Alien vs. Ninja Review
Aliens have been the subject of many science fiction movies of our time. Whether its classics such as E.T. or new movies such as the recently released Paul, aliens can be found in many movies. Even the classic Alien has us wondering if such lifeforms exist, and if they're either friendly or hostile. While on the subject of Alien, remember what happened when they crossed Aliens with Predators? Alien vs. Predator was born! This series became very popular with the sci-fi genre with comics, books, movies, and even video games. With the success of the series, it's no wonder why other companies would want to make their own "Aliens vs" movie. A good example would be the upcoming Cowboys & Aliens, which does not contain the Alien vs title but has the same concept.
This leads us to my current review, a movie called Alien vs Ninja. I've already stated about movies out there that have the whole "Alien vs whatever" theme, but how many movies do you know of that have aliens fighting ninjas? The movie is directed by a man named Seiji Chiba. After doing a little bit of research on him, he has other movies out there available and a few of them having to do with ninjas. The cast for the movie include Shuji Kashiwabara, Ben Hiura, Mika Hijii, Donpei Tsuchichira, Masanori Mimoto, and Yuki Ogoe.
Seriously? Alien vs Ninja? That's what ran through my mind the second I read the title. I recall seeing ads for the movie when I was browsing the internet one time, pausing to make sure I saw what I saw. From that moment I knew that this was a movie what I needed to check out at some point with the boys. I didn't think to check Netflix for it at the time, most likely due to the fact it was a new movie and Netflix might have not had it available for instant streaming yet. Alas, browsing through Netflix one night I came across the movie and I pressed play almost immediately. From that point I knew that this was either going to be a gem, or a rotten egg.
(Warning: Spoiler Alert)
The movie is, as you might have guessed, about aliens and ninjas fighting each other. Aliens invaded the planet and now it is up to our heroes to protect their villages from the devastation that they bring. The movie begins with a night scene and we see a structure. Suddenly the building explodes and we see a group of ninjas fleeing the scene, with a group of ninjas from another clan hot on their tail.
After a few minutes of running through the forest (with one of the members falling behind repeatedly), our main protagonist (Yamata) decides to stand his ground and prepare to fight off the incoming ninjas. After a fierce battle, Yamata single-handedly fights off the other ninjas and manages to return home safely. During their return, they see what appears to be a huge fireball falling across the sky and crashing somewhere off in the middle of the forest. Upon returning home, they are greeted by a group of men that live in the village and begin to harass our heroes. After this, the protagonists move on and go talk to their master. They give their report about the mission they have completed and the master begins to nag on one of the members (Nezumi) for being scared and running from the battle the whole time. After the master finishes teasing Nezumi, he begins telling the group about a strange fireball falling out of the sky and wanting the group to go investigate it. As the group begins to leave for their mission, they are stopped by Nezumi who starts showing the group his new set of weapons that he created. One of the weapons is a rapid-shooting pistol, which leads to Yamata wanting to try it out and Nezumi disagreeing. Through a brief struggle over who gets to use the pistol, it fires on a building that the group of men from earlier are located in. Yamata and Jinnai put the blame on Nezumi and he is chased out of the village by one of the men.
After the scene, the group begins on their mission to investigate the fireball. On their way they are ambushed by a group of ninjas, which turns out be members of the same clan as Yamata.
After the meeting, the two groups come together and venture off to the location of the fireball. Upon arrival of the location, they come across a boy who seems startled and too scared to even move from his spot. After several attempts of trying to get the boy to talk, the group hears a loud scream that causes the boy to freak out. Suddenly the group is attacked, with some of the ninjas being pulled down into the ground below and returned to the surface as shredded meat. One by one the men are picked off and the group is forced to retreat, unable to fight back. After coming to a resting point, the group comes up with a plan to ambush the aliens and begin to setup immediately. After hours of preparation, the ninjas get into position. Using Nezumi as a way to lure the aliens in, he lights a torch and soon after the first alien makes its appearance. This is the first time in the movie we finally get to see the aliens up close and personal... and....
Nezumi falls down on the ground and attempts to crawl away from the alien. Luckily, the alien is in the right spot for a trap and falls victim to a set of spikes. After what appears to be an easy victory, the group learns that there are more aliens lurking around. More aliens show up to fight, and group has no choice but to stand their ground. One of the scenes shows the girl fighting an alien in the most provocative way. Rin shows off her flexibility by dodging the attacks, most involving her legs to be spread wide open. In fact, one of her attacks involves jumping on the alien with her legs wrapped around its waist and repeatedly punching the alien in the head while she makes humping notions on the aliens. After successfully killing the aliens, she gives the camera a nice wink and the middle finger. However, during the attack, Rin is knocked unconscious and Jinnai is dragged off by one of the aliens. Yamata sends Nezumi to the village to warn them of the aliens while the group sets off to rescue Jinnai. Upon his return to the village, Nezumi discovers that it has already been attacked by an alien. Nezumi attempts to flee but is quickly tailed by the alien. Yamata and Rin find the location of Jinnai, as well as a number of other ninjas. Jinnai and the other ninjas are hypnotized and attempt to attack Yamata and Rin. When the two feel as if the only way to stop it is to kill them, Yamata notices eyes in the mouth of one of the ninjas and in the throat of Jinnai. Yamata stretches the mouth of Jinnai to reveal a creature hiding within his throat.
Without hesitation, Yamata reaches down Jinnai's throat, pulls out the creature, then stomps on the creature. Jinnai is brought back to reality and Yamata pursues after the remaining alien. The pursuit leads Yamata to a cave, where he has his final stand-off with the alien. After a fierce battle, the alien then grows wings and attempts to escape, only to cause Yamata to latch on to the alien and take the battle to the sky...
And with that, the film comes to its conclusion. The aliens have been defeated, and everyone lives happily ever after....
To say the least, the visuals and effects used in the movie aren't what you would expect to see in today's movies. The film has that B-Movie look and feel to it, and it still manages to do it justice. The blood and gore effects were nicely done, even though there are a couple parts where you can tell it's just thick gobs of stuff. The main topic I would like to talk about is the design of the alien. Actually, the design itself of the alien was good and it had a unique look to it. What I am actually referring to is the way the alien is designed. At times during fight scenes when one of the members of the group would grab on to the alien, one can tell that it's a person in a suit as the skin (scales?) of the alien are grasped and bunched up like fabric. The mouths of the aliens were always open, even when there was no sound coming from them. All of this is easily looked past though, and even adds to the comedy of the movie.
To be honest, there is not a lot for me to say about the audio used in the movie. The songs used during the movie such as the fight scenes and even the credits are very enjoyable and fit the movie well. As for sound effects, blood splats, gun shots, and sword clangs are what you expect from an action movie. The growls and screams of the aliens were done very well, even for a B-Movie. The final thing I have to say is about the English dub used in the movie. The English dubbed version what the only one that was available on Netflix, which is something that doesn't bother me. The dub is your typical foreign to English translation, but strangely it adds to the comedy of the movie.
Alien vs Ninja offers crazy, fast-pace action that'll keep your mind's attention and a great sense of humor that'll keep you laughing from start to finish. If B-Movies are not your thing, I suggest giving this one atleast a rent or watch if a friend happens to own it. As stated before, if you have Netflix then it is available for instant stream on Netflix. This is the type of movie that you invite your friends over one night and laugh away at what the movie brings you. I give it a thumbs up and would like to see a sequel in the future.