Space Ninjas Film Review

Updated: Oct 28, 2019

★★

Directed by #ScottMcQuaid

Written by: Scott McQuaid

Starring: #AmirulAfiqBinAmri, #YiJane, #MiaSaraShauki

Film Review by: Benjamin Schofield



Space. Ninjas. Right off the bat you know what this film is going to be. A tongue-in-cheek comedic parody of popular Hollywood films. They take the stock characters and the hero’s journey three act plot structure and all the genre signifiers from teen horror films and then tells you all about how its using those tropes and isn’t it clever for doing that?

It’s pretty funny at first; the blatantly archetypal characters are pushed to their logical conclusions, and the actors give, what I assume to be intentional, one-dimensional performances. In fact, one-dimensional might be lending them more depth than is justifiable – they could quite happily be called zero-dimensional, or perhaps even negative-one-dimensional. I mean this as a compliment, of course. The performances go to great lengths to strip the characters of any sense of individuality, and they seem to exist only to demonstrate the bland nature of such stock characters.


The problem is, this gets old real fast, and you’ve still got eighty minutes of film left to watch, and its all pretty much the same. The film does nothing to subvert these character types, or audience expectations, nor does it have any commentary on these genre tropes beyond “wow, it like movie”. More than anything else, it lacks energy. Each shot lasts a good half a second longer than it needs to, and dialogue is awkward and slow, the action is even worse. The camerawork is simple, the colour palette is dull, the lighting is awful, the characters have no likeability or charisma. Much of this stuff might well be by design, as part of the criticism and parody and whatnot, but rather than feeling as though the film is mocking these Hollywood conventions, it just ends up being the same as them, but without the budget and likeable stars that make those films entertaining.


Ultimately, the film falls into the trap of thinking that by addressing its flaws, they somehow don’t count. Well, they do.


Words by #Benjaminschofield