Monday, December 7, 2009


This movie is a martial arts blood bath that features more gore and unreal murders than you could ever possibly imagine. At first the murdering seems a little over the top, but early on in the film the writers explain that these are not just ordinary ninjas. The rigorous training they have endured since childhood fosters inhuman abilities such as: healing open wounds with meditation, moving through the darkness like shadows, and of course martial art skills that rival Neo from The Matrix. Once you accept that this movie is not set in reality it is a lot easier to enjoy. Ninja Assassin is another fine example of a movie that you need to accept it for what it is. It is not going to bring you to reasoning, or deep thought; it is meant to entertain with gratuitous violence.

The action in this movie is unreal. The way in which these ninja's go about dispelling their enemies will make you squeal with delight, squirm with disgust, and marvel at their martial arts abilities. The only gripe I have with the action sequences was the way they were edited. The pace of the cuts was way too fast making it difficult to decipher what was really taking place. In movies like this I would rather see too much slow motion so I can see everything happen. This movie was edited like the Bourne Trilogy, with such raw intensity and fast pace the viewer just has to accept they cannot see it all. Not really the flavor I enjoy with my Kung Fu.

The movie was directed by James McTeigue who directed V for Vendetta. If you have not seen V for Vendetta, I am going to write V for Vendetta again so you read it three times and know that you need to see this movie immediately. Here's a fourth: V for Vendetta. Anyway, back to my point I was trying to make. It was strange to see McTeigue shoot his action sequences so fast paced, a huge difference from the beautiful slow motion featured in V for Vendetta (that's five). With sweet fighting like this it would have been nice to slow it down at parts so the audience can get a grasp on what is really happening besides the incessant gore and mutilation of body parts.

The story is what held this story up so well. Despite being full of mindless, murderous action the film actually featured a decent evolving plot. There is a little deception in the early goings, flash backs telling the history of the main character in the middle, and story lines being reiterated to connect the plot in the end (my favorite in storytelling). The flashbacks were a little difficult to decipher initially and were featured too often, but in the end the story made more sense because of the flashbacks. This movie intelligently established early on that the story was not written with the concept of realism, so a lot of the action or story lines aren't supposed to be believable.

The acting was decent, but nothing Oscar worthy. The characters in the movie played their roles very well and were believable in most regards. The cast featured two faces from the Fast & Furious franchise in Sung Kang and Rick Yune. The best part about this movie was the main character acting as the selfless, rebellious ninja master named Raizo. This character is played by a man with chiseled features, exceptional martial arts skills, and one of the most B.A. names I have ever heard, Rain. Yep, that is his name.

Overall, Ninja Assassin wasn't a great movie by any means. But it was a great martial arts flick. So take it for what it is. It featured lots of great fighting, amazing killing, a nice background story to the violence, interesting characters, and a  good ending with a standoff between master and apprentice that will have you salivating for more. If you like martial art movies or seeing unreal executions of people with bad morals you should definitley check it out in theaters. If you are an action movie fan this one can probably wait for a rental. If you can't handle excessive gore or violence, skip this one.

Seen the movie? Any thoughts?


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