Currently in Portland, Oregon for my annual trip with my college buddies. To kill time during the long plane ride over, I watched Neko Ninja, a zany Japanese action-comedy in which a young shinobi becomes convinced that his fugitive father has used a forbidden shapeshifting technique to change himself into a lazy, overweight stray cat. Desperate to undo the transformation, our hero abandons his clan in search of a cure, pursued all the while by a colorful cast of quirky supporting characters.
The premise is undeniably silly, but is executed with enough humor and heart to be genuinely engaging; I’d even argue that the central themes (the importance of family, learning to accept one’s flaws and become a better person) are actually fairly compelling, albeit a bit heavy-handed in their delivery. It ain’t art, but it’s the ideal in-flight film: light, charming, and fun throughout.
[Originally written August 31, 2018.]