DVD REVIEW: NINJA APOCALYPSE / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: LLOYD LEE BARNETT / SCREENPLAY: ASHLEY SCOTT MEYERS / STARRING: CHRISTIAN OLIVER, LES BRANDT, CARY-HIROYUKI TAGAWA / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
So there’s been this apocalypse. There’s loads of angry ninjas and they go down into a secret underground nuclear bunker (which looks suspiciously like an abandoned factory) where they fight some other angry ninjas and a few extras dressed as zombies. Now and again, they throw around a few pretty bolts of light and a few people die which upsets some other people. The end.
Some films are so dull and pointless that the clichéd “just switch off your brain” advice just isn’t enough. To get the most out of Ninja Apocalypse, we can only advise complete brain removal; you might wish to replace it with a lettuce or courgette or other vegetable of your choice. It’s not just that Ninja Apocalypse is bad (which it is, frankly) it’s more that it’s just terribly dull and utterly unengaging on just about every imaginable creative level. It appears that “years after the Great War” battling Ninja factions are beating the crap out of each other. Some of the Ninjas have developed whizzy mutant powers, which is handy because the various clans need to band together to fight off an anticipated attack by some nameless enemy. The Ninja Grandmaster calls a truce and summons the heads of the Ninja clans to his underground bunker/abandoned factory with the aim of banding all the Ninjas together to fight off the expected attack. But - horrors! - the Grandmaster is assassinated and the finger of suspicion points at Cage, head of the “Lost Ninja” clan (who appear to have been found pretty damned quickly). Cage and his clan of about four Ninjas have to fight their way out of the complex, fighting other Ninjas and a few zombies who are roaming about.
Horribly bland and charmless, Ninja Apocalypse will surely only appeal to undemanding action fans who still can’t resist the allure of any tacky film with the word ‘ninja’ in the title. The plot is thin to the point of anorexia, the visual effects (who out there doesn’t love spouting CGI blood?) strive for bargain basement level and the acting is nothing if not spirited. But this is a film about fighting and there’s plenty of it; in fairness, it’s all staged reasonably well but after about the seventh deadly Ninja duel you’re likely to find your mouth hanging open and a little trail of drool working its way down your chin. Don’t be tempted by the typically-misleading DVD cover which promises far more than this needless ninja nonsense actually delivers. Say no to these ninjas, however apocalyptic they may be.