Action Movie Fanatix Review: Ninja II: Shadow of a Tear

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An Ancient Hero Returns With A Vengeance.

Starring: Scott Adkins, Kane Kosugi, Mika Hijii, Shun Sugata, Ron Smoorenburg

Director: Isaac Florentine

2013  |  95 Minutes  |  Rated R

“There’s only one choice.” – Casey Bowman

Every action fan should by now be a fan of both Scott Adkins and Isaac Florentine.  Both guys know action through and through and have delivered solid action movies ever since they first debuted in our DVD players.  Ninja II: Shadow of a Tear is a sequel to one of their first collaborations.  Hopefully it’s up to their usual standards.

When Casey Bowman’s (Scott Adkins) pregnant wife is murdered he travels from Japan to Myanmar for revenge on Goro, the drug lord responsible for her death and whose signature weapon, a barbed wire whip, leaves a distinctive mark on his victims.

Ninja II: Shadow of a Tear takes the series in a whole new direction.  Rather than Casey being a very honorable ninja he has been pushed past his breaking point and is simply out for revenge.

Ninja 2 also gives us a more mature Scott Adkins than we saw in the first Ninja.  His acting has come a long way in just a few short years although this doesn’t exactly give us a great idea of his acting chops.  It’s pretty much straight action.

The story is pretty thin.  Essentially we see Casey happy with his pregnant wife, she gets killed, Casey gets mad, Casey gets even.  But what action fan doesn’t love a good revenge story?  Revenge might just be my favorite genre of film.

Ninja II features some of the best choreography we have seen out of Isaac Florentine yet.  Aside from the slight misstep in 2012 with Assassin’s Bullet, he continues to prove why he is among the best of the best action movie directors today.

And Ninja II is just packed to the gills with awesome fights.  I’m not exaggerating when I say this is the pinnacle of Florentine’s fight choreography career so far.  He’s directed better movies but he’s never put so many beautifully brutal ass kickings in one movie.

Scott Adkins, of course, perfectly performs each and every one of these fights.  As a bonus we also get to see a little bit of Kane Kosugi’s skills.

Ninja II: Shadow of a Tear delivers exactly what I would want from a Ninja sequel.  More Isaac Florentine.  More Scott Adkins.  More amazing martial arts action.

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