Ninja. Ancient Japanese warriors that were known for their skill, determination and their uncanny ability to disappear into the shadows. Started as an art from lower class people in a way to fight against the oppressive lords. They soon found themselves as the covert, guerrilla agents of the lords of the lands as well. Even serving as shadow attendants to the lords. These warriors weren't in it for glory or prestige, but to survive by any means. Putting everything about them at stake for the sake of their masters.
Naturally with such awesome beings of ass kickery, the imagination was captured. Especially when coupled with the legends that the ninja themselves created to make their opponents fear what they were capable of. Books, TV shows and, best of all, movies were created to capture and entertain the masses.
Heck, in the 70's-80's there was a huge ninja explosion in America. Basically, if it had ninja in the title, it was going to make money. Lord did that formula ever work and even gave us one of the premier ninja actors: Sho Kosugi
But like the ninja are trained to do, they soon fell back into the shadows, leaving an impact but one that slowly disappears with time.
It's sad that it happened, but entertainment is fickle and what's amazing one day is soon replaced. In 2009 there were some attempts to bring back these warriors with a movie known as Ninja Assassin.
A movie following a young, renegade, ninja named Raizo (Played by Korean Pop Star Rain) as he's on the run from the ninja clan he was raised by led by a Jonin simply named, Lord Ozunu. Played by...you guessed it.
Sho Kosugi reprized his awesome role as an ass kicking ninja to bring the ninja back to prominence.
The movie was actually pretty good. The fights were just amazing to watch, and the story was interesting enough, for the idea. It did fall into B-movie territory from time to time and the acting was hit or miss. With the actors trying what they could but the writing being just...meh. It was a worth while attempt to give new life to an all but dead genre.
Unfortunately, it didn't succeed in bringing it all back, but it did open the door. From there, the interest in ninja had blossomed a bit and we had a slew of new stuff to watch.
A new series of movies called simply:
The first movie which debuted in 09 along with Ninja Assassin, this was the ninja movie that embraced it being a B-movie. It had ninja, assassinations of political figures a secret society that controlled world events in stupid robes and starred the man himself:
It had a sequel in 2012 called Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear.
With Adkins reprising his role as Casey, head of the ninja dojo and about to have a child with his wife. All, unfortunately, taken away by whom Casey believes to be a drug Kingpin operating in Manila. This movie also features another person from ninja movie royalty, Sho Kosuig's son, Kane Kosugi.
Another piece of B-movie gold that shows how much awesome the ninja genre could bring to film.
If handled right, a new renaissance could be made for ninja movies. With them already being a staple in Japanese media and the love of action still going strong with western audiences.
Could the Ninja movie be brought back from obscurity?
I say yes. Given a real chance and possibly rebooting a franchise that had a ninja/martial arts centric plot to it, it could be done amazingly.
What do you guys think? Leave your suggestions or ideas in the comments below or...