Ninja Assassin

I loved ninja movies when I was a teenager. Ninjas were silent, mysterious, deadly. Whilst kung fu was cool, it was too obvious, too loud, too in-your-face. My friends and I loved the shadowy killers with their cool weapons. So we watched every ninja movie we could get our hands on. Unfortunately, these were almost exclusively Hollywood movies, but we didn’t know any better at the time. So we absorbed every scene, no matter how crappy, of Enter The Ninja, Revenge of the Ninja, Ninja III: The Domination, Pray For DeathNine Deaths of the Ninja, American Ