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Ninja“With a little-known but talented cast
  and terrific action sequences, Ninja
  is a tense and exciting film that quickly
  sets the scene for a fantastic martial
  arts adventure with an intriguing story
  of envy and ruthless ambition...”

IN PRESENT-DAY JAPAN, the Sensei (Togo Igawa) oversees those who are studying Ninjutsu under him in the knowledge that one day one of them will be the next Soke, the head of the dojo.

Among his trainees is his daughter, Namiko Takata (Mika Hijii) and the ruthlessly ambitious Masazuka (Tsuyoshi Ihara: Letters From Iwo Jima; Retribution), who is powerfully balanced and decisive and secretly dreams of taking the place of the Sensei to gain control over the Yoroi Bitsu, a chest that contains the powerful weapons of the Ninja warriors for the last thousand years, including the last Koga Ninja.

But Masazuka harbours a deep resentment and envy of the accomplished American Casey (Scott Adkins: X-Men Origins: Wolverine; The Bourne Ultimatum; The Shepherd; Border Patrol; Undisputed II; Last Man Standing), who has the affections of both the Sensei and his daughter and who is described by the Sensei as being "like the gentle wind, building strength through training and dedication". Neither will be complete until each has mastered the virtues of the other.

As the two men train together Masazuka's hatred boils over and he attempts to kill Casey, an action that causes his banishment from the dojo and the end of the dream that is his life.

When the time draws near to name his successor, the Sensei displays the sacred trove of the Ninja ancestry, the Yoroi Bitsu. But Masazuka, his bitterness spiralling out of control, comes back to the dojo and poses a threat to its very existence.

Fearing Masazuka's return, the Sensei sends Casey and his daughter to accompany the Yoroi Bitsu to New York, to his most trusted friend Professor Paul Garrett (Garrick Hagen). As the hope of the future, the Yoroi Bitsu must be protected at all costs.

While in America, there is disappointment as Casey tries to trace his family. But when the Professor is murdered Casey and Namiko find themselves on the run in the streets of New York, framed for their friend's death.

What does Masazuka have to do with the murder of Russian oil magnate Yuri Klimitov, the head of Temple Industries and a mysterious secret society called The Ring? Casey and Namiko will have to evade capture by both the police and the bad guys to stay free long enough to get all the answers.

Although there are some gruesome shots in the film, including when Masazuka attacks the dojo, Ninja is exciting, tense and beautifully filmed and the fight sequences are skilfully choreographed. This is a film of greed and envy, passion and obsession. Only one man can take on Masazuka — and Casey proves himself to be more than capable. Terrific stunts and the amazing Ninjutsu action sequences are co-ordinated by legendary martial arts expert Fumio Demura.

Ninja also features: Todd Jensen as Detective Trasler; Miles Anderson as Temple; Valentin Ganer as Kimitov; Masaki Orishi as Ryuu; and Kenji Motomiya as Akira. Music is by Steve Edwards; Director of Photography is Ross Clarkson, HKSC, ACS; Fight Choreography is by Yuji Noguchi; Produced by Les Weldon, Danny Lerner and Boaz Davison; Story by Boaz Davidson; Written by Michael Hurst and Boaz Davidson; Directed by Isaac Florentine (The Shepherd; Border Patrol; Undisputed II; Last Man Standing).

From renowned action director and trained martial arts expert Isaac Florentine, Ninja is a full-tilt martial arts movie boasting groundbreaking CGI and is released by Lionsgate Home Entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray on 15 March 2010. Running Time: 83 Minutes Approximately (Blu-ray 87 Minutes approximately) | Certificate: 18 | DVD: 12.99; Blu-ray Disc: 19.99. Extras — Way Of The Warrior: Ninja.

"Ninja is exciting, tense and beautifully filmed and the fight sequences are skilfully choreographed" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar