Office Ninja (2014) – By Kirsten Walsh

“Meet Tomas, a disenchanted office worker on the verge of a dream promotion. For Tomas and his coworkers– goofball Raheem, newbie Jessica, king of douchebags Jett, and their incompetent boss Daryl — each day seems to blend into the next. But a dark change is coming. After finding out that the office jerk Jett has stolen his work as well as his coveted promotion, Tomas swears vengeance and follows the ways of the ninja in his quest to regain his honor and find the evidence that will end Jett’s reign of office tyranny. But of course, since he’s not an "actual" ninja, his plans for swift justice may not go quite as smoothly as he planned.”

From the basis of the synopsis, the film sounds like many others out there, including- of course- “Office Space” (1999). But it is a far cry from that, in a totally awesome way. While the quality of the video is not a rival to Hollywood films out there, the talent of the cast and crew shine through and make this film a must-see! With a mixture of live action office competition for a promotion and a comic book style parable about a ninja who learns the true meaning behind the mask, the film appeals to both fans of Asian cinema, those who love stories of ninja, and anyone who loves to laugh.

The character of Raheem, played by Jose Rosete, stole the movie! Playing Tomas’ sidekick who has a flair for the crazy, Rosete always took the jokes one step further and leaves the audiences not only wanting more, but also rolling in their seats. His running joke throughout the film echoes the nondescript ethnicity joke from “Supertroopers” (2001), as he constantly makes references to various ethnic groups that he could have heritage in. While it doesn’t come across funny on paper, his delivery of the lines are priceless and add a great tone of humor for the film. The rest of the cast is equally memorable with their off hand jokes and the constant flow throughout the scenes. From Tomas (Jade Carter) to Jessica (Jessica Mills), the main trio rounds out nicely. Carter’s deadpan humor plays nicely against Rosete’s flamboyant jokes and makes for a well rounded group.

While this film was definitely a vehicle more for the story and the acting than it was for the production design, there were some aspects that seemed to lack. An office setting with only the main characters, their rival, and their boss running around seemed very implausible. Occasional inserts are tossed in, primarily at the beginning of the film and later on during the climax of the film, of other office workers, but aside from that, the office area is empty. Not even background noise was implemented to make the office area appear to be busy. While this allows focus on the main team, it definitely designates this as an absolutely non realistic idea. The emptiness of the office is never explained, and the office workers we do see are only seen once, and then never again.

The music. Ah, the ’80s and ’90s were an awesome time, and the music in this film brings back cheesy memories of films like “Knock Off” (1998) and “Big Trouble in Little China” (1986). It adds to the film with quirky keyboards during the live action scenes and orchestral themes during the parable section. There is such a light hearted ease to the composition, that it truly makes the music another character in the film, and doesn’t detract from any of the dialogue. The best part about the music- and this is what brings the memories of the afore mentioned films- is the end credits song. When a film uses its own title in the end credits main theme, it is a moment where the audience can truly realize that the filmmakers love to laugh just as much as they do, which makes this film definitely worth it.

Would I watch it again? Oh definitely. This is a film that would definitely work in a collection alongside the ’90’s Van Damme films and the ’00’s Jackie Chan films.

Where can you find this film? On iTunes!

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