Ninja (2009) Poster

(2009)

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7/10
Ninjawesome!
mikemdp18 December 2012
So at one point, the leader of a cult that really has little bearing on anything in this movie proclaims, "We control the life blood of this planet!"

Wait, what? It's not just that it makes little sense. It makes no sense whatsoever. Not much of this movie does.

But hey, you want a tight plot that makes sense and gives you pause to think? Netflix "Glengarry Glen ****ing Ross." This ain't that.

You want to see a ninja cut a man's arm off with his ninja sword and the man goes "Ahh! Ahh! Ahh!" while blood spurts out of his stump, then this is the movie for you.

You want to see a stacked gravure idol as a dojo master's daughter who always needs to be saved just because she's a stacked gravure idol and even though she's a ninja, too, then this is the movie for you.

You want shurikens, poison blowgun darts, a ninja flying suit, and an SUV that rolls over and blows up spectacularly for NO FREAKING REASON, then this is the movie for you.

You want to see two ninjas have swordfight on the rooftop of a skyscraper with the Empire State Building in the background and you say, "This is the most awesomest thing ever!" in your best Peter Griffin voice, then babe, this is the ****ing movie for you.

You want sense? Read Jane ****ing Austen. You want ninjawesome, grab this baby, some chips and a Stella Artois and you're set for the night, brochacho.
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7/10
Dudikoff never moved like that!
ericthered0124 November 2009
"Ninja" does something that is hard to do.... it updates something from the past but still retains a nostalgic feel about it. Sometimes it felt like it was 1985 and I was a kid sitting on the living room floor eating popcorn and watching American Ninja. But then I see Scott Adkins do an amazing aerial kick and I know I'm not watching Michael Dudikoff. "Ninja" takes a similar formula and story from those ninja movies from the 80's and combines it with a hard hitting and acrobatic fighting style seen in today's martial arts movies. This movie was a lot of fun and if you grew up watching ninja and martial arts movies in the 80s like me, you will definitely enjoy it.
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6/10
Ninjas for ninjas sake...
loogenhausen8 November 2011
The highest praise I can heap upon Ninja is that there is absolutely no fat on this thing. It's lean and mean and gets right down to the point: ninjas! It's a scientific fact that ninjas are way cooler than pirates and robots combined. Even dead people know this to be true. That's why it's hard to even muster the energy to attempt to try to bag on a movie like Ninja. The script is flimsier than a leaf in a hurricane, the dialogue is spotty at best and trying to make sense of every plot detail just outs you as an unpatriotic ninja hater. What the movie does do well is show you ninjas killing the crap out of everyone on screen. Scott Adkins and Tsuyoshi Ihara have a hellacious final duel and everything leading up to it is paced faster than a one hundred yard dash. Let's be honest, you didn't have any interest in this movie for its stern position on global politics and the humane treatment of thoroughly owned ninja victims. You came here for ninja-on-ninja action. It's way better than Casper Van Dien's suckfest Mask of The Ninja and in my opinion slightly better than Ninja Assassin. It is not, however, better than Chris Lambert's The Hunted. That one is the high water mark for trashy non-Japanese ninja movies.
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6/10
Yes, it's cheesy...but still pretty enjoyable
Heislegend24 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Like undoubtedly 90% of the people who will watch this movie, I was whole-heartedly expecting something in the vein of those awful 80's movies like American Ninja or Master Ninja. Well...OK...I was partially right. But this seems to have a little more going for it. Namely: Scott Adkins. Look, I know martial arts doesn't have a nationality, but it's been a long time since I saw a westerner do such a good job in a screen fight. I didn't even realize this was the same guy from The Tournament and Undisputed II. I guess he's got a thing for low balling his own talent and being in cheesy movies? Regardless, this guy has the screen fighting ability to carry a whole movie...but he's settling for this? To each his own, I suppose.

The plot is...lacking. That's a nice way to say that, right? It's basically about a disgraced member of a dojo who sets out to steal it's prized possession...some dumb box. Whatever. So the sensei (you knew there'd be a sensei, right?) sends two of his best to protect said dumb box. Well, OK, to be fair one of them is his best student. The chick doesn't do much except get knocked around and kidnapped...constantly. You can probably guess where this is going, so I'll spare you. Oh...there's a secret society bent on evil. Can't forget that.

But like I said, it's still pretty enjoyable. The fight scenes are very well done...surprisingly so considering they didn't come out of Hong Kong or Thailand. A lot of the "stylized violence" (a really stupid term meaning pretty much all blood is CGI) is pretty poorly done, but it can be excused. I just can't imagine it's cheaper to do than practical effects. All in all I actually liked this movie, flaws and all. Definitely a movie you can crack a few beers open and watch.
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5/10
Not a great film by any means, but Scott Adkins is a thing of beauty
callanvass11 November 2013
The plot is pretty weak in this movie, and lacks a really intense story, despite trying so hard to be intense. It gets by on some incredible fights with Scott Adkins, and quite frankly, I bet I'm not alone when it comes to people watching this movie, simply because of Adkins. It starts off a little slowly in the first half. Tsuyoshi Ihara provides some great intensity, and some good villainy, but it lacked the proper excitement for me. Once the second half begins, things really begin to heat up. The action is so strong, you tend to block out the average story. If Adkins's subway fight sequence isn't enough for you, then Adkins's going completely ballistic in the finale, by making many martial artists look foolish will definitely hit the spot. This guy is incredible, and if given the chance, he could be the action star the genre has lacked since the heyday of the 80's action heroes. I wouldn't call it a great performance, but he acquits himself decently. If you're not blown away by some of Adkins's moves, I really question your judgment. His love story with Mika Hijii isn't anything groundbreaking, but it's moving enough. Speaking of Mika Hijii, she's far from a damsel in distress. Not only does this woman kick major ass, but she takes a beating like a champ. I cringed in some of those scenes, but she held her own big time. It's pretty violent, if you like that sort of thing. I personally like violence. The finale is a bit over the top with the dramatics, but it does the job

Final Thoughts: See it for some of the terrific action scenes. Scott Adkins won't let you down. As long as you keep in mind that it's not a great movie, you should be able to find mild enjoyment. I didn't mind it. I'm actually curious about the upcoming sequel

5.3/10
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6/10
Fun, albeit flawed
RipTheJacker15 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This movie has potential, but within that potential are several flaws. Though the flaws don't make this a terrible movie, they do deter from some of the film's positive aspects.

The film tells the tale of American orphan Casey who is raised into a clan of ninjas and rivaled by an equally powerful warrior. Eventually the rival's anger gets the best of him and he is banished for breaking a ninja code of honor. He is then forced to pursue a new career in assassinations and theft for an evil organization. Casey must use what his master has taught him over the years to protect the sacred 'box' and stop his rival. Sounds promising, right? Well, it goes slightly downhill from here. Casey is accompanied by a female companion who is able to out-maneuver Casey several times, yet she manages to get herself caught and nearly killed several times. She bears a huge burden of Casey, and most of the film consists of Casey keeping her from getting hurt, saving her from getting killed, and finding her after she gets kidnapped.

Unfortunately the negatives continue. The movie tries to hard to merge East with West, and often times I find myself cringing at the Japanese actors attempting to speak coherent English, although I do admit Casey does a splendid job. Throw in some incompetent cops who can't seem to do anything right but get in the way and die, and you have yourself a crumbling premise.

Another problem is the character development. We don't really get a background check of most of the cast as to how they ended up where they did and why they are exactly there. Which brings me to my next problem, the so called evil organization. Without any intent, motive, or purpose we are introduced to this organization of wealthy leaders and street thugs. The thugs are persuaded to join this clan and they are represented with leather hoodies and a branding to the chest. How they got there, what are they doing, why are they doing it remains a mystery. It seems the film-makers just wanted to toss a group of enemies as sandbag punching fillers to get Casey's juices flowing.

Well, it worked... which brings me to my positives. This movie has a lot of action, a lot of amazing choreography, and a lot of blood. Mix it together, and you have yourself a winning combination. While the blood CG seems to be a bit off, that can be forgiven due to it's minimal budget internet release (I). The action is kept as realistic as possible, while maintaining a lot of amazing ninja skills we've grown to love from Eastern cinemas. The slow-motion and camera work is top notch, and the cinematography deserves a praise. For a (I) this movie is built and presented really well.

