Just as a critic is ready to stop preceding praise for a Lego Movie with the adverb ‘surprisingly’, the franchise delivers a dud. The Lego Ninjago Movie is every bit as commercially dominated as you were sure that The Lego Movie was going to be but wasn’t. Yes, for fans of its two surprisingly great predecessors, this latest $70m advert is every bit like stepping barefoot on a rogue brick. Not quite a total shambles, it may already be time to call it a day on Lego cinema.
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Don’t deny it! When Warner Bros. green lit The Lego Movie back in 2011 you sneered. It may have been only the slightest sneer, the twitch of an eyebrow say, but your first thought was: ‘seriously?!’ Yes, on paper it sounded like the most horrendously capitalist commercialised marketing vehicle since Pixar announced Cars 3 and E.T. turned out to be a massive fan of Reece’s Pieces. They even went and announced a relatively little known TV sitcom star as the lead. Hardly wattage… But you were wrong. Nay, we were wrong. Back in 2014 The Lego Movie was glorious. It was…well, awesome! And that ‘little known TV sitcom star’? Only one of today’s biggest blockbusters in the business, Chris Pratt! Mind, any fan of Parks and Recreation could’ve sung his praises years ago.
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