Main cast: Christian Oliver (Cage), Les Brandt (Surge), Ernie Reyes Jr (Hiroshi), Isaac C Singleton Jr (Sky), Kaiwi Lyman (Trillion), West Liang (Becker), Tara Macken (Mar), Antoinette Kalaj (Siren), Alvin Hsing (Horace), and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Master Fumitaka)
Director: Lloyd Lee Barnett
Ninja Apocalypse should have been fabulous. A throwback of sorts to the cheesy martial arts fantasy flicks of the 1980s, this one has ninjas, sword fights, hadokens, zombies, and Shang Tsung calling for a gathering of the finest warriors in the land. Thing is, there aren’t many ninjas here, and the lead character is a colossal idiot who sent all his people to their deaths.
Set in a dystopian future after the Great War, people now live in clans. Apparently everyone’s a martial artist now, and each clan member has some kind of secret power unique only to the clan. Our main character, Cage, leads the Lost Clan and people in the Lost Clan can apparently create electric fireballs and imbue their weapons with electrical powers. At any rate, Master Fumitaka, apparently the boss of everyone, calls for the leaders of the Clans to meet at his place. I say “apparently” often because I’m guessing – many things aren’t made explicitly clear here as the movie wastes no time getting into the action.
Sure enough, Master Fumitaka is assassinated after he has told the Clans that they need to set aside their differences and unite in order to repel some incoming invading force, and Cage is singled out as the killer. He and his four hangers-on now have to fight their way out of Fumitaka’s underground palace, which also has what seems like… a zombie infestation, I guess. That’s basically the plot. Fight, fight, fight!
The biggest problem here is Cage. He’s a moron. He tolerates the motormouth asshole Surge’s constant disobedience and even that man’s repeated efforts to kill him just because they are brothers or something. Despite the others’ protests, he decides that they should all split up as per Surge’s suggestion, and that’s the moment he can be held accountable for the deaths of his other underlings. This man is stupid, and he also comes off as spineless very often. Insultingly, these very traits are repeatedly lauded as those of an honorable ninja leader, and I can’t roll up my eyes hard enough.
The movie basically dies after the people behind this movie run out of money to pay Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa – the rest of the cast act with all the charisma and star power of a wet rag. Then again, the cast members’ resemblance to lumber may be due to their roles having zero discernible personality. The fight scenes are just as lackluster – the choreography feels half-baked and unconvincing.
On the bright side, I have to admire how the people behind the movie actually succeed in putting together a low budget film that still looks halfway decent, all things considered. The set pieces and costume aren’t too bad either, and the entire setting feels considerably dystopian like it should be. Not that all these matter in the long run – with the script, the fight scenes, and the acting all being bottom tier, Ninja Apocalypse is a waste of time.