don’t try telling him that he is one. He has a frickin’ bow and arrow, for crying out loud.
Cole, the Earth Ninja, seems to have possessed a lot of his traits from his voice actor, Fred Armisen. From his comedic timing, to his charismatic personality… And even those striking, dreamy eyebrows.
Oh, he can crush his enemies with the power of the actual Earth, but just LOOK AT THEM EYEBROWS.
Fresh of his hugely successful romcom, The Big Sick, Kumail Nanjiani brings his talents to portray Jay, a guy who can fire lightning from his finger tips, much like his character in The Big Sick. (I haven’t seen it yet. I’m just assuming Kumail’s character can do that. Am I right?)
Jay’s shy and cautious, especially when it comes to telling his crush, Nya, that he has a bit of a thing for her. But then again, I’d be concerned too seeing as she literally has throwing stars on her at all times.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie is set for cinemas 21 September 2017.