A pleasant surprise
Ratspit | California, United States | 06/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having grown up as a teen in the 80's and been into the whole Ninja craze (watched the movies, had the outfit, read the books, consider taking martial art class but never did, etc.) I'm often on the look out for a decent Ninja flick. I'm not a fan of Casper Van Dien, I often find him, well, on the annoying side with sort of a "look at me, I did good didn't I" childlike smirk and behavior. Like maybe he was told too many times growing up, "stick out your chest son and be a big little guy". Anyway, here, he comes off pretty well. Though now a detective, he is depicted as having been a marine, yet (as should be) the Ninja's beat the tar out of him and he has to outsmart them. He holds up pretty well in a few places, but it all seems fairly well thought out when it come to what would be a fair chance he'd succeed or not in a fight. I mean, there are issues sure, but if your not willing to nit pick and are looking for a decent Ninja flick, this qualifies. Don't be deceived by the current cover though, he is not a Ninja!
There is a pretty good deal of action in the film, a decent story, and no shying away from gore (neither does it seem to glorify or revel in it). The Ninja's do not come off as wacky or too stuck into tradition. They use swords and such, but also disguises, bullet proof vests, and motorcycles in a couple scenes. They certainly try to show them for how they would be in modern times, assassins using the best method for the job, etc. All in all, it was a big surprise. I still think the 1995 film The Hunted, with Christopher Lambert is one of the best modern day Ninja/Samurai films. The Hunted has a little more of the "traditional" flavor to it perhaps, and seems to be higher budgeted, and is very intense (especially its legendary bullet train sequence). However, this Mask of The Ninja, is a very decent entry. Hope to see more like it. Looking forward to "Ninja Assassin" (which once again brings back the legendary, one and only Sho Kosugi !!) and also "Ninja" coming out supposedly at the end of this year."
Ninja Assassin has to be better than this; it can't be any w
Cheese Steak Jimmy | 02/03/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The Ninja genre is hardly synonymous with quality cinema, and generally should be filed under the heading 'guilty pleasure', a nostalgia trip for thirty year old men fondly remembering the slightly risque movies they watched back in the eighties. Nonetheless, the movies of Sam Firstenberg and Cannon had their moments [Revenge of the Ninja; American Ninja] and, despite being low budget, Firstenberg and his ilk could turn in inventive, trashy, and well shot little exploitation movies, all qualities singularly lacking from this arsebiscuit of a 'movie'.
'Mask of the Ninja' is a movie that has nothing going for it; the script is amateurish [porn writers do a better job of setting up 'linking' scenes that lead from one slice of the action to another]; the 'actors' are so bad that Casper Van Dien comes across as a latter day Orson Welles and Lawrence Olivier, infusing his scenes with gravitas; the lighting is dreadful, even by TV standards; the cinematography is from the 'post-Bourne' school of movie shooting that seems to think that shaking a camera equates with creating tension; the editing is horrible, with a post-production addition of 'film scratches' and warps [a la Seven]. All of this could be forgiven if the fighting was up to snuff, but the choreography is excretable.
The other new low budget Ninja film, 'Ninja', also has bad acting, a nonsense plot, and TV-quality set-design/lighting, but is a thousand times better than this by getting it right where it counts; the fight choreography is simply superb, with some phenomenal 'Transporter'-like set-pieces. Avoid 'Mask of the Ninja' and pick up 'Ninja' instead."
Good Adventure Film
Amanda Horton | Birmingham, England | 05/10/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A very enjoyable film, not the best but certainly not the worst film that's ever been made. It's what it says on the label a good action adventure film. I like Casper Van Dien and he was good as the 'hero'. I was disappointed in that he wasn't a ninja and didn't get to wear the ninja costume or have the 2-toed boots and katana. The supporting cast were also good and I would definitely recommend it if you want a film where you don't have to worry about a complex plot and just sit and plain enjoy it. I deducted one star because Casper wasn't a ninja!"
I wish I could give this one no stars.
P. J. Heffernan | 08/27/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I love all things Ninja. From the moment I saw ninjas I wanted to be one. This movie defiles every aspect of ninja coolness. The ninjas are not only evil ,but they are morons. They should have just made this a comedy. Beverly Hills Ninja gives ninjas more credit, and it had better fight scenes. I was doing better choreography when I was ten. The acting is so bad it embarrassed me just watching it. I hope they give ninjas more justice in this fall's Ninja [...] (Looks Awesome!). Avoid this one at all costs. Complete waste of time and money. Weak!"