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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ninja Assassin Delivers on having An Assassin Assassinate Ninjas

Ninja Assassin = 1 and 1/2 out of 5
Takeshi: Do you still hear the sound she made when I stuck it to her?
I've been having a tough time assigning some sort of rating to my thoughts on this movie, but seeing as how its a very messy film (both figuratively and literally) and I don't really want to see it again, I guess I can give out a shitty rating, despite the hilarity that ensued while I viewed this feature.

Ninja Assassin follows Raizo, played by Korean pop star and martial artist Rain, one of the deadliest assassins in the world. Taken from the streets as a child, he was transformed into a trained killer by the Ozunu Clan, a secret society whose very existence is considered a myth. But haunted by the merciless execution of his friend by the Clan, Raizo breaks free from them and vanishes. Now he waits, preparing to exact his revenge.

In Berlin, Europol agent Mika Coretti, played by Naomie Harris using an American accent opposed to her much lovelier and natural English accent, has stumbled upon a money trail linking several political murders to an underground network of untraceable assassins from the Far East. Defying the orders of her superior, Ryan Maslow, played by Ben Miles, Mika digs into top secret agency files to learn the truth behind the murders. She of course gets too deep, only to form an alliance with Raizo. Ninja assassinations ensue.

This was clearly a film made to give audiences what would seem to be a slickly made, kick ass ninja film, with cool looking production values, plenty of R-rated gore, and lots of "whoa" moments from all the different types of bloodshed seen here. The problem here is that the film is a big mess. It has a nothing story, lame characters, and even the action isn't as great as it could be.


Produced by action man Joel Silver along with the Wachowski Bros, and directed by James McTeigue, who previously directed V for Vendetta (a much better film) and served as assistant director on all of the Matrix films, this film has a clear problem of having been assembled out of an idea between a bunch of guys talking about cool ninja movies, but not putting enough thought into how to make this a cool ninja movie. To be fair, the first 10 minutes capture the loose tone perfectly, but once we get into the ninja angst that is the flashbacks scattered throughout, the sense of fun slowly slips away. Add to that some very laughably bad dialog, and all you hope to have left to count on is the action.

However, the action just doesn't cut it for this movie. There are some sequences that work pretty well and are slickly edited; however, there are a few large action set pieces that are just too dark and to rapidly edited to have fun with. I was too focused on trying to keep up with what was going on to appreciate seeing hundreds of ninja stars being hurled at Raizo as he continues to eviscerate his opponents.

Any other feelings i have about this movie can basically be summed up with the word "silly." This is a silly, violent movie that is also not very good.
Raizo: She'll be fine. Her heart is special.

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