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NINJA 2: SHADOW OF A TEAR is an excellent example of how the direct-to-video market is the best place to see true action films.  I guess I could go on about how NINJA 2 contains more than enough perfectly filmed fight scenes to satisfy the most die hard action aficionado.  But I feel there is a lot more going on with this film and other works by one of the greatest action directors ever, Isaac Florentine.  What makes director Isaac Florentine so unique is his appreciation of all the elements that go into making a great action film.  NINJA 2 showcases all these elements in fine form.  What we get with this film is a solid story, a strong well acted protagonist, a dark and strange antagonist and uncompromisingly violent action scenes that deliver the goods.  All of these movie elements are of course put together and maintained by the director who knows how to use the camera to heighten every experience on screen for best dramatic effect whether it be a punch to the face or a emotion expressed by a character.

I think the most overlooked component of Florentine's films is the story.  We get too distracted by all the punching, kicking , flippi-dee-doo marital arts that we forget that we are invested emotionally into the characters of our story.  Two great examples of this our UNDISPUTED 1 & 2.  NINJA 2 is no exception.  Scott Adkins plays Casey a Ninjitsu master whose wife was murdered by another ninja named Goro.  The sequel to NINJA is a little more darker when it comes to the character of Casey.  We see that even though he is the master of the martial arts he does his best to avoid confrontation.  When he discovers his wife is murdered however, he has no problem killing anyone who may have had a hand in it.  That is different from the character he played in the first one where if he killed anyone it was because of the necessity of the situation.  The new Casey at one point kills a guy who he rendered defenseless in cold blood.  Being master-less of his emotions plays a big part of the story which is why NINJA 2's standard revenge formula stands out from almost all wannabe action films out there that complicate their plots in an attempt to make their movies seem smart.  NINJA 2's complexity is more subtle and can be easily overlooked but it is there.  CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST....


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