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In 1984 high ranking Norwegian diplomat Arne Treholt was tried and convicted of acting as a spy on behalf of the Soviet Union. But what if the courts got it wrong? What if the case against him was a sham? What if dare we consider Treholt was not a spy at all but a patriot of the highest order and the leader of a secret ninja force created by King Olav? A ninja force locked in a secret battle against all who would challenge Norwegian sovereignty?
A fictionalized account of the most notorious political scandal in Norwegian history, Norwegian Ninja is a deliciously tongue-in-cheek spoof of the Cold War spy movie, with added ninja action. Because, as everyone knows, every story can be made better with ninjas. Blending historical events and actual newsreel footage of the Treholt affair with his own less-than-historical elements, writer-director Thomas Cappelen Malling creates the Rushmore of ninja films, a film that wryly questions just how truthful the truth really is. And then sends a ninja to punch the truth in the face.
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Best I can do to describe this:
The off-beat texture of a Wes Andersen movie, with the a hint of a bad 80's Chuck Norris flick, the weird self-depracating humor of Napoleon Dynamite, and a touch of something close to Kenny Powers.
What makes this such a total treat is that, while it's not exactly the best action movie ever, the special effects can range from "OK" to breath-takingly "Cheezy", the humor is not exactly obvious, and at times it doesn't make a whole bunch of sense... it somehow all manages to come together in a way that's truly special. The real Ninja Magic of the film is how it manages to pull taking itself very seriously one moment, and then be totally off the wall, screwball in the blink of an eye with little to no segway, without being confusing or annoying. It's great.
The story itself is based on a real-life character in Norwegian politics who sold secrets to the Russians, but honestly that's superfluous to the overall experience. Long story short - Norway has a secret island full of Ninja's with special powers and they have to stop the bad guys. You'll probably miss a bunch of what's going on from a Norwegian perspective but it's not in anyway shape or form a deal breaker. Watching the main character appear in a room in a cloud of cheap smoke effects - is what makes this worth it.
So if you're looking for something new, fun and off the beaten path to watch, and you're reading this review...Good News For You Then.