Another positive is the actor who plays Casey, Scott Adkins. Some viewers might recognize him as Uri Boyka from 'Undisputed II' (and soon to be III). This man is BEYOND fantastic at martial arts. He is right next to Michael Jai White as being one of the best American martial artists I've witnessed. He can very well be the Van Damme of the 21st century. He's built well, his acting is great, and his fight choreography is simply amazing. The stunts, added with the camera angles and the slow-mo make for a roller-coaster of a ride.

This movie may not be the BEST martial arts movie out there, but it is simply enjoyable to watch for any fan of martial arts. If you enjoy the brutal street brawls of 'Undisputed' and the choreographed martial arts of 'Ong Bak' then you will DEFINITELY love this movie. Just don't expect anything from the story, the extras, and rest of the actors. Go into this film with an open mind, and a thirst for bloody good violence, and I'm sure you will leave satisfied.

I gave this movie a 6/10 because even though the goods outweigh the bad, it's simply hard to ignore the fact that there still are flaws to the film. Regardless, it is a very enjoyable film, and to those who enjoy martial arts films and/or enjoy East meets West mash-ups, then you will definitely enjoy this film! Give it a try!
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8/10
Ninja movies are back!
wormtheace30 November 2009
First let's get one thing straight! This is a genre movie. If you go into it thinking you are going to watch the Godfather then you are going to be disappointed. Scott Atkins delivers the goods big time as the hero ninja Casey further cementing him as a go to action guy. The moves this guy can do are out of this world. The story is pretty basic. An adopted American taken in and raised as a ninja. The fight scenes for the most part are beautifully done. Tsuyoshi Ihara is the real discovery of this movie. This guy should be getting some steady work. Now the bad stuff. The C.G.I. blood was cool in some parts, but over the top in others. The gliding with the wings could have been left out. The C.G.I. was a little over the top in the sword fights. I was also disappointed with the character Namiko. She was a little to frail for modern day women in action movies. Yes there are some cheesy lines, but that is part of the fun of these movies. The movie screams old school 80's movie, but in a good way. It ends up being a far superior film than Ninja Assassin and was made for a fraction of the cost. If you love action movies and hate the metro-sexual heroes that we get jammed down our throats every film then this is the movie for you. I hope we get to see more like this because this movie had my blood racing the entire time.
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8/10
Awsomeness
zombola14 December 2009
I didn't think they made them like this anymore! This film instantly transported me back to the 80's. To a time when I'd been out on my BMX all day, building tree houses and eating crisp sandwiches, riding through the fields that are now poorly made housing estates and back in time for tea and a dose of ninja action. When plot, script and acting didn't really matter and all you really cared about was: 'How many roundhouses does he do?'

There's an abundance of dumb henchman, all wearing the same get up but who are actually members of a secret cult, controlled by some scary businessman who worships... err, something or other and have the same salute as the Nazis. These guys are loosely involved with the main ninja bad guy who has a nasty scar, ooh nasty.

You've got your Sensai betrayal, high tech ninja sh*t, stupid copper, traditional weaponry, beautiful girl and even a cameo from Batman.

Could this film be any better? Well, yeah it could... a lot actually but, who cares? It's so authentic in its simplicity, it achieves what 1000's of high budget films nowadays lack - watchabilty.
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5/10
2009 action in an 80's movie
Egi5 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Wow... I saw this movie two weeks ago on a sneak preview in Kuala Lumpur. I had no idea what to expect but being a 30-year old guy who grew up on Sho Koshugi and Michael Dudikoff ninja movies I just had to see it.

As to the script it's a plain 80's rip of. An American ninja fighting a envious Japanese ninja including a secret criminal organisation "The Ring" (How's that for a cliché?) makes this movie a typical no brain action movie. Couple it with the east Europe crew and locations and an almost voice over synchronization and you got your selves a good laugh.

In some of the action scenes (that were quite well made most of the time) a street punk almost kills the ninjas where as in others ninjas do a one-blow kill. Kind of inconsistent, don't you think?

