Title: Ninja II: Shadow of a Tear
Directed by: Isaac Florentine
Starring: Scott Adkins, Vithaya Pansringarm, Mika Hijii, Shun Sugata, Ron Smoorenburg
Running time: 94 minutes, Rated R, Available on DVD
Special Features: Featurette, Cast & Crew Interviews, Behind the Scenes
Casey Bowman (Scott Adkins) and his pregnant wife Namiko (Mika Hijii) are living the idyllic life in Japan. He goes out to purchase a special necklace, get’s confronted by muggers but he holds his own and brings the gift home to his wife. Sometime later, an intruder murders his young wife and unborn child. Casey returns to his old dojo after his former classmate returns for the funeral and trains to exact his revenge on those responsible.
I never saw the first Ninja. When I saw it was a white guy, I thought “Holy Shit it’s Jeff Speakman!” Scott Adkins even looks like Jeff Speakman. If you’ve never seen “The Perfect Weapon” you probably were born after 1991 or your parents didn’t love you. He was the better looking/better acting alternative to Steven Segal.
Ninja 2 is a pretty standard tale of revenge. He dons the ninja outfit and takes out the bad guys in creative ways until he has a lackluster fight with the big boss…but wait…there’s more to the story. Things aren’t as they appear to be. The murder of the wife was just the big plan to get Casey take out the boss for something more sinister.
It’s a cliche story, but the fighting is fantastic and realistic. Finally a film with decent production value and no “wire-fu” acrobatics which makes up for the campy and flat acting. There’s not too many white martial artist actors that could compete with the likes of Speakman, Segal, Van Damme or even the “Bill Brasky” of present Chuck Norris, but with a little time and practice, Scott Adkins could be on his way.
Total Rating: B
Reviewed by: JM Willis