Posted in *Recommended, Fantasia 2011, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Funny, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Fantasia 2011: Review of Ninja Kids!!! [Recommended]

ninja-kidsNinja Kids!!! (2011)
Director: Takashi Miike, Screenplay: Yoshio Urasawa, from Soubee Amako
Cast: Seishiro Kato, Takuya Mizoguchi, Futa Kimura, Takahiro Miura, Susumu Terajima

This movie is a total riot.  Definitely a good movie to take the wee ones to watch but adults need not worry as you will be equally if not more entertained.  There are a few aspects that keep it from greatness but what you’ll get is a fun time.

Rantaro (Seishiro Kato) is the main bespectacled character who leaves home, rushes through an ongoing samurai battle and arrives at the Ninja Academy for his first day of school.  With his narrative voice he introduces all the other 1st graders in his class in hilarious fashion including one who’s a babysitter and another who has very sticky snot and falls asleep all the time.  The principal also introduces himself in WTF, bombastic fashion and then the ninja lessons begin and…why am I even bothering describing the plot?  Let’s just say that at one point the story gets muddled up in the middle with the introduction of a giant headed nemesis, rival clans, ninja hair stylists and a final contest between the 1st graders and previously mentioned rival clans.

There’s just so much randomness and laughs that talking about it in a words would simply do no justice.  If you’re at all familiar with action, ninja or superhero type movies then you’ll find many elements from those movies are parodied here to great effect.  The ninja star throwing sequences were some of my favourite.  So were the kooky hair styles and the ninja asides explaining a particular word in more detail.  The comedy here is very much physical and slapstick.  The locations are very colorful and there are a lot of special effects that add to the crazy fun tone.  The makeup and prosthetics on all the bizarre characters were pretty well done and not too cheesy which added to the overall zaniness of the movie.

So what are the aspects that I felt held the movie back just a tad bit?  Well it felt like there wasn’t much character progression/growth.  The sudden shift of focus from the kids to the rival ninja clans was jarring.  In order for the movie to shift the focus back onto the kids it awkwardly set up a contest between the 1st graders and the adult rival ninjas using rather flimsy logic.  Despite these small complaints, this was a very enjoyable viewing experience.

The next screening of Ninja Kids!!! at Fantasia will be on Thursday, July 21 at 3pm in the Hall building.

Unfortunately could not find a trailer with english subs

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Author:

Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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