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A westerner named Casey, studying Ninjutsu in Japan, is asked by the Sensei to return to New York to protect the legendary Yoroi Bitsu, an armored chest that contains the weapons of the last Koga Ninja.
Two former para-military operatives, Johnny and his police detective friend Peter, search Bangkok to find the killers of Johnny's beautiful daughter Angel - Leaving carnage and retribution throughout city.
John looks to take down Luc Deveraux after a home invasion claims his wife and daughter. The fight pits John against Andrew Scott and an army of genetically enhanced warriors; meanwhile, he must contend with a UniSol in relentless pursuit.
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
Fight everyone and trust no one: it's the code of survival practiced by martial-arts master Casey Bowman after his life of domestic bliss is shattered by a savage act of violence. Vowing revenge, the fearless American stealthily tracks the killer from Osaka to Bangkok to Rangoon with the help of a wise and crafty sensei. His only clues: a series of victims whose necks bear the distinctive mark of strangulation by barbed wire. Fighting to avenge as well as to survive, Casey must sharpen his razor-like responses and take his battle skills to the next level, even using deep meditation to fake his own death. His target: the sinister drug lord Goro, who is flooding the streets with deadly meth cooked at his remote jungle factory. To prepare for his ultimate confrontation, Casey must finally become an invisible warrior worthy of the name Ninja. But just when his prey is cornered, an unexpected twist shows Casey that his battle is only beginning: he truly can trust no one. Written by
Undistinguished storyline, but packs a punch in the action stakes
NINJA: SHADOW OF A TEAR is a follow-up to the surprisingly decent NINJA, an action flick starring Brit martial artist Scott Adkins and directed by direct-to-DVD helmer Isaac Florentine. This one has a different scope in that the chief character, Casey, having been banned from returning to the USA after the events of the first movie, trawls southeast Asia in a straightforward and undistinguished revenge storyline.
Okay, so the plot is nothing new, it's the kind of simple, join-the-dots stuff you'd expect to be written by a high school student. The twists are obvious from the outset and there's a slight weariness and staleness to the whole concept. The acting isn't much to write home about, either; Adkins is passable, a briefly returning Mika Hijii is a joy while she's around, and Kane Kosugi is slowing becoming a younger version of his father, but nobody else makes an impact.
It's good news, then, that this film really hits home when it comes to the action stakes. NINJA: SHADOW OF A TEAR packs a punch in terms of hard-hitting martial arts action, and it's filled to the brim with well-choreographed mayhem. The fights are incredibly hard-hitting and the actors are accomplished performers who are performing to the best of their ability. There's nothing not to love; this is outstanding stuff, and the best straight-to-video action flick of the year.
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