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Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,133
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Movie Info

An American Ninja (Scott Adkins) journeys from Japan to the U.S. on a mission to prevent a collection of valuable weapons from falling into the hands of a dangerous Yakuza.


Critic Reviews for Ninja

All Critics (3) | Fresh (1) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Ninja

  • Mar 12, 2012
    While reading a user review of Assassination Games I wondered who in the world was Scott Adkins. So I went to Simon who works at a local video store and he gave me this stupid mess of a movie starring Scott Adkins. Ninja is about a westerner named Casey (Adkins), studying Ninjutsu in Japan, is asked by the Sensei to return to New York to protect the legendary Yoroi Bitsu, an ard chest that contains the weapons of the last Koga Ninja. Do I have to tell you that the story is bad, the title has Ninja in it. A majority of the time if the movie has the word Ninja in it it's going to be bad. It has it shares of pointless violence and dumb moments. I like it how evil Ninja needs night-vision-goggle to see in the dark even though the other characters could see just fine without them and it's never really that dark in the movie. My favorite dumb moment is when the Ninja fights his old Sensei in a temple and our Ninja cuts out the light. This leaves the Sensei unable to find the Ninja even though the temple is not really that dark and the Ninja is in front of him. So clearly I found the story to be stupid and pointless, which is a shame when you actually have solid action scenes. Now these are some impressive action scenes, but it's pointless and mindless as we're never given a solid reason to get behind it. It adds no tension to the action and it comes tired when the movie has a ton of them. The acting on the other hand, is almost deserving of a Razzie nomination. Scott Adkins especially, he's not interesting as a leading actor and he's not really entertaining when he's not fighting anyone. Though to date this movie has probably the best looking Ninja suit to date and it's not the cliche Ninja suit we're use to seeing. So what we got left is a movie with a boring leading actor when he's not in action mode, a poorly told story, and really bad acting. Now I could understand the appeal to Adkins from watching this movie as he really does some impressive action scenes, unfortunately he just doesn't have the acting skills for me to be a fan.
    Caesar M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 09, 2011
    Well this action takes you right back to the late 80's early 90's. If you picture 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' but with blood and for an adult audience then you have 'Ninja'. I won't lie to you I found this silly nonsense kinda fun to watch hehe it was full of totally ridiculous set pieces, hordes of blade fodder in the form of a never ending supply of henchmen all wearing identical outfits which is simply hilarious and some really over the top CGI blood spurting. Yes this was an epic slice of hokum. I gotta admit there was some nice imagery throughout the film with the ninja suits, especially in the dark rainy parts and the dojo sequences at the start. Some cool fights, moves and some nice weaponry to boot...its a film about cool ass ninjas, think about it. Totally predictable and extremely corny with all the regular goodie and baddie cliches but admittedly Adkins (the goodie ninja guy) has probably the best looking torso I've seen since Jason Scott Lee in 'Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story'! As a man I must admit I was impressed! and this is one of his early films too, before he became even more buffed for the 'Undisputed' franchise. I really didn't know they made films like this anymore, yet I'm pleased. Really brought memories of my teen years flooding back, the only thing missing from this Shinobi epic is Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa snearing his ass off, now that would have been the ultimate badassery.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Oct 17, 2010
    <i>"Come and get it..."</i> <p> Suffice it to say, expectations play a sizeable role in any viewer's enjoyment of a film. In the case of 2009's <i>Ninja</i>, it would be impossible to watch the flick with high expectations - the cover of the DVD/Blu-ray is admittedly nifty enough to gain some attention, but it is nonetheless a low-budget direct-to-DVD ninja actioner flaunting a white actor as its primary acting talent. Yet, much to the surprise of this reviewer, <i>Ninja</i> is far more than a hack-job production with a wooden action superstar. A tight, furiously-paced actioner, <i>Ninja</i> is blessed with impressive fight choreography, unexpectedly decent production values, a slick look, and a general "cool factor" that most Hollywood action films are unable to achieve. Give me <i>Ninja</i> over <i>Transformers</i> or <i>G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra</i> or countless other terrible blockbusters that Hollywood has produced recently. <p> Set in contemporary Japan, the film introduces a young Caucasian named Casey (Adkins) who was orphaned at a young age and accepted into a Japanese dojo by the current Sensei. Being the only white guy at the school, in addition to being the teacher's pet and the object of affection for cute female ninja Namiko (Hijii), Casey's rival Masazuka (Ihara) becomes filled with jealousy and rage. Unable to handle Casey's presence, Masazuka violently lashes out at Casey during training and is banished from the dojo as a consequence. Following this, Masazuka swears revenge and declares his intention to obtain the Yoroi Bitsu; a wooden box containing the weapons of a legendary ninja warrior. In order to protect it, the box is shipped to a college professor in New York, with Casey and Namiko also being sent along in case Masazuka comes knocking. <p> <i>Ninja</i> is hindered by all of the usual direct-to-DVD trappings. The acting is exceedingly wooden, the sets occasionally look cheap, the special effects are at times embarrassing, and the enterprise is cheesy as hell (the less said about the aftermath of the final battle, the better). But where the film fails as an artistic achievement, it succeeds mightily as a piece of entertainment. <i>Ninja</i> is an almost-perfect update of the Golan-Globus ninja flicks of yesteryear, with a simplistic narrative and a focus on action. The film is simply <i>packed</i> with awesome, violent fights - roughly 70% of the film is pure ninja action. At the centre of the action is British martial artist Scott Adkins (<i>The Bourne Ultimatum</i>, <i>X-Men Origins: Wolverine</i>), who was not given much of a character to work with or dialogue to deliver. But that's fine, because Adkins is a wooden actor who looks like a strange cross between Eli Roth and Ben Stiller. Thankfully, however, he is an accomplished physical star capable of very impressive martial arts moves. In fact, he has all the qualities that are required of an action star - he's good-looking, muscular, athletic, and is a man of few words. <p> Fortunately, <i>Ninja</i> boasts some of the best swordplay that has been preserved on the medium of cinema for years. Fumio Demura, the film's martial arts consultant, did a magnificent job of choreographing the fight sequences - they are, for lack of better word, <i>incredible</i>. Director Isaac Florentine's handling of the material is also impressive. While slow motion techniques can be irritating, the bursts of slo-mo during the action set-pieces are highly effective here. Additionally, recent action movies have been plagued by nauseating quick cuts to hide poor choreography. For <i>Ninja</i>, no such flaws exist - Florentine was so comfortable with the physical skills of his stuntmen that every nuance was captured in glorious detail. The filmmaking is astonishingly competent and professional-looking for a picture of low-budget origins. The fights are old-school, too, with real stunts and hard-hitting martial arts. Unfortunately, some CGI was employed for certain instances of blood and gore, and it looks distractingly phoney from time to time. Still, it's easy to overlook the poor CGI - <i>Ninja</i> is assured, well-paced and satisfying. Certainly, it's head over heels better than 2009's <i>Ninja Assassin</i>. <p> As stated previously, <i>Ninja</i> is woeful from both a plot and an acting standpoint. It also shamelessly borrows elements from several other action pictures, ranging from <i>TMNT</i> to <i>Highlander</i> to <i>Batman Begins</i>, but this hardly matters because the action is frequent and spectacular. While action films with boring characters are normally awful, <i>Ninja</i> scratches a passing grade due to one thing: absolutely no pretensions. Character-building takes all of 20 minutes at most, and thus the pacing never lulls and a viewer is not given much of a chance to ponder the plot too much. Besides, Adkins is an amiable enough presence, and the screenplay is surprisingly serviceable. <i>Ninja</i> is not destined to be a classic, but it is one genuinely entertaining and satisfying B-movie.
    Cal ( Super Reviewer
  • Aug 18, 2010
    Me personally? I think the formula is a pretty simple one: the better the actor, the better the villain. No matter the strength of the script, if you pick a good actor for your villain, the day is saved. Automatically. If Morgan Freeman, even, had been cast as the villain, this would be a multiple-star experience. Sadly, however, that little, basic, simple, obvious formula has escaped team <i>Ninja.</i> Not to pick on Tsuyoshi Ihara. Everyone in this one except Togo Igawa, playing the sensei, is weak. <p> The last movie I saw in this genre vein was Rain's <i>Ninja Assassin.</i> See <i>Ninja Assassin</i> if you're looking for a slick ninja action flick. This one pretty much bites the big one. In a feeble kind of all gum and no teeth way.
    Lanning : Super Reviewer

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