AKA Royal Kill
I'm all for twists in movies, especially clever ones that take you by surprise and force you to reevaluate everything you'd seen leading up to that memorable “reveal.”
However, when a filmmaker becomes so obsessed with twists that they need to include a handful of different spins on the plot revelation that they just unveiled, causing the last thirty minutes of their succinct hour and a half work to be filled with montage after montage to try and both top and explain every new take on the situation, then the movie simply becomes pointlessly ludicrous.
Moreover, while trying to outdo M. Night Shyamalan to the point that the film plays like a “serious” version of Clue: The Movie's three distinctly different endings by giving us at least that many solutions in a row, we press eject wondering just exactly why director Babar Ahmed's laughable effort originally titled Royal Kill needed to be made in the first place if nothing in it makes any sense.
Renamed Ninja's Creed for its DVD release from Lionsgate complete with a misleading cover image that tricks you into thinking that the film centers on WWE athlete Gail Kim's ruthless assassin when she's only given the bare minimum of dialogue, the movie is primarily focused on actor Alexander Wraith's royal soldier Adam who's been sent from a Himalayan kingdom to Washington D.C. to protect Jan (Lalaine), a secret princess from being slaughtered by Nadia (Kim).
With no clue as to her true parentage, having been raised by her “American Guardian” (Eric Roberts) that Jan thinks of as her only dad, it comes as quite a shock when Adam bursts into her home in the middle of the night and tells the teenage girl that she's the last remaining heir to the throne as the daughter of the now deceased king of Adam's native homeland.
Running around Bethesda in the middle of the night battling bombs, police and the ever-present Nadia who's always one step behind, Adam is in for an even more alarming reality check than Jan experienced as night turns into day.
Even though the filmmaking quality had been basically subpar for most of Creed, with sleepwalking performances by both a visibly bored Roberts and sadly Pat Morita (in his final film role) as well, the premise of a hidden princess in jeopardy could've easily grown into a far more satisfying film.
And if Ahmed would've decided just what exactly he wanted to say, all cheap twist rip-off trickery peeled away in the rewrite stage and perhaps limited to only one montage in the editing room, then Ninja would've had much more to offer than Fight Club meets Usual Suspects wannabe nonsense as the movie descends into its very own version of a never-ending game of Twister.
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FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I received a review copy of this title in order to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.