The film is based around the real-life high treason and espionage of diplomat Arne Treholt during the Cold War and asks “what if?” What if Treholt was framed, and in fact was the ultimate patriot fighting for the Norwegian way of life, leading a secret ninja group on a secluded island, protected by feng shui? Sure. Why not? It’s totally satirical and over the top with an overabundance of cliche. Cold War super spy heroism meets Eastern mysticism meets 70’s action flick with a touch of documentary filmmaking. But I feel the real merit lies in how it comes across visually. It openly embraces the texture and washed out colors of 70’s film. I think I loved the composition of almost every frame, so much so that at some points I wished it wasn’t subtitled. Yeah, I’d trade knowing the story for untarnished visuals of this film.
I must say, I usually face my Netflix suggestions with skepticism, but when the title Norwegian Ninja popped up I immediately got excited.