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Saw this early at the Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas and it is quite
possibly the greatest DTV action movie ever made.
Though many would not be proud of it, but I am a DTV (direct to video) expert. I subject myself to watching pretty much every DTV action movie ever made. Though most of them are just absolutely awful, it is all worth it when a Unisol Regen or Blood and Bone comes along and blows you away.
The main problems with dtv movies are: 1. Zero budget 2. Shaky cam/quick edits 3. Actors not willing to put in the work for the fight scenes to look realistic 4. Stupid plots with dumb romances
Though Ninja Shadow of a Tear is on a small budget, all of the aforementioned problems are fixed. The movie is completely without shaky cam and quick editing. The plot is very basic and there is no fat to try and make it anything other than what it is....an incredible action movie. And finally, the incredible Scott Adkins and the amazing stunt team put in some amazing fights.
One scene in particular is Scott Adkins versus 6 guys in a dojo and the entire fight is filmed in one take with zero editing...like the Alphonso Cauron of DTV shots. It was absolutely amazing.
Just an amazing fight movie that takes the best fight scenes ever and mixes it with Rambo, old Cannon movies from the 80's, and Enter the Dragon and other Asian flicks from the 70's. Just a perfect movie that looks like a big budget Hollywood flick. Not a single dollar was wasted and no goofy cgi or wires were used.
I can't recommend this movie enough. The action is incredible and everything came together to make one of the best fight films of all- time.
Hollywood, please wake up and give Adkins/Florentine a budget and I think you would be amazing at what they can do.
If you are looking to check out other great DTV movies and save yourself the trouble of all the nonsense and garbage I have seen, check out the following. But most importantly, check out Ninja Shadow of a Tear when it is released. It is a definitely blu-ray buy for me.
1. Universal Solider Regeneration 2. Ninja Shadow of a Tear 3. Blood and Bone 4. Undisputed 3 5. Wake of Death (pretty much all of the Van Dammes are watchable) 6. Undisputed 2 7. Universal Soldier Day of Reckoning (just watch the last 45 minutes)
The action and the fight scenes are the best and the budget is smaller than the first Ninja. But Ninja 2 the fighting looks more realistic and using more MMA into it than the first one. Best part is that they casted Scott Adkins and he actually knows martial arts. His kicking skills are the best I've seen. Let's face it most ninja movies now days suck balls and have actors that can't fight. But Scott Adkins pulls it off and he does some amazing realistic kicks, mid arm bar submissions. The only thing I was disappointed in was that he only wore the ninja suit for a small part of the movie. But the ninja suit and mask was very realistic. I thought about NiNJA GaIDEN, maybe the should cast Adkins as the lead role for a movie version from the classic Ninja GAiden video game. Best Ninja movie since the movie American Ninja!! SEriously you bitches who think Scott doesn't know the art of the ninja ? Read his frocking biography! He studies various martial arts!
I will start by saying, I have never reviewed a movie on IMDb before
but felt compelled to do. Scott Atkins is the new van damme.
I cant say much for the plot / storyline however the acting was fine, and the action was beautifully choreographed. It looked so real. The action more than makes up for the lack of depth within the story itself. Scott for me, carries the film but he does it so well.
I hope Hollywood pays attention to this guy as he is extremely talented. As crazy as it sounds being that this was a Direct to TV movie, I was thoroughly engaged and entertained throughout the whole film. Its Fast paced almost from the get go and action packed.
I hope to see Scott in some big budget block busters next year and beyond.
CRAZY!. It is up there with Undisputed, Great fight scenes and taken in
one shot which makes it look even better. Good fighters this time
unlike the first Ninja movie, not to mention highly coordinated kick
#@$@# fight scenes.Lets see if Raid 2 and TYG2 can outdo Shadow of a
Tear,...Scotty seems better than ever,I wish this came out in Theater
would have been nice to see this on the big screen. Undisputed 4 is
coming out.. cant wait! Story is lacking but who cares, and anyone who
knows about this movie, does not care about a PLot or love story, they
just want people beating the crap out of each other. Nicely done and a
nice recovery for Scott.
Also recommend SPECIAL ID... for those who cant get enough.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Classic revenge story with bosses and personal motivations. What
matters is that the martial arts shines and it does here. All the
fights are amazing, fast, and with lots of power put into it.
Spectacular martial arts and these guys are in top shape. Visually the
camera-work is great, with proper focus on the acrobatics, and some
slow motion tastefully added a to showcase the artists but never
breaking the flow of fighting - they did a real good job with following
the action. Honestly I wasn't expecting such great work going into this
movie session on some straight to TV material. I mean rooftop chases,
bar scenes, street/taxi, dojo, jungle rambo stuff, fighting, language,
acting. Plus Adkins is blessed by nature so he's a great martial
artists who actually looks pretty good on screen. Anyways I came out
amazed and I've many many martial flicks and I really like this one.
It's a sure bet in my opinion.
Hopefully Adkins and all can do more of exactly that - top notch ninja flick the likes of which we haven't seen since the 80's. Oh, and I didn't really like the 2009 movie, but this one is spot on.
I have long been a fan of Isaac Florentine, for many many years now.
His films always aim to grab that feel from the 80's classics of Hong Kong cinema, yet are often marred by weak story lines and silly acting.
