“Ninjas Vs Monsters”
Our heroes: Cole (the troubled leader), Kyle (pretty sure his special power is his foul language), Aaron (ninja extraordinaire), and Alex (with all new super mind powers), have continued the fight against evil. Now, in the face of their greatest foes, they must team up with former villain, Eric, and his brother Randall (who, if you recall, was the magician in the first film that created our favorite Ninjas). Together, they must battle the Old Ones, the original immortal monsters from which all others descended.
The Ninjas return with a whole new batch of awesome in this third, and final, installment of the trilogy. With a significantly larger budget than its predecessors, the film really shows off what this group of filmmakers have learned. The writers continue to fill the dialogue with a generous helping of pop culture references. The costumes, even the ostentatious ones, work well and look good (as I’ve said before, I have no problem with people wearing sexy outfits if they want to and I’m talking about both genders here). They even continued the running gag where Kyle pulls a big f’ing gun out of nowhere. (That just cracks me up.) Again, the fight sequences and editing have continued to improve from the previous movies. One of the best things about these movies has been that the actors are doing all their own stunts. These guys are doing all of the choreography and fight moves, and they’ve got some big talent. When I say that they are improving, I mean the fight scenes run smoother on screen. How many times can I say awesome in a paragraph? Just once more? Okay. These guys are freaking awesome.
Pulling from legend, and accurately referencing the series own timeline (you have no idea how much it annoys me when storytellers choose to ignore their own established histories), the writers give a concise refresher and explanation for where each character is, then they move right into the rest of the movie and treat the audience to a classic tale of good vs evil with some fresh style. Or maybe I’m just a fangirl and this movie manages to hit all the right buttons. I think I’m okay with that.
Our heroes, and, indeed former villains, return and give the audience a more polished performance. The new additions to the cast include an abundance of strong female characters. Including Jasmine Guillermo as the heroine, Step; and the 3 witchy villains, Mina Noorbakhsh as Maeve, the tricky, witch who can possess people; Vicki Parks as Samantha, the butt kicking witch, who can morph to look like other people; and Tori Bertocci as Cerce, the super bad ass sorceress-witch. Not to mention the terrific performances by Sam Lukowski, as Dracula; Elliot Kashner, as (brilliantly snarky, perfectly timed wit, my favorite monster of the group) Victor Frankenstein; Daniel Mascarello as The Mummy; and Lyon Beckwith as The Wolfman.
With the improvement in other areas of production, the CG effects were hit and miss. Miss, specifically, with the gore effects. The CG just didn’t get the job done as well as practical effects would have. CG blood splatter is rarely preferable. Otherwise, I thought the CG was pretty effective.
Again, the soundtrack is excellent. This is constant through the trilogy.
I’m so glad that these guys kept up their hard work and dedication throughout the series. Their passion shows in that each movie is an improvement on the previous one, while staying true to the characters and overall story arc. I call that success, and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for your next project. Kudos, gentlemen and ladies. I gave this one 4 fru fru drinks. **Scroll to the bottom if you’re interested in a bit of a spoiler and a quick thought on the ending**
The filmmakers wrap up the trilogy quite nicely with an entertaining summation narrative by Kyle and a shamelessly happy ending. Usually, I would find something like that hokey, but it fit so well with the style of the rest of the series, that it just plain worked.