The Review: Guess what? The 80’s called and they want their action film back! No… that’s dig but probably one of the highest compliments I could pay this DTV Ninja action film starring the Expendable UniSol Scott Adkins, as every pore of the film harks back to a time when action films weren’t afraid to put men in Ninja suits and use throwing star as a weapon.
The story? Ninjitsu master Casey is back and out for revenge when his pregnant wife is murdered. And that, well that’s pretty much it. What that means is Adkins has excuse after excuse to bust some serious arse kicking movies against an endless stream of well trained but never quite good enough bad guys until the inedible fight to the death showdown with the big bad.
If you grew up, as I did, on a staple diet of American Ninja films with a dash of Cynthia Rothrock, a touch of Loren Avedon and more than a dollop of Perfect Weapons, then this is the film you’v been waiting for since action films grew up in the 90’s, got serious and started starring Nicolas Cage.
It’s by far the best DTV action film of 2013. It’s amazing that whilst Hollywood continues to spend hundreds of millions trying to thrill and excite cinema goers (often to varying degrees of success), Scott Adkins along with his director de jour Isacc Florentine and always reliable studio Millennium Films have been doing it smarter and better and for a fraction of the cost. Every Dollar, whatever the budget actually was (the web chatter has it at $10 million USD but I d probably say less) is up on screen in what is probably the best martial arts action committed to film outside of Eastern cinema, benefiting from fights more reminiscent of The Raid’s hardcore style than Florentine’s previous films. But with added sword play, Ninja stars and the A-Z of movie Ninjutsu weaponry!
Eventually you’d assume that both Florentine and Adkins will be tempted away from these smaller DTV films and more regally towards movies with bigger budgets. Let’s hope not. Both deliver spectacularly at this level, using the obvious budgetary restrictions to focus on what really counts… ass kicking martial arts action at it’s best.
Add in fan pleasing appearances by Kane ‘Son on Sho’ Kosugi, a always charismatic lead in Adkins and a script that knows what it has to do and just get’s on with it, and Ninja! Actual Ninjas! And what you are left with is a film that becomes essential viewing for action & martial arts fans
Reviewed By: Phil Hobden
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