I will be honest, when this video was first given to me to review I thought it would be nothing more then a blood fest of gore and dismemberment. I was pleasantly surprised by this film as it actually had a plot, even if it was from Nu Image. It actually had a good plot, it had a solid foundation and beginning that moved smoothly through the various stages of story telling. True, it did have some anime style blood splattering in it but that was not its focus. The focus of the film was that of 2 men who were raised almost like brothers having to learn from one another and at the same time fight each other. A classic good versus bad in this film and even a love interest thrown in to soften its edges. Director Isaac Florentine did a great job with this film.
Casey (Scott Adkins) is an orphan that was taken in by a ninjutsu dojo that had been training and teaching the arts of shadow warrior for centuries. Casey’s mother left him with his father and went to the US and then shortly after that his father drank himself to death. With no place to go he was taken in by Sensei (Togo Igawa) and began training at the school. A dojo and school that had a tradition that if a person where to wear the armor of the schools founder that they would become invincible while wearing it. Every master of the school was hand chosen by the previous master to take up his place and be the next guardian of the armor that was holy to that clan.
It is this armor that the movie is centered around, Casey and Masazuka (Tsuyoshi Ihara) are the schools top students if not always the best fighters. Masazuka is all drive and focus while Casey is considerate and thoughtful. If both qualities were to be combined into one student they would be the one to succeed Sensei as the guardian of the armor and weapons as well as the next leader of the dojo. Casey really doesn’t want that but Masazuka wants it so bad that he would kill for it. It is his anger and jealousy of Casey that leads him to actually attack Casey with a unsheathed sword on the dojo ground. Not only was he jealous of the masters favor of Casey but also the love that he saw between Casey and the Sensei’s daughter Namiko.
Namiko (Mika Hijii) is a master of the bo, the staff, and is always correcting Casey and batting an eyelash or two at him. Casey knows that he should not get involved but both of them know that it is a loosing battle between them. Sensei knows what is going on but lets them figure it out on their own. He seems to know how it will all end up anyway and knows that Casey is never going to take advantage of anyone at the school, especially Namiko. It is this passion for respect and thoughtfulness of others that is swaying Sensei to favor Casey as his successor. All of this is just setting Masazuka on edge and will eventually force him out of the school.
I could go on to tell the whole story but I really do not want to spoil it for those that are going to watch Ninja. It is really worth seeing and seeing more then once. This is one film that you will laugh at, hold your breath at and cheer as you watch the story unfold before your eyes. I just wish more of Nu Images films were done as well as this one was.
I give this film a Musing review of