Shinobi Girl

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“Setting a low standard for Netflix distribution.”

shinobigirlOkay, I’m sure there are worse films on Netflix. Somewhere. But I haven’t yet found them/ Combining cheapjack production values with poor performances and woefully bad attempts at social commentary, the occasional decent fight sequence aren’t able to overcome the very significant negatives. The heroine is Noriko (Hellquist), who is raped by the Wall Street bigwig, Ronald Brooks, for whom she works – and then framed for his murder. She creates a secret identity, Shinobi Girl: as well as seeking to expose the real killer, she acts as the protector of the 99%, hunting down and dispatching the decadent uber-rich. They are led by Brooks’ widow (Fahey),  and commit heinous crimes with no fear of legal reprisal, up to and including orgies of murder and cannibalism (!).

The origins as a web series are obvious, with each of the nine episodes (the finale is in two parts), running 15-20 minutes. Take off “previously on Shinobi Girl“, the intro, opening credits, “next time on Shinobi Girl” and closing credits, and you could probably romp through the entire thing on about two hours. If you have some washing-up or ironing that needs doing, that might work, as you can then ignore the scenes where anyone is talking, because most of the performances here would be challenged by a wet paper-bag. It’s also difficult to accept this was made as recently as 2012, because the video quality is not much better than you’d get off an iPhone.

Somewhat redeeming things is the swordplay, although curiously, samurai weapons seem more common in New York than guns. I also kinda liked the multiple female leads: as well as Noriko and Mrs. Brooks, whose scenery-chewing is, at least, somewhat appropriate, there’s also Brooks’ lead henchwoman, Raven (Van De Water). But good intentions alone aren’t enough to sustain any movie. Our daughter used to make little films with her friend and a home-video camera when she was in her early teens: even discounting parental rose-tinting, I suspect those weren’t significantly worse than this. Maybe I need to dig them out and submit ’em to Netflix as a “web series”.

Dir: John Sirabella
Star: Alexandra Hellquist, Molly Fahey, Mia Van De Water, Aaron Mathias

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