Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Benjamin Combes|
|Written by||Benjamin Combes|
|Music by||Thomas Cappeau|
|Edited by||Benjamin Combes|
Commando Ninja is a 2018 English-language French martial arts action comedy film written and directed by Benjamin Combes. It pays homage to 1980s action films such as Commando, The Terminator, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Predator, and American Ninja. The film stars Eric Carlesi, Philippe Allier, Stéphane Asensio, Olivier Dobremel, Anaëlle Rincent, and Charlotte Poncin.
The film was crowdfunded through Kickstarter from 20 February 2018 to 22 March 2018 with pledges reaching €31,953, making 213% of its original goal of €15,000. Originally planned to run at 45 minutes, Combes expanded the running time to 68 minutes and released the film on YouTube on 21 December 2018.
In 1968, during the Vietnam War, a Green Beret platoon known as the "Lizard Smokers", led by John Hunter, is ambushed by ninjas. In the midst of the chaos, Hopkins loses his right arm in the ambush, Sgt. Oskar Kowalsky is attacked by velociraptors, and John is captured by the Viet Cong. While in captivity, John learns the art of ninjutsu from his captor, Colonel Yin. After John's training is completed, Yin sets him free, but warns him of a red ninja who betrayed his teachings. Yin is killed when his compound is bombed by the U.S.
In 1986 Canada, John is paid a visit by Hopkins and is informed that his ex-wife Lori has been murdered and his daughter Jenny has been kidnapped by ninjas working for an illegal arms dealer. John and Hopkins participate in a joint operation between the FBI and the U.S. Air Force in Los Angeles to nab the dealer, but the operation goes awry when John recognizes the dealer as former Soviet Army Colonel Kinsky, who was involved in his former platoon's ambush. Hopkins is killed by the red ninja before Kinsky escapes.
John travels to the Central American country of Val Verde and storms through Kinsky's villa to rescue his daughter, but discovers that Kowalsky has been converted into a cyborg. Jenny kills Kinsky by secretly placing a grenade in his pants, but Kowalsky suddenly disappears with her. John battles and defeats the red ninja in a duel, only to discover Lori behind the mask. Lori explains that an alternate future version of herself was the one murdered by the ninjas, and that Kinsky had supplied the ninjas with time travel technology since the Vietnam war. She then tells him that Jenny has been sent to 1998, where Kinsky is training his army to establish a new world order. After Lori urges John to save Jenny, he decapitates her and uses the last of her energy to travel to a post-apocalyptic wasteland in 1998.
Upon his arrival, John reunites with Jenny, who is now an adult. She reveals that she reprogrammed Kowalsky to fight on their side. John also discovers that Hopkins is alive and well, driving a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am time machine.
In a mid-credits sequence, the quartet attempt to travel back to 1986, but end up trapped in a video game programmed by Kinsky. They must find a way to escape from the video game world and stop Kinsky from conquering the world with his army.
- Eric Carlesi as John Hunter, an American Green Beret that is 50% commando and 50% ninja
- Philippe Allier as Hopkins, a racist and anti-semite Air Force Colonel who has a cybernetic right arm after losing his original one to ninjas in the Vietnam War
- Stéphane Asensio as Oskar Kowalsky, a member of John's former platoon who is converted into a cyborg
- Anaëlle Rincent as Jenny Hunter, John's daughter
- Charlotte Poncin as adult Jenny Hunter
- Thyra Hann Phonephet as Yin Sensei, a Viet Cong Colonel and ninjutsu practitioner who becomes John's mentor
- Cécile Fargues as Lori Hunter, John's ex-wife
- Thémann Fagour as Jackson (a.k.a. Snow White), a black member of John's former platoon who is revealed to have died during Kinsky's experimentations
- Olivier Dobremel as Kinsky, a former Soviet Army Colonel and an illegal arms dealer who kidnaps Jenny
Benjamin Combes is a French filmmaker who has spent over a decade directing video game trailers and independent short films. In 2016, he wrote the script for Commando Ninja and spent US$5,000 on producing and shooting footage with his friends.
German independent toymaker Goodleg announced they will release a limited run of action figures of the film's main characters in February 2019. The action figures are kitbashed from various 1980s toy lines such as G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe, and WWF. Pre-orders for the figures started on the day of the film's release.
|Commando Ninja (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||December 14, 2018|
The film's soundtrack score was composed by Thomas Cappeau and features songs by synthwave musicians Cobra Copter, Flash Arnold, and OGRE. The title theme song is by German synthwave artist Volt Age. The official soundtrack was released on Bandcamp on 14 December 2018.
All tracks written by Thomas Cappeau except where indicated.
|2.||"The Raid on the House"||3:29|
|4.||"Confronting the Red Ninja"||2:43|
|7.||"Way of the Commando Ninja"||3:37|
|8.||"Master and Apprentice"||2:45|
|9.||"John Versus the Red Ninja"||7:03|
|11.||"Like a Family Again"||1:23|
|12.||"In a Wasteland"||2:27|
|14.||"Commando Ninja"||Michael Wagner, Jonathan Schmid, Oliver Wimmer, Jona Raischl||Volt Age feat. Maram El Dsoki||3:53|
Combes is currently working on Commando Ninja: Back in 'Nam, a comic book prequel that takes place 12 years before the film. The comic book is written by Gerardo Preciado and drawn by Luis Rivera. If the Kickstarter campaign makes its goal of €1,000 by 30 January 2019, the comic book will be published by March 2019.
- Combes, Benjamin (23 March 2018). "Day 30: Campaign's Over! What's Next?". Kickstarter. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
- Brown, Todd (21 December 2018). "Behold The Glorious Majesty Of The COMMANDO NINJA!". Screen Anarchy. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
- "Commando Ninja Is Coming to YouTube This Friday". The Action Elite. 19 December 2018. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
- "Official Commando Ninja x Goodleg Toys figures to be released with the movie on 21/12/18!". Goodleg Toys. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
- Combes, Benjamin (31 December 2018). "Commando Ninja (Czech Dub)". YouTube. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
- Thomas, Cappeau (14 December 2018). "Commando Ninja (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". Bandcamp. Lakeshore Records. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- Combes, Benjamin. "Commando Ninja: Back in 'Nam - The Comic Book". Kickstarter. Retrieved 25 December 2018.