Sunday, July 7, 2024

Not so Serious Movie Review: Shinobi 3 - Hidden Techniques


Yet again we find ourselves in the woods of maybe feudal Japan in the land of Iga, home of the Shinobi. Yet again, we find Kagerou and Aoi running through the woods. Yet again, there are bad guys trying to kill them. Yet again, there is awkward narration and low budget aesthetic.

In Shinobi 3 we see more of Kagerou's friend and his attempts to help Kagerou and Aoi run through the woods. But is he friend or foe? This chapter of the saga introduces higher level bosses into the story. We knew Rokoku, the chieftain of Kagerou and Aoi's former village, the guy who set Kagerou up for murdering his mentor, but now we met the bigger bad, a robed guy with a big stick. He wants to take over the entire region of Iga. Did I mention it was a time of civil war? The narrator says that before each movie.

Whereas Shinobi 2 had a crazy Kagerou-hating guy who fought Kagerou in the final battle, this movie features two Shinobi hunters, Steel Fist and Cape Man. That's not their names, but they are kinda irrelevant outside of their fighting scenes so that's what I am calling them. Steel Fist is the more vocal of the two, but he is angry at the world. He and Cape Man are employed to hunt Kagerou and Aoi. Cape Man has the magical power to disappear and reappear. He also fights with his cape and poisonous feathers, which was kinda unique. Kudos to the fight between Kagerou and Cape Man, although the conclusion was awkward.

Speaking of poison, the movie ends with Aoi poisoned and captured. Kagerou leaves her in the woods, sitting under a tree while he runs to a nearby village for a plant that can cure the poison. Of course he knows exactly where he left her and exactly how far the village is. But why would you leave your friend under a tree for 24 hours while she is suffering from poison and every bad guy in the movie is out to get both of you?

Of course she gets captured. Although I don't know how she got found. What if she died from the poison under the tree? Or was attacked by a bear?

Which leads me to my biggest question. I've watched three of the four Shinobi movies at this point and my biggest question is how do the characters always know where the other characters are? We see Kagerou and Aoi running through the woods attempting to flee their village. They run for days. Yet the bad guys and allies know exactly where they are and find them with no problem. Even spying ninjas have no problem keeping their eyes and ears on the two runaways. Kagerou and Aoi are like kids who run away in their fenced backyard. No matter how much they run in the backyard, they are still in the backyard. It's like Kagerou and Aoi have a GPS in their pants and everyone is tracking them. Or they are the world's worst runaways.

What will happen in Shinobi 4? Will there be more running through the woods? Will Kagerou and Aoi live happily every after? Will Kagerou free her and will they ever find their freedom?

I care too much for this low budget saga. But alas, it is still not recommended.

2 Running Shinobis out of 5

Check out review on Shinobi 3: Runaways here. They didn't like either, but I don't they were as invested in the saga.