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Ninja II: Shadow of A Tear (Blu-ray Review)

Ninja 2 - www.whysoblu.comFight everyone and trust no one: it’s the code of survival practiced by martial arts master Casey Bowman (Scott Adkins) after his life of domestic bliss is shattered by a savage act of violence. With the help of his friend Nakabara (Kane Kosugi), the fearless American retrains his responses and elevates his battle skills to seek justice for his wife’s murder. In the ultimate confrontation, Casey must reflect on his teachings to become an invisible warrior worthy of the title Ninja.  

 

Ninja II - www.whysoblu.com

Film 

Ninja II: Shadow of A Tear is the latest DTV (direct-to-video) adventure that feature ninjas. It’s the story of Casey Bowman who has settled down with his wife in Japan to live happily ever after. Cue her dreadful death at the hands of a shadowy assassin and you get a husband, who is also skilled in the ways of the ninja, out for revenge! The shadowy assassin is linked to a vicious drug lord that operates out of Thailand, so our man Casey must travel there to exact his revenge. That’s the gist of the story. A ninja husband out for revenge against other ninjas? In Thailand? Hell yeah!

This is technically the sequel to Ninja that was also directed by Isaac Florentine and starred Adkins, and they also threw in that secondary title of “Shadow of A Tear,” which doesn’t mean anything – it’s the studio trying to be clever, I suppose. What else is there to say about Ninja II that hasn’t already been said? Let me begin by saying that Ninja II is one of the best action flicks of 2013! Yeah, I went there. I’ve already been a fan of Scott Adkins/Isaac Florentine’s past collaborations and they’ve yet to disappoint me in anything that they have done.

Ninja II is a fun and brutal ninja film homage to the classic ninja flicks of the past (my childhood for example) and it really doesn’t hold back in any department. The fights are all lovingly choreographed to kick your ass – there is no exaggerated wirework or CGI effects anywhere to be found in the fights. You will feel every kick, punch and super kicks and punches without having to say that it looks fake due to bad CGI. There is no CGI! I love it.

It was also cool to see some familiar faces like Kane Kosugi (son of the legendary Sho Kosugi, the original Ninja of cinema!) and Vithaya Pansringarm (Only God Forgives) in their respective roles. The added coolness of filming in Thailand also gave the film a certain sense of exoticness, because ninja films usually take place in Japan or big metropolitan areas. Ninja II went against the grain and even the scenes that supposedly take place in Japan where shot in Thailand.

I hope that Ninja II finds an audience as all of Florentine/Adkins flicks have done so. Isaac Florentine and Scott Adkins is a match made in low-budget DTV heaven. Here’s hoping that the success of Ninja II brings them the chance to collaborate on a bigger budget film that can be seen in theaters. We gotta let Hollywood know that these guys mean business. If you’re a martial arts/action fanatic Ninja II definitely deserves your attention. Here it is in all its high definition glory!

Ninja 2 - www.whysoblu.com

Video 

Ninja II: Shadow of A Tear is presented in 1080p, 1.78:1 widescreen. The image fills up the entire screen quite nicely. It’s a decent picture for the most part. It’s only real faults lie in that some scenes are a bit too soft. This is rectified during night time scenes. Black levels are surprisingly strong and never crush. Edge enhancement does creep up here and there but it’s not as distracting as the softness. Even then it’s not a big deal. The color palette is very vibrant especially during the daylight scenes in Thailand and the scenes in Japan, which Thailand doubled for.

Ninja II - www.whysoblu.com

Audio 

Ninja II: Shadow of A Tear is presented in DTS-HD MA 5.1. I think you guys hold by a full body brace and have someone strap you in, because this lossless soundtrack will definitely pummel you into a blissful submission. Dialogue is ultra clear and for those characters that speak English as their second language; there won’t be an issue in understanding them due to audio anomalies. Every brutal punch, kick, jump kick, triple kick, twirling triple kick, etc., sound AMAZING! You will think that it’s you getting the crap beat out of. The LFE channel handled the rumble in the jungle quite nicely. The rear surround channels took care of the gunfire whizzing by with any problems. I’m stoked that a low budget DTV feature like this one was given lots of love in the audio department. Well done, lads!

Ninja 2 - www.whysoblu.com

Extras 

Ninja II comes equipped with a couple extras like a small featurette along with some interviews with the cast and crew and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film. The total running time comes to about half an hour if that. They’re presented in SD.

  • Featurette (SD)
  • Cast and Crew Interviews (SD)
  • Behind the Scenes (SD)

Ninja II - www.whysoblu.com

Summary     

Ninja II was such a great flashback to the martial arts/ninja movies of my youth. Scott Adkins and Isaac Florentine are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to martial arts films. Here’s hoping that a lot of you give Ninja II the chance it deserves, because we need to see an Undisputed 4 film. I reckon that will come to fruition if Ninja II: Shadow of A Tear is successful on the DTV market. The Blu-ray is has good video and reference audio, so you will get to feel it all in high definition.

 

 

Order Ninja II: Shadow of A Tear on Blu-ray!
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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

1 Response to “Ninja II: Shadow of A Tear (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Brandon Peters

    I enjoyed the HELL out of this movie. The DTV action scene has been hitting a golden age in the past couple years, outdoing a lot of what’s been happening at the multiplexes. That’s why you never judge a book by its cover (type/genre/budget/etc).

    I still need to see Undisputed III. Scott Adkins is the man!