7 & 7 Review: Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear

[7 & 7 Reviews take a look at 7 Core Aspects of any product in a neat review format.]

I’ll be honest up until this past weekend, I had never heard of Ninja or Ninja 2. Let’s be honest, it’s an extremely generic title. But I was perusing some Top X lists of 2013, and saw a website name this as one of the best action movies of 2013! I wanted to move away from a month of mostly Christmas-centric films and this was available digital first so I bought it and downloaded it. Here are my thoughts on Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear!

  1. The Name Sounds Like a Video Game or a Tom Clancy Novel – This isn’t a knock or a plus for the movie. Just something I noticed when first heard it.
  2. This is a Video Game – This movie structure is pretty much like any action video game you’ve played. The main characters wads through a bunch of similar looking goons before he takes on a big boss battle. Rinse and repeat until the climactic battle.
  3. The Action Works – It’s a great thing then that the action is the movie’s strong suit. Mostly all clean action sequence done by the actors which are well-choreographed and shot. It’s also extremely grounded, which is a novel concept in an action movie these days. And low on the use of guns instead focusing on punches, kicks and knives. Lots of knives!
  4. The Star-Strangle Banner – The coolest weapon in the film, and something different for me, was the main weapon of the villain of the film. Visually, it was something different than most films I’ve seen, and even in the course of the movie leaves two very distinct marks on its victim. It was pretty cool to see in action.
  5. The Plot Thinnens! – The movie is held together by a paper-thin plot that only serves to get the lead in place for another set piece. Also full of predictable and easy tropes. We first meet his wife, and friend and I took bets on whether she was going to be kidnapped or killed… then she announced she was pregnant which meant death so of course she dies one scene later. The twist of who the true bad guy is, is also fairly predictable. It’s not bad, but wish it was more interesting.
  6. The Characters Cut From A Sheet – With a plot as predictable and safe as this, the characters are also fairly one-dimensional. The actors do a pretty decent job with their limited roles, but these are limited roles. The stoic and driven hero, the vile villain, the loyal and adorable wife, the naive best friend, and the rest.
  7. Ninja Zero – This movie while being a sequel seemingly does a great job of standing on its own. I’ve never seen the original as noted above, and had no problem following this movie at all. I’d imagine his marriage/wife were introduced in the original, but the story and action are pretty self-contained to this film.

Review Score: 4 (out of 7) This is a tough movie to review. The action sequences are some of the best you’ll see this year, but the movie that surrounds them is fairly generic and bring nothing special to the table. There are a ton of fight sequences though! Come for the fights, and try to smile through the rest! 

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