Yaiba’s Weekly Backhand: Norwegian Ninja was the tenth blog post in the Yaiba’s Weekly Backhand blog hosted on the Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z website. It was originally posted December 4, 2013.



You wouldn’t think Norway would be suitable for ninjas. For starters, it’s so white. With snow, I mean. Plus, there’s the midnight sun that keeps it daylight all day long for part of the year. Using the cover of darkness is a pretty prominent ninja technique. Regardless, this movie claims that Arne Treholt, a Norwegian ambassador convicted of espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union and Iraq, was secretly the head of a Norwegian ninja force in the 80s. This is actually not the most ridiculous claim of the movie.

The movie gets it wrong from the very beginning, starting with a ninja recruitment video. (Way to stay secret, guys.) In it, Arne claims that ninjas were not assassins, but instead were farmers like him and his fellow Norwegians. Pfft. You won’t catch me with a spade in my hand (but I’ve been known to handle a hoe). Their ninja island base is defended by Feng Shui, a Chinese system. I guess in Norway, they can’t tell the difference. That’s okay; Scandinavia kind of all looks the same to me, too.

After the video, we see his ninjas on an underwater mission to check for Russian submarines. Halfway-decent CGI doesn’t help much when you’re watching guys in scuba gear kind of standing around underwater. For some reason, their own Navy fires torpedoes that they narrowly escape. Honestly, there’s no way to describe what laughably passes for ‘action’ in the rest of the movie. Even once they’re on dry land, the fighting moves are so slow and awkward that you’d think they’d never surfaced for air.

The plot, in a nutshell, is this: a secret CIA-backed group called ‘Stay Behind’ is plotting terrorist actions in Norway which will be blamed on Communists so that everyone will rally behind America. It doesn’t make much more sense than that.

But who cares? The real question is: how are Norwegian ninjas different from the real kind? The answer is that they spout a lot of philosophical bullshit. Example:

Ninja #1: “Give me the best hot dog you’ve got!”
Ninja #2: “Everything on this grill is ‘best’.”
Arne: “You won’t find a single hot dog that isn’t ‘best’.”

Upon being handed the hot dog, Ninja #1 glows with Enlightenment.

Norwegian King Olav, who’s just hanging out with his ninjas at a barbeque while dressed like a goofy sailor, whispers some advice to a new recruit. (By the way, this same recruit is later scared by a life-size jack-in-the-box. Way to have standards, Arne. When I was testing ninjas, a fool like this guy would never have passed.)

King Olav: “Every place and every moment is always the best. Remember that.”
Arne: “Did you reach Enlightenment, Coachman?”
Ninja #1: “Yes! I’ve let it all go. My heart is at peace.”
Arne: “Then let it go.”
Ninja #1: “But… I have let it go.”
Arne: “Then keep it.”

Ninja #1 glows with Enlightenment… again.

King Olav: “To let everything go, you must also let go of the idea of letting everything go.
Remember that too.”

This is the kind of mystical bullshit I can’t stand.

The newest recruit to the Norwegian ninja force joined after being offered an apprenticeship while he was in jail for refusing to be drafted into the military. “I’m a pacifist. Better to be in jail than to hurt people,” he claimed. Fortunately for him, Arne told him that “a real Ninja wins without fighting.” Are you serious? Even that jerk Ryu Hayabusa isn’t this dumb.

The movie finally more or less ends with a montage of Stay Behind members being assassinated. Dammit, this is the kind of stuff I want to see! Not a bunch of horseshit philosophy. Norwegian Ninja – a movie as nonsensical as its title. I spent the last half of it hoping it would disappear in a comical puff of smoke like the ‘ninjas’ in the movie do on a regular basis.

External LinksEdit

Yaiba’s Weekly Backhand: Norwegian Ninja

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