All in all I give it a 5/10 just because it took me back to late 80's, early 90's and made me feel like a kid again. I'd actually watch it again for the same reasons I sometime watch "American Ninja", i.e. so I don't forget the lines like:

Soldier-Sir, have you ever heard of ninjitsu, the ancient art of assassination? General-"Of course I have! (American Ninja 1)

And laugh my a** off with my buddies...
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A worthy addition to the genre
Wizard-89 February 2010
I have been wanting to see a new ninja movie (that's good) for a long time, and I was impatiently waiting for this one to be released, seeing that it's a Nu Image/Millennium film (they make above average direct-to-DVD movies) and that it was to be directed by action expert Isaac Florentine. And I was overall satisfied. Granted, I could list some flaws, such as the fact the Boaz Davidson screenplay contains elements that will be familiar to those who have seen other ninja movies in the past, and it has the hero on several occasions dragging the female lead behind him despite the fact she's an accomplished fighter like him. But there's a lot more to like. The movie is slickly made, well-photographed and lit, and the chosen Bulgarian locations manage to pass off as New York (believe it or not!) The fight scenes are pretty brutal and exciting, resulting in some great splatter (though I wish the blood and gore had not been mostly done with CGI). Yes, this movie is far from great art, but if you are looking for ninja action, this movie delivers.
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8/10
Good Action Flick, better than Ninja Assassin
ikari121 April 2010
General: Good B movie. Acting: Very Mediocre. Storyline: Typical.

Direction: Actually pretty decent! I believe Florentine deserves to move higher in Hollywood. He makes some great action flicks with a very limited budget. Watch Undisputed II as well, even better than Ninja.

Action: The BEST. This movie has great fight scenes, better than most of the big budget movies out there. The choreography is also well directed, which means you can actually appreciate every Japanese Ju Jitsu movement in this movie.

Conclusion: A cool flick to watch with guys. It's not bad at all. Give it a chance, if you want to see an above the average martial arts action film, with good direction and great (Ong Bak style, no wires and CGI) fight scenes, just please do not watch it for the acting.
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6/10
Scott Adkins' Ninja: a very good movie with couple of flaws
james_juhn26 November 2009
After getting Ninja DVD sent from my uncle in Russia, I decided to watch this movie. But since there was quite a bit Japanese language being spoken and DVD had no English subtitles, I decided to watch it with a friend who is good at Japanese and is an action movie fanatic.

Now I will say this movie is not perfect, but as a action movie, and Ninja movies fan, I was thoroughly entertained nonetheless. on par with Blood and Bone in terms of entertainment value, falling just a little bit short from Undisputed 2(8.5/10) due to some of its little faults. But despite its faults, I love this film and will be watching it time and time again (actually although I gave both of them same grade, I like this movie slightly better than Blood and Bone, because of my favoritism of Ninja movies ).
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Blood and Violence! Not that great of story!
mmaeramirez92322 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
***Possible Spoilers*** (Maybe not) The story basically consists in an American orphan raised in a Ninja School who attempts to protect a box of ancient Ninja weapons from an former schoolmate of the Ninja School. Thats the basic story, a little romance is thrown in of course from a female schoolmate. Not a great story, the action though is entertaining, lots of stunt moves but a kind of overused beginning for Ninja movies, corny ending with a kind of disappointing final showdown, a couple of actors a tad bit over-the-top that makes the dialogue a little funny from time to time. Overall I'd give it say 7 out of 10, it's not a GREAT Movie, but its fairly good if you're looking for a movie with action and little story to it. Some scenes at the end trust me, when you see it you want to laugh, I'd watch it again, I recommend you watch it, NOT opening weekend, its not a HAVE-TO see it movie, but its a fun movie to watch for some entertainment.
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7/10
It's a fun and enjoyable watch
tarbosh2200023 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Casey Bowman (Adkins) is the lone white student at a dojo in Japan, among a class studying the ancient art of Ninjitsu. His father was stationed in Okinawa as a G.I., and this is the only culture he knows. When a fellow student, Masazuka (Ihara), attacks Casey in anger during a sparring exercise, he is banned from the school by the sensei. Naturally, that drives him to become an evil ninja who uses hi-tech weaponry and does the bidding of an evil cult in America. Meanwhile, the sensei entrusts Casey and fellow student/love interest Namiko (Hijii) to protect something called the Yoroi Bitsu, the historical ninja outfit and weaponry. They travel to New York City and proceed to fight waves of baddies to protect their honor and the Yoroi Bitsu. Things get complicated after Casey and Namiko are arrested by NYC cop Det. Traxler (Jensen), but eventually the inevitable happens: the final showdown between Casey and Masazuka. Who will be the ultimate NINJA? Entertainment and good times abound with this throwback to the 80's Ninja Boom. Fan favorite director Florentine is at the top of his game as he delivers action-packed fights and well-choreographed action (along with his trademark "whooshing" sound effects), while frequent collaborator in front of the camera and fellow fan favorite Scott Adkins is also in fine form. Adkins is always enjoyable to watch, and when he's put in roles like this, he can really shine. No wonder there was a Ninja 2 (2013) - fans clearly wanted more, and we can see why.

