The second Ninja film to be released in the last six months is far superior to the much higher budgeted Warner Bros.project Ninja Assassin. This direct-to-DVD genre flick is an enjoyable ride, and stands as an excellent example of what can be done on a low-budget when passion and creativity are involved. Scott Adkins’s impressive athleticism in the action sequences is the film’s greatest asset, yet surprisingly he’s just as good in the rare dramatic scenes. The story begins at a ninjitsu academy, and the rivalry forming between two students. Upon expulsion one becomes a deadly assassin obsessed with finding an ancient samurai sword. The other is sent by his master to protect the weapon.
Also on the hunt is a gang of cult members, seeking to claim the blade for its legendary mystical powers. The fight sequences are obviously the main attraction in a film titled Ninja, and director Isaac Florentine (U.S. Seals 2, Undisputed 3: Redemption) doesn’t disappoint. An early battle between Scott Adkins and Tsuyoshi Ihara is a standout, along with a nicely designed chase sequence through New York’s subway tunnel. The action is handled crisply and never leaves you in a state of confusion or indifference. A welcomed new addition to the ‘Ninja’ sub genre.
Director: Isaac Florentine
Stars: Scott Adkins, Tsuyoshi Ihara