Dark Maze Studios // 2012 // 99 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 24th, 2013
New footage + redubbed film scenes = ?
Ninja the Mission Force is a web series, now in its second season, having already earned itself a Telly Award (which I hadn't heard of, but after some research, found it's awarded to exceptional online shows). So it's got that going for it.
Season Two delivers episodes that run between eight and ten minutes. Each show is a mixture of stock film footage and original scenes starring Allison Pregler as Cheetah Lee, a secret agent by day and a lethal ninja operative (also by day). Cheetah works out of an office in Interpol, taking orders from a mysterious man on a television and a talking gopher. Her antagonist is Bruce (Brad Jones), a rival ninja master who has access to diabolical supernatural powers.
The kicker to the show is the dubbed footage. The producers utilize public domain films, laying down new audio tracks to coincide with whatever plot the particular show is dealing with. Of course, "plot" is a word used loosely here. This is just straight up nonsense, the narratives taking their cues from whatever bizarre movie footage is on deck. If it's a pirate movie, the storyline is ninjas vs. pirates. If some abandoned fantasy movie gets the call, well, Cheetah Lee is battling a wizard.
Sounds sort of neat, huh? I was open-minded going in, but Ninja the Mission Force just isn't that funny. It's stupid, but stupid I will gladly take if you can make me laugh. Which it doesn't. Many of the jokes are heavy on pop culture references and come across as too contrived. The creative team shows earnestness in attempting to deliver a cult show that appeals to those seeking quick hit video humor on the Internet, but the legit laughs are too few and far between. The dubbing is especially disappointing, since that would seem to be easier to pull off than anything else.
The DVD: About 100 minutes worth of ninja action on one disc, transferred in standard def 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, with Dolby 2.0 Stereo, and no subtitles. Extras include commentary from the cast and the creators, a DVD-ROM accessible script, and a bonus movie entitled Ninja the Protector.
About as exciting as sitting on a shuriken.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Dark Maze Studios
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 99 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Movie
* DVD-ROM Script