Like any good action movie, Ninja actually has a strong, central hero in Adkins (and his trusty sidekick Hijii) as well as a super-evil baddie. Ihara makes a great foil for Adkins as he plays the bad ninja - the guy who was expelled from the dojo and proceeds to break from ancient ninja tradition by using cheats like night-vision goggles. Ninja - the movie - deserves credit for actually trying to imbue the plot with history and true ninja tradition. There's a (comically fast) scroll at the beginning informing us of the history of Ninjitsu, and a few re-enactments as well. This sets the stage for the action we are about to see.

Ninja delivers the goods - cool ninja violence and a panoply of engaging fight scenes. If we have ONE criticism it's the over-use (or use, period) of CGI - and because it's Nu Image, we all know what this looks like - but Ninja gets a pass because all the rest is good, and because it's in that Florentine style we all know and love: exaggerated motions and big, oversized actions. And there's plenty of real Martial Arts and stunts as well. So, it's all good. We'll let the CGI stuff go in this instance.

Plus, Masazuka is the first Cyber Ninja we've seen since…well, Cyber Ninja (1988). He's also a Cyber Ninja with a machine gun. This is awesome. We haven't seen a ninja with a machine gun since Ninja III:The Domination (1984), so, it was more than welcome. We also liked the wackier elements of the plot, such as the Temple cult. What made it great is that it wasn't needed at all, but it was totally welcome. A final observation: in the on screen title at the beginning of the movie, in the word NINJA, the "A" is a throwing star. We need more clever, cool details like this in movies. Though due to their censorship and hatred of throwing stars, it's likely that in the UK this movie is called NINJ. We're imagining it crudely crossed out with a crayon.

In the final analysis, this particular Florentine/Adkins collaboration has cranked out another winner and kept DTV from going into the doldrums for the time being. Not everyone could have pulled from the Ninja Boom well and done it so successfully, so, they deserve credit. It's a fun and enjoyable watch, and we recommend it.
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6/10
Cool and simple.
swedzin3 September 2013
It has been a long time since I saw some really cool ninja film. Then I saw a title… "Ninja" (2009)… sounds simple… Scott Adkins? Yuri Boyka himself? Well, why the hell not? After hour and a half… wow… I was very delighted and satisfied by this film. I wasn't that much in awe, I was just very delighted. I haven't seen a movie like this in a long time. After all of these old Michael Dudikoff and David Bradley ninja films, finally something new this way comes.

