I fell in to the trap. Ninjas, the intimation of zombies, how could I resist? The cover looks cool but if anything, the title should have screamed ‘B’ movie at me. Not that all B movies are necessarily bad.
What we have is post apocalyptic world, probably Earth, where the survivors have divvied themselves in to clans. Ninja clans. The overall ruler, Fumitaka (played by the great Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who has been in practically every film where a Japanese villain is required!) gets assassinated and the infamous ‘lost clan’ get the blame. Running for their lives, the lost clan get a bit losterer and end up on the lower levels of a buried tower block where no one comes back alive.
The opening fight scene has a ninja materialise a shuriken out of thin air using magic. Apparently, each ninja has various ninja gifts that can be harnessed. Enter the heroes, who appear more like they’ve just come from a corporate team building paintballing trip. As the title intimates, there are zombies, but you have to wait well in to the film.
The fight scenes were good. Just hovering over average but I wasn’t blown away by it. Three people shone out. Mar played by Tara Macken was believable and quite hardcore. Her moves were fluid and powerful and showed that she must have had some previous training. The beautiful Antionette Kalaj was excellent at playing the sexy seductress and Sky played by Isaac C Singleton, a powerfully built man had to work twice as hard at acting due to the constraints of his character.
When trapped in the building, the film felt like a cross between The Last Air Bender and The Raid. The film was written by Ashley Scott Meyers and directed by Lloyd Lee Barnett, never heard of him? That’s because he has only directed two films. But he is an impressive visual effects man with 67 film credits under his belt for visual effects, including Avatar. This is shown in Ninja Apocalypse with some quite unnecessary visuals, including putting the CGI blood splat machine into overdrive and lighting up sword blades during a duel like lightsabres.
However, on the whole, not the worst that I’ve seen.