12th Mar2015

‘The Ninja Immovable Heart’ Review

by Joel Harley

Stars: Rob Baard, Roger Neave, Danny Glover, John Balazs, Blaze Broadway, Cassandra Gava, Aliante Youngdino, Jacob Fyfe, Vivian Langham, Jennifer Rose, Christopher Bunworth, Melinda Di Natale | Written by Rob Baard | Directed by John Balazs, Rob Baard


Ninja, Danny Glover and a man wearing a terrible spandex suit – it’s like the 1980s never went away. Resolutely refusing to be trendy, The Ninja Immovable Heart blunders on head first into a story so niche you almost have to admire writer/director/star Rob Baard. For all its faults, there’s no doubting that this is a real labour of love for its multi-talented leading man, even if very little of it sticks.

No-one is more confused than sole famous name Danny Glover, who looks utterly perplexed for every moment he appears on screen. Locked in a small room (against an obvious CGI backdrop), Glover spends the whole time on his phone, demanding to know where he is and what is going on. For all we know, he could be talking to his agent. There’s no Ninjitsu for the erstwhile Roger Murtaugh – being, after all, too old for this shit (sorry). Reeve (Baard) is responsible for the majority of the film’s action, shirtlessly beating his way through the government he once worked for in search of answers. Old mentor John Carpenter (really) may hold the answers – and Reeve sets about attempting to find out why he was captured and what the government want with him. What this translates to in reality is a series of surprisingly effective fight sequences and unsurprisingly ineffective CGI.

There’s no denying that there’s (immovable) heart here, but so much of it feels self-indulgent and silly, like the sort of thing you’d find on the Syfy channel or Channel 5, back during its inception. Baard doesn’t exactly help matters here, casting himself as the hero in spite of his lack of leading man charisma. He knows his way around a punch (the Ninjitsu is, apparently, authentic) but his is the too-serious Steven Seagal school of acting, rarely recognising the inherent ridiculousness.

The Ninja Immovable Heart cares deeply about what it does, and does so with higher production values and more style than one might expect. Still, it can’t hide the waft of self-important macho silliness. There’s a reason there aren’t so many ninja movies about these days. The boys toys are cool and all, but there comes a point you need to grow up, put a shirt on and, well, not make films about ninja. We’re all too old for this shit.

** 2/5

One Response to “‘The Ninja Immovable Heart’ Review”

  • Lisa

    Wow. I watched this with my brother, didn’t mind it for a small indy film they did well.

    Not sure what you’re smoking though Joel, isn’t Danny Glover’s part supposed to be confused since he woke up in that room and has to piece it all together? I thought the main guy was okay for his first feature film, not sure how much charisma a dude being tortured is meant to have? Special features and his website are cool the ninja stuff is obviously his life.

    Maybe best to research before you rant. I found your review self-indulgent. Good for him to pull it together.