Now, I like this movie because it's cool and simple. Why is that? It's simple because it's not complicated, too much mystical or anything, it just tells you a simple story, a simple story in this low budget action film, there isn't anything special to fulfill you with awesomeness, but I think there's a decent amount of cool action, fighting scenes. And that's what's matter. It's cool because… for example, the ninja costumes. Actually the movie has two costumes, an upgraded, modern day stealth/combat suit, wore by our leading villain Masazuka. And, there's an old school ninja suit, which is the main element in the plot. But that suit was very impressive, good work! Now, let's see… being an low budget action film, don't expect some super script, super plot, or good acting at all. We have Scott Adkins as our hero Casey, who was just great at kicking some ass, Mika Hijii as Namiko, the Casey's love interest and daughter of Casey's dojo master. Tsuyoshi Ihara plays Masazuka. Well, Ihara didn't leave some good impression as a villain… he is just jealous for being expelled from dojo, because he wanted to become a master and best ninja around, but circumstances brought him to the mercenary world. He just… didn't convince me much as a villain, he looked more like a model walking around in cool clothes. We also have Todd Jansen, well known in low budget films. We also have a subplot in the film, it was probably designed for Casey to have something to beat the living daylights out. The subplot is about a small sect leaded by guy named Temple, played by Miles Anderson, who is probably one of the worst actors in the film. I know he is pretty respectable theater actor, but… he is just not convincing. Well, maybe in theaters. The other interesting things are camera work, filming sets, I like the dojo very much, although it's not a real ninjutsu dojo, because, seems to me, that that dojo have more martial arts than one, if you look at the styles, there are definitely Karate, Judo, Jujitsu, Aikido, etc.

So, overall, I recommend this decent stuff, it's good for action fans and for martial arts movie fans.
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6/10
A good action movie
gulrez-iqbal11 April 2013
Yesterday i saw NINJA.I am very impress to see this flick.Scott Adkins's performance is very good.Action sequences is also impressive.Story is just OK.This movie is much better than NINJA ASSASSIN in every term.Film location are good.Script are also good.Music is suit the film.The Most good thing in the movie is Scoot Adkins's action and performance.All the stunts seances are original.Plot of the story is also good.Train seances are very good and impressive. Makeup is good. Direction of the movie is very good.We can compare the movie with kill bill.The action sequences done without CGI technology.
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10/10
Ninja
alexanderwaldrous10 December 2009
Personally don't get into a movie and complain about it after; lets leave the complaints to the bitter wives. In my belief for a low budget movie it was excellent. If you happen to disagree name six low budget movies to deliver such beautiful choreography despite budget induced flaws. To criticise this is foolish, I new there was a high risk for disappointment, but it delivered 100% on what it was supposed to be. If you want a detailed plot with crafty dialogue, then read some Shakespeare or go and watch fried green tomatoes because this film is not for you. Action junkies are welcome. All in all if you approach this movie to see some action your going to receive it. If you approach this movie to see some ninja action it's there, there could be more of ninja presence in the film. In closing the movie moves forward, there aren't any unnecessary pauses in the flow of the story. Some elements of the film are lacking and others have it's own strengths & weaknesses. The main plot is plausible - "Bitterness"
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1/10
You have GOT to be kidding me! **SPOILERS**
crosshatch-612-30050520 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Are you people out of your minds? STUPID. Bad acting. Poor script. Ridiculous plot. Completely predictable from beginning to end. OK, I suppose it wasn't COMPLETELY predictable. Just when I thought I knew exactly what was going to happen, it got even dumber. I must say, I got some great laughs. Just about everything in this move was ridiculous and not believable. Batman wings? Seriously? So predictable...why was the only guy wearing black in the beginning, the soon-to-be-bad- guy? When she orders coffee and "two sandwiches"....what? Who wrote this? the restaurant only has one kind of sandwich coming from a guy that just happens to be from the "secret brotherhood"? A brotherhood run by a guy who claims, "We control the lifeblood of this planet." HUH?? What the heck is he talking about? A brand new plot twist? What the heck is the lifeblood? Their cool matching jackets, hoodies and scars? Even to the bitter end...the cop hands him a U.S. passport when he was never even a U.S. citizen. Is he going to have to run around and collect all his ancient weapons sticking out of dead guys?
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7/10
enjoyable, 80's style fun
disdressed124 May 2010
thought this movie is only a year or so old,it does sort of echo martial arts movies from the eighties.it's very action packed,and very stylish.unlike many movies of the genre,there actually more than a just a thread holding the story together.there a quite few spectacular fight scenes,and there a couple of fairly graphic deaths.i wasn't too impressed with the acting at first but then it improved as the movie progressed.the ending was a bit too predictable,in my opinion.but still,this was a good movie,overall.it was fast paced,and enjoyable.i'd watch it again.maybe not right away,though.would i recommend it?.absolutely.for me,Ninja is a 7/10.
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8/10
It was better then I expected - really!
phabyo-691-37974121 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
First, I thought "another ninja movie, how original..." but the good reviews made me watch it and, I must say, it wasn't a disappointment. The acting was OK and the story actually was good. It wasn't about flying ninjas that have supernatural powers, speed or anything like that. They were more close to real martial artists then any other ninja movie, making it quite believable it could be real. The story has few holes, as any movie has, but it was very enjoyable and entertaining. Also, I learned there are no cops in New York at night, since they fight in the streets, with swords, guns, cars crashing, and they draw absolutely no attention. Aside from that, Ninja is a good movie, with a good and original story, OK acting, few holes in the script, and it was not as absurd as any other fantasy ninja movie.
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8/10
What's up, my ninja?
alanrayford31 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Ninja is as simple, effective and to the point as its cover suggests. The word hangs at the top of the DVD cover all alone, avoid of such descriptors such as American, assassin, mutant, red, shoguns, teenage, turtles or warriors. Its only companion is a picture of a single man in a black costume wielding a sword that may very well be in mid swing. In both title and image, this cover tells you this flick delivers ninja…period, and that is no lie.

