DVD REVIEW: THE NINJA IMMOVABLE HEART / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: ROB BAARD, JOHN BALAZS / SCREENPLAY: ROB BAARD, ROGER NEAVE, DANNY GLOVER, JOHN BALAZS / RELEASE DATE: TBC
Not since Harrison Ford in The Expendables 3 has an actor visibly given so little of a shit about his work as poor Danny Glover does (or doesn't, rather) in The Ninja Immovable Heart. Resisting the urge to go with a “too old for this shit” joke, we'll instead suggest that his befuddled “Where am I? What is this?” that opens the film is more than mere (bad) acting. Shot against a green screen in a single room, Glover's scenes have the air of a hostage video or police interview about them, as though he was lured to the film with a bottle of chloroform rather than the script or desire to make a film about ninjas.
Not that anyone really wants to make or see a film about ninja these days – hence the subgenre being left almost entirely to low-budget cinema and Mr Bean Snickers adverts. With Glover barely in it (and certainly not playing a ninja), The Ninja Immovable Heart casts an odd looking white guy as its ninja, flinging him into the middle of a series of topless torture sequences and badly CGI'd (but otherwise effective) fight scenes. There's no use expecting traditional ninja action either, with the story playing out more like an episode of 24 (complete with split screen filming and a big digital clock) than the B-movie Ninjitsu one might have hoped for, given the title.
There's no denying it has (immovable) heart, but it's slow, silly and self-indulgent. The fighting might be authentic and hero Reeve's physicality impressive, but there's no hiding its underlying cheapness. Not paying Danny Glover enough leaves him on the phone for most of the film, like a really bad version of Locke spliced with an entirely different movie. Director Rob Baard does fine as the lead (in a cut-price Tim Roth sort of way) but his story simply isn't interesting enough to sustain the lulls in action. There is also, apparently unironically, a character named John Carpenter in it. Make of that what you will.
The Ninja Immovable Heart is a film every bit as clunky as its title. It has some decent action and an interesting leading man, but none of that's worth suffering through the dull story for. In this case, we're with Danny Glover: confused, mildly irritated and bored stiff.
Special Features: TBC
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