Film #329: 17 NINJA aka JUSHICHININ NO NINJA
17 Ninja aka Jushichinin no Ninja
3.5 out of 5 stars
Yatsuo Hasegawa directs this tale of a group of ninjas are sent to infiltrate the impenetrable fortress where the dying Shogun’s youngest son is preparing to storm Edo Castle and name himself Shogun by force of arms. The characters are drawn well (although many of them die in short order) and the plot moves along at a nice clip. There are a lot of nifty authentic ninja weapons and tricks shown with none of the flying around and implausible trickery seen in a lot of these types of films. Sadly though… in the last reel, the plot stumbles into melodrama and, by the end credits, the viewer’s patience runs a little thin. Still… 17 NINJA is a neat little ninja flick that shows how intrigue and intricate planning was the rule of the day rather than what we’ve come to expect from ninja mythology. A fun little flick… just be patient through all of the heavy-handedness in that last act.