At the heart of Ninja are bitter rivals Casey (Scott Adkins) and Masuka (Tsuyoshi Ihara). Casey is an all around good guy who, despite being a westerner (P.C. for white), just happens to be a top student at a prestigious ninjitsu school in Japan. To ensure we see him as sympathetic, the movie reminds you he's an orphan every fifteen minutes or so. Masuka is the other top student and (surprise, surprise) hates Casey with a passion usually reserved for pedophiles and fascists. When Masuka goes as far as to try and murder Casey during a sparring match, the school's headmaster sends him packing and sets things into motion.

There are a lot of things which occur during the 86 minute running time of Ninja. There's a trip to New York City to retrieve an artifact for the school. There's also a secret society that feels straight out of a comic book and comes off as 1/2 cult and 1/2 mafia. There's even the budding romance between Casey and Namiko (Mika Hijii), the headmaster's daughter. But all of this is background to what we all want to see in films like this; ninja and action starring ninja.

While there are only two ninja in the film, the sheer amount of badassery present dares you to feel shortchanged. Most of the action deals with Casey fighting members of a mysterious cult who're in league with Mazuka, and these scenes deliver. Name a martial arts move and, odds are, it's used to great effect here. Scott Adkins is the real deal and is effortlessly able to tread that thin line between believability, practicality and style often lacking in more mainstream action flicks. While the scenes with Mazuka take a back seat, they still do a damn good job of establishing him as an extremely viable threat and a reason to keep the lights on at all hours. While Ihara's not a martial artist in real life, you'd truly be hard pressed to know it by how well he compares to Adkins' physical performance.

Between Casey and Masuka, more asses are kicked around the Big Apple than in the typical play through of Arkham City. And, I have to say, the beatdowns seen here veer dizzyingly close to being a live action version of that game. No matter how good that may sound to you, believe me, it looks even better in action. However, it all comes down to a bloodfued between two ninja that can only end with one left standing.

When the finale comes around, this is when Ninja's ninja really starts to shine through. The hand to hand takes a backseat to the likes of caltrops, shuriken, katanas and even poison. Things definitely get ramped up as the two rivals leave an impressive trail of bodies in their wake as their final conflict looms. And, that climatic showdown does not disappoint. By film's end, there is only one ninja left standing. But, at several points, it felt like it could have gone either way.

Now, while Ninja is everything you've been trained to believe a film with ninja in the title can't be (namely good), there are a few points of contention I had with it. First, the costumes looked like a cross between the Power Rangers and something from an old Sho Kosugi flick. While they worked within the context of the movie, I personally find the more traditional shozoku robes to convey a much more powerful image on screen. Then there's the ending. I think this movie would've benefited greatly by ending immediately after the final confrontation between Casey and Mazuka. It would've made a better, longer lasting impression by being more brutal, final and cutting edge (pun intended). Also, it would've kept things open for potential sequels. American Ninja was like smallpox on celluloid, yet it spawned four sequels. Relative Oscar bait by comparison, Ninja is easily of enough quality to warrant at least one follow up treatment as it's a sincerely entertaining film. All in all, Ninja stands heads and shoulders above the likes of similar fare such as the theatrically released Ninja Assassin.

