Friday, November 27, 2009


What’s it about?
Korean pop sensation Rain is Raizo*, former member of a super secret ninja clan that is now trying to kill him because he accidentally showed weakness for like a second, except he's also trying to kill them because he's... NINJA ASSASSIN!!!

Any chicks in the movie?
Naomie Harris from 28 Days Later plays a Europol agent who believes ninjas are, like, totally real. No skin, because I guess between all of that shuriken sharpening and training montages ninjas don't have time for the nasty.

Awesomeness Factor?
Deadly high. Director James McTeigue, who previously made a miss-the-point adaptation of V For Vendetta, makes the smart decision to shoot NINJA ASSASSIN** like a horror movie, with the role of the monster replaced by an army of semi-supernatural ninjutsu who don't tend to stealth kill their enemies so much as eviscerate them from the shadows like a Ginsu knife demonstration gone horribly, horribly wrong. We are talking about a philosophically profound level of violence here - if you have a problem with the sight of flesh getting cut, sliced, diced, puréed, whipped, chained, beaten, shot, stabbed, gouged, and then cut some more just in case, then you have made a very poor movie-watching decision. NINJA ASSASSIN is to the cutting of human flesh as the Twilight series is to making 12-year old boys suddenly realize they're gay, by which I mean it happens about once every twelve seconds of the movie's runtime. The structure*** and the plot**** of the movie is laughable, and the acting from Korean pop sensation Rain is negligible.***** But quite frankly, anybody who goes to see this for anything other than watching ninjas fight the shit out of each other must clearly represent an epic marketing fail. Where it counts, NINJA ASSASSIN delivers the kind of ridiculously violent sword-fighting, shuriken-flinging, limb-lopping good time that I haven't seen since the heyday of NINJA III: THE DOMINATION. Just maybe pass on the popcorn for this one.

Mitigated by?
I forgot to mention the presence of Sho Kosugi, aka Bad-Ass Ninja Man Who Was In Every Ninja Movie Ever, as the leader of the evil ninja clan. Remember how he fights Rutger Hauer at the end of Blind Fury? Oh, Blind Fury. Where's your collector's edition DVD?

* Which is Japanese for "Korean pop sensation Rain".

** The title is too awesome to not type in all-caps every time.

*** Which is basically exposition, then ninja attack, then FLASHBACK! repeated ad infinitum.

**** OK, seriously: these ninjas show up and literally slaughter whole buildings full of people, lopping off their limbs and skulls like a knife going through really bloody butter and leaving every available wood surface impaled with throwing stars, and you're telling me Europol CSI can't do shit with that? Ninjas showed up in Vegas and William Peterson would have had those dudes on ice in like half an episode. Also, just a quick pointer for the next secret ninja clan that builds their secret hidden base on the secret side of a secret mountain: might want to block the only fucking road up there so that the ATVs full of soldiers can't just drive up.

***** Lucky for him the movie basically only really asks him to look brooding in the rain, which I gotta admit he's pretty good at. Maybe he can star in the Twilight spin-off about ninjas that twinkle.

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