Somewhat a review of the movie Ninja (2009)
Well, I was debating about delving into the final Sho Kosugi ninja movie Enter the Ninja today the same way I covered Revenge of the Ninja and Ninja III: The Domination the last few days, but I realized I have not the time nor the energy to do it. At least not today. So, I’m going to review another ninja movie, this one from 25 years later in 2009. It was a smaller release and the title was just Ninja.
I’m pretty sure this may have been a DVD only release. Especially in the US. It may have opened in theaters elsewhere. I got it from Netflix a few weeks after it was released. One of the reasons I was kind of excited to see this movie was because it was a smaller B-movie release that was supposed to be in the style of the mid-80s ninja movies. I thought that was a great idea, and settled in to watch some “so bad it’s good” ninja awesomeness.
But I couldn’t get into it. And this is coming from the guy that just sat through, watched, loved and reviewed, in agonizing detail, the movies Revenge of the Ninja and Ninja III. So to say my tastes are discerning would be less then accurate. And I still had trouble enjoying myself. Granted, there are over 20 years of nostalgia coloring my perceptions of those ninja movies, but still.
Plus, this movie definitely feels like it was written and filmed in 1985, then lost for 25 years and found in some dank, dirty corner of the film vaults. The suits then decided to put this lost ninja film out to capitalize on the release of Ninja Assassin. The script and acting are cheesy and awkward. The film logic is odd. However the fight scenes are nicely shot and choreographed. I really need to give it another watch. I feel like I’m not giving it the latitude I give a Sho Kosugi movie. And I’m not sure why. The story is just as flat, the acting just as bad and the ninja scenes are just as good. I don’t know why my knee jerk reaction is that I don’t like it.
The star, Scott Adkins, is a capable action star. Before this he had roles in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (as Weapon XI) and The Bourne Ultimatum (as Agent Kiley). The female lead is a little irritating because she seems helpless. She’s constantly having to be saved despite the fact that in the beginning of the movie they establish her as the daughter of a ninja teacher and every bit as deadly as the Scott Adkins character. I don’t know.
Trust me, I’m going to give this movie another shot. When I do, I’ll let you know if I change my mind. Until then, this gets a not recommend.