That said, one thing that always stands out is the fight scenes - and none more so than this awesome sequel, Ninja: Shadow Of A Tear!
I liked the first Ninja movie and thought Scott Adkins, as always, proved his worth as a martial arts actor. There was just a small hint of 'meh' that surrounded the first causing it to be slightly forgettable.
It seems though, with Shadow Of A Tear, that hint of 'meh' has been thrown to the side!
Again, acting and story line plays second fiddle to what is possibly some of the best fight scenes ever put to film in a Western production!
Beautifully shot, crisp with amazing choreography, I felt that Ninja: Shadow Of A Tear stands punches and kicks above the over-rated hit, The Raid...
Ninja: Shadow of a Tear continues the story of Casey Bowman (Scott
Adkins), an American raised in a Japanese dojo. Since the events of the
first film, Casey has settled down to run the dojo after the demise of
his master. But now a new threat rears its head as his pregnant is
murderer while he's out for groceries. Fueled by rage, Casey travels to
Thailand in order to avenge his wife.
This film works as a sequel. It continues the storyline instead of just telling the exact same story with new villains, the old cast is back and the story stays faithful to the characters. Furthermore, Adkins is still very believably in his role, both physically and mentally. The tone of the film is perhaps even darker than in the original, and it show's in Adkins' acting. His brooding and occasional bouts of rage feel justified - not just merely cheap tricks to make him seem more antiheroish - especially when his true character shines through most of the time.
The action and the fight scenes are still the best part of this franchise. Adkins is a skilled martial artist and the film makers have a good eye for shooting the fights in a way that makes them seem exciting and new. There's flair to them, but no so much that it seems unrealistic.
Ninja: Shadow of a Tear is easily recommended for all those that enjoyed the first film and want to see more. It's also a good martial arts action film in general.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Finally!!! After watching ten or fifteen martial arts movies, in the last 4 or 5 months, finally I've watched a great one. One of the best martial arts movies I've ever seen, awesome. Loved the twist on the end, didn't expect that, brilliant. As a die hard Scott Adkins fan, I've loved Undisputed, but to me this is his best movie ever. The story may not be as good as Undisputed, but the action is ten times better, just brilliant. I hope he continues down this road, because to me, it is a good one. In Portugal people call him the next Jean Claude Van Damme, also someone I admire because of his fighting skills, but to me he is just SCOTT ADKINS, and he's on his best. Cheers.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am a huge fan of this guy. No matter how many films of his I see, I
am still surprised at the fluidity and precision he displays during
every action sequence. The guy's just athletically gifted...period.
When Adkins is paired up with Florentine, the results are typically spectacular. Florentine allows his action sequences to breathe unlike more famous/successful directors like Paul Greengrass or Joe Carnahan. These guys could take a lesson or two from Florentine. He keeps the camera wide, allowing his capable actors room to breathe and show us what they can do. Furthermore, he uses precisely placed zooms and camera shifts to follow the action...as Adkins is a really quick guy. The choreography, by Tim Man (seen in the film as Goro's right hand man), is excellent as well, creating a perfect formula for fantastic, hard-hitting action sequences that elevate the film above it's weak plotting...and unfortunately...acting.
I will, however, always forgive guys like Adkins and Kane Kosugi their flaws in the acting department, simply because of what they are able to do once it's time to turn the juice on. Casey, with the glorious exception of his acrobatic, and more importantly, brutal ass kicking, is a pretty standard protagonist. The revenge story in this film is very familiar, and you've no doubt seen it a thousand times. Ultimately, you buy it enough to lend weight to the action; you care about Casey's mission. Maybe not a lot...but enough.
The movie's twist ending doesn't take you by surprise at all, but you're grateful for it anyway. The final fight sequence between Casey and the "twist boss" is so very awesome. The twist doesn't serve the plot. The twist gives us a fight sequence between two well-respected action auteurs. That's what we want. We don't care HOW these guys come to blows. We just want to see it happen...and it's worth it.
With the exception of that final sequence, however, the "boss fights" are relatively brief. Goro vs Casey and Goro's stooge vs Casey are great sequences, but I could have used more of them.
All in all, Ninja: Shadow of a Tear is a huge step above its predecessor. Action film fans rejoice. Shoestring budgeted action films that cruise on talent alone are still out there...and guys like Adkins and Florentine are making films that crush their Hollywood counterparts. Maybe if James McTeague would learn about soft lighting, Ninja Assassin might could stand a chance against something like Shadow of a Tear. In this reviewer's opinion, however, Ninja Assassin wishes it was Shadow of a Tear.
See this movie...unless you're a female or a pussy.
Don't snob the movie because of the title. While I have seen my fair
share of Dudikoff starring Ninja movies, I'd rather watch something
like this. Scott Adkins therefor is being called the new van Damme and
not Dudikoff for a reason. And while this movie does not have any big
surprises in it (you will be able to know where this is going, waiting
for the next action scene to start), it is highly enjoyable.
Especially during the well choreographed fight scenes. Which sometimes are very long takes (no cutting away and therefor even more difficult to perform and get it right). There is also some trickery involved while shooting those scenes and if that was done on set and not afterward, the movie deserves even more respect than it already has gotten from me.
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