The Ninja Mission is a 1984 Swedish action movie directed by Mats Helge Olsson (who is pretty much Sweden's answer to Roger Corman).
The plot is as barebones as it gets. A Russian scientist named Markov is planning to defect to the west. However, the "CIA" team, sent to help smuggle him over to Sweden, turns out to be Soviet agents in disguise. Now it's up to CIA agent Mason and his highly trained group of Ninjas to infiltrate the Soviet mountain base and bring Markov to safety, once and for all.
These aren't your usual Ninjas, though. Although they got the stealth and the black jumpsuits, they are just as comfortable with submachine guns and handgrenades as they are with shurikens and swords. They are much more akin to a military special forces team than supernatural martial arts warriors.
To this date, The Ninja Mission is the Swedish movie which has been the most economically successfull overseas, ever. (Suck it, Bergman!)
The Ninja Mission provides examples of:
- Audible Sharpness: Can't have a Ninja movie without it!
- California Doubling: Sweden and Norway had to stand in for the actual USSR.
- Cool Car: Bet you didn't think you'd ever see two Volvo 760's in a pulse-pounding car chase, did you?
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Averted, the Ninjas work best in a group.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Evils Soviets in white, good guy Ninjas in black.
- CIA Evil, FBI Good: Averted. The CIA are unquestionably the good guys, here.
- Cult Classic: Widely considered to be one.
- Dirty Commies: This was the the 80's, before Glasnost. Communists were still the go-to villains.
- Improperly Placed Firearms: Hansens use of a M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle might be forgivable. Soviet soldiers using the Carl Gustav M-45 Submachine Gun is not!
- Highly Visible Ninja: Ninjas allegedly wore dark jumpsuits to blend into the night, right? So why does Masons Ninjas wear them in broad daylight, against a snowy backdrop?
- In a similar vein, Mason is completely open to Nadja about the fact that he is a CIA agent and describes himself as "a Mercenary, working for the highest bidder." That's not how military intelligence works at all...
- Gorn: Lots of red stuff flying around. And how about those exploding crossbow bolts...
- Fanservice: We get to see a gratuitous scene of Nadja changing her top in the dressing room. She spends the rest of the night club scene, in a see-through top with no bra underneath.
- Foreign-Looking Font: A lot of the "Soviet" vehicles and equipment is obviously of Western make, just with "CCCP" and hammers and sickles painted onto them.
- Storming the Castle: What Mason and Hansen does towards the end. The "Soviet base" was actually the Norwegian fortress of Fredriksten.