In 2009 Scott Adkins took on the role that just about every kid dreams of: a ninja! The movie Ninja was released in 2009, and was a real movie for Scott Adkins fans -filled with Martial Arts fights and acrobatic action. The idea behind ‘Ninja’ is all about following the code of ninjas, who are described at the start of the film:
“In feudal Japan, A Ninja was a mercenary, trained in the martial arts, espionage and assassination.
Outlawed in the 1600’s, the tradition was kept alive in secret, the deadly art handed down from generation to generation.”
Our main guy Casey (played by Scott Adkins), finds himself living at a Ninjutsu dojo when he’s a child, after being taken in by the Soke, when his father died. He then grows up to be trained in the art of Ninjutsu (as well as general ass kickery).
Things start to become tense…
A fellow student named Masazuka (Tsuyoshi Ihara) decides he doesn’t like Casey (I think after seeing him hitting things off with Namiko played by Mika Hijii), and begins to give him a hard time.
During practice Masazuka attacks Casey with the intention to to kill, after stealing a Katana from by-standing student. Casey defends himself, and Masazuka is expelled from the school.
Masazuka, then basically becomes a Ninja Assassin in the modern world. Killing people for money, he’s become quite a dangerous man.
When Masazuka learns of Sensei’s intention to name the position of Soke, and pass down the Yoroi Bitsu – a chest filled with the suit and weapons of the last Koga Ninja. Masazuka must have this for himself, as he believes he is rightfully Soke, so he makes it his mission to steal it.
From there Casey and Namiko head to America with the chest, to hide it, when they are pursued by Masazuka, and all hell breaks lose from there (you know, plenty of fights, kicks and awesome flips! ).
The natural growth of a Martial Artist
Scott Adkin’s character Casey is always training, far beyond the normal hours of any other student, which is another reason Masazuka begins to get jealous. But it seems evident throughout the film that Masauka is the more powerful fighter, but as Casey is put into the action of actual combat, his ability then seems to further develop.
While most of the henchmen sent by the ring (oh yeah, more bad guys!) are quite easily beaten by Casey, he kills a few in combat during the rage of the fight.
You can then see the fear and regret in his face after making his first kills (in self defense), as something he not only wants to avoid, but simply is not used to, in opposite fashion to Masazuka.
Being thrown into live combat, he evolves to the point where he starts to become more of a match for Masazuka, before dawning the Yoroi Bitzu outfit, and fighting against Masazuka when what could symbolically be described as a battle between the modern ways of Masazuka and the strong code of the traditional ninja.
Namiko and Casey
Namiko seems quite taken by Casey in the beginning of the film, but no approach is really made by either to express their feelings for each other. It isn’t until they’re on the run, alone that they must rely on each other’s support to stay emotionally stable.
You can slowly see their relationship developing up until Namiko is kidnapped by Masazuka. Once they are reunited, Namiko’s life is threatened when she is poisoned, which causes Casey to jump into a bit of rage in his battle with Masazuka, he then reveals his love for her (at a very cinematically appropriate moment!), and they then seem to hit it off form there.
The Fight Scenes
This movie is about as ‘martial arts’ as a martial arts movie can get. You’ve got a top notch leading man like Scott Adkins playing of all things, a NINJA!
When I was a kid, if I saw a movie about ninja’s I think I would’ve freaked out! (In a good way) On top of that, the fight scenes are as exciting as you can expect from Adkins, and even some of the fights that don’t involve his talents.
One thing that seems to be done well with Isaac Florentine’s movies is the vary speeds that the fight scenes run at. This really creates an impression of force behind certain parts of each scene.
At the beginning whilst everyone is training at the dojo, you’ve got some good world class martial artists showcasing their stuff. The scene where Masazuka attacks the dojo at night, showcases some awesome sword work, with a very modern shooting style (as mentioned above, the slow and fast varying speeds of each fight scene).
But one of my favorite scenes is the fight against the Henchmen in their meeting room. Scott Adkins really showcases some impressive moves during this fight, taking apart each of the henchmen with a series of acrobatic kicks and moves, each move looking absolutely flawless.
Although this movie comes across as a standard formula fight movie, there messages there that anyone really paying attention can take from it.
Where to find the movie
If you like this movie or want to see, you can find easily online below.
On Blu-Ray –
Region A (US & Canada)
Ninja on Blu-ray
Region B (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, etc)
Ninja on Blu-ray
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
Ninja on DVD
Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
Ninja on DVD
Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
Ninja on DVD
or Watch Ninja Online Here
(US & Canada)