Also, I just want to say Scott Adkins may very well be the single best Bruce Wayne ever and, sadly, one we'll probably never get to see on screen. Still though, one can only hope someone at Warner Bros. might take notice of the obvious match between looks, age and skills, coupled with some solid acting chops, and have that proverbial light bulb go off over their head.
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8/10
kicking ass and taking names,ninja is a plain brilliant film
culchieman19956 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
this movie has two thing that every ninja movie should have,a vengeance plot and a meeting of the old ways of the ninja and the modern way of the gang/cult.first off you see the training dojo and you don't know if it's the 15th century or the 21st.our hero,casey,who has been in the dojo from youth is in a minor seeming feud with masasuke,a rival student in the dojo,when a training session becomes near fatal masasuke is banished and goes into business as an assassin,meanwhile casey and namiko,the sensei's daughter go to America to guard an ancient ninja artefact,the yoroi bitsu,a chest of weapons and gear used by the ninja ancestors who trained in the dojo.when masasuke kills sensei casey and namiko are targeted,this is where the movie changes,masasuke is the modern ninja,with guns, an extendable katana and a major grudge he uses a cult connection to find and capture casey.when all else fails casey does what he has to do,he opens the chest.as masasuke is modern and casey is a classic ninja,it is a major battle of the ages,and a brilliant fight all around,this movie is sometimes compared to ninja assassin,but the two couldn't be any more different
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7/10
Fun Throw-Back To The '80s Ninja-Films With Some Modern Twists...
EVOL6662 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
NINJA is not a ground-breaking, or even very good film for that matter. What it is-is an entertaining action-film that should prove to be fun for those of us who are old enough to remember and enjoy the '80s ninja-films that came before it. 

The plot is nothing new or original-and goes like this: an American who was orphaned in Japan is brought up as a ninja. When his Japanese 'classmate' and nemesis dishonors the ninja-school...he is kicked out and of course turns to the 'dark side'. The honky is named the new ninja-school leader, and is charged to protect their clan's ancient weapons. Of course this doesn't sit well with the Japanese bad-guy who feels he should be the new leader...you probably see where this is going by now. Throw in a silly and unnecessary side-plot about some group called 'The Ring' that of course have world- domination type plans, and a bit of love-interest between the white guy and his cute Japanese classmate/side-kick...and you have all the makings of your proto-typical ninja- film...

If you're looking for something serious and meaningful, or even original-you will not find it in NINJA. Hell-even the title is generic. But what you will find is a decent, fast-paced action-film with lots of chop-socky ass-kicking. Again-if you are a fan of the older films that tread much the same territory-I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy this one too. Personally-I found it to be more enjoyable than last year's NINJA ASSASSIN-and would've rather seen this one in the theater...7.5/10  
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7/10
Old school ninja style
Psychokineti20 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I have to say that I really enjoyed it, it was cheesy, badly acted with a crap story line... all in all the perfect recipe for a good ol NINJA movie!

It reminded me of the good ol days with classics such as American Ninja 1,2 and 3.

I did think the female ninja got beaten up to easily by thugs on the train scene though, I mean, she trains with the "last" Koga ninja all her life and can't handle a few thugs... whatever.

I thought the baddies were particularly cheesy and it added a nice throw back feeling to the movie!

All in all, if your stuck for some old school ninja action, check it out, it's a laugh.
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7/10
It was Quite Good
b-molloy28 November 2009
Another commentator has said it was good but he has a bit picky.

Quite a good, kick ass v bad guy, girl survives, guess the rest. I like technique and I was impressed that he was quite skilled AND the bad guys stayed down when it looked liked you had hit them BAD, as it appeared. Apparently you can't register a comment on a movie unless you have 10 lines. This type of decadence lead to a many a company like (IMDB) going bad and defrauding companies and leading to the unemployed sending=ding a lot of bull222s22t o sites that they shouldn't't't't;t. why do i bother well i enjoyed the movie and i like "Blood" and "Azumi" and "Underworld" and "Dune". "Asumi " has 2 movies and I want a 3rd has anyone seen it yet?
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