Isaac Florentine’s Ninja  is not too convincing but entertaining
Director Isaac Florentine did well with the second and third installment of Undisputed. However, his 2009 martial art action film Ninja is not as convincing.
The film starring the energetic and athletic Scott Adkins (Yuri Boyka in Undisputed II & III) and Japanese actress Mika Hijii (Alien vs. Ninja) was written by Boaz Davidson and Michael Hurst with supporting acts from Tsuyoshi Ihara, Todd Jensen, Garrick Hagon and Togo Igawa.
The story revolves around Casey (Adkins) and Namiko (Hijii), and their quest to protect the Yoroi Bitsu, a sacred ancient chest containing the last remaining weapons of the Koga ninja from the clutches of their evil nemesis Masazuko (Ihara).
The relationship between Casey and Masazuko bears striking similarities to Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Casey like Snake Eyes is an outsider, a Caucasian, adopted into the clan as boy.
Although, both fighters show strength and determination, Masazuko detests Casey and only shows contempt for him. However, when the Soke seems to show favour towards Casey, Masazuko is enraged and in the attempt to obtain the Yoroi Bitsu, murders their master.
As a martial artist, I found the fight scenes a bit too long. The art of ninjitsu involves deadly strikes and kick to end an attack as soon as possible. However, the fights choreographed for film take too long to end. I guess, for purposes of filming, it was necessary, however, unrealistic. The fighting style showcases too much Tae Kwon Do (TKD) and karate and does not fully express ninjitsu.
Japanese karate expert Fumio Demura also makes an appearance as Shihan Dai. Master Demura is no stranger to the screen having featured in the Karate Kid series, Blood and Bone, and a number of documentaries about the martial arts.
As an Adkins fan, I expected more. Unfortunately, Ninja does not deliver. Unlike, Ninja Assassin, this one has toned down violence with unrealistic, computer generated blood splatters and unhidden ninjas – ninjas are supposed to be stealthy. Nonetheless, it is still entertaining.