Five Element Ninja is just like any other old skool Kung Fu movie – you’ve got two rival clans trying to best each other. During a bit of showdown between these two clans, a Japanese Samurai steps in and defeats a series of opponents from an opposing clan. He then commits Harakiri (ritual suicide) after telling them the tale of the ‘King of Ninjas’.
After this tournament, a team of ninja’s decide to ‘help out’ one of the clans by plotting to destroy the other. Only they slowly take over this clan, and destroy the opposing clan fromm this inside by using a young female ninja who skillfully poses as a victimized woman.
By killing the clan and the clan’s master by invading their camp, the Ninja’s effectively rule the martial arts world within the locality. But one member of the clan survives, finds a master who knows Ninjitsu and trains up to exact his revenge, while finding a couple of training partners willing to help out along the way.
We then see an awesome finale as the four warriors use their specially designed weaponry (a sort of ‘transforming axe’) to take apart the five elements of the ninja clan one by one – gold, wood, fire, water and earth.
An Awesome Ninja movie!
Seeing the various different aspects of this Ninja clan was awesomely entertaining.
We see the Gold ninja’s with reflective hats blinding their opponents, Ninja’s disguised as trees (sounds crazy I know) bear hugging and stabbing their victims, fire ninja’s using red smoke and evading their enemies, whilst the earth and fire ninja’s attack from below!
It’s pretty cool that there is a distinct strategy behind each element as the Kung Fu fighters face each ninja element, one after the other.
The use of an infiltrating female ninja was also interesting. Simply having a woman destroy a clan from the inside doesn’t sound as impressive and interesting, but it makes perfect sense from a Ninja point of view.
The Action & Martial Arts
There’s no shortage of fights in this movie, around every corner there is a fight between the clans and /or the ninjas.
The distinct difference in strategy (discussed above in each individual element) creates a decent level of variety in the fights, as we see different weapons and aspects of martial arts thrown into each fight.
The fast pace and flawless weapon choreography that Shaw Brothers movies are always so good for is present at it’s best in this film. The fights keep going and going with each actor showing a tremendous amount of endurance and acrobatic ability.
The different weapons and ninja techniques make this movie one of my favorite Shaw Brothers films, with top quality action based around a really cool theme.
Besides, who doesn’t like ninjas?
An old skool classic. Check it out if you get the opportunity!
On Blu Ray –
Region A (US & Canada) Five Element Ninjas [Blu-ray]
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada) Five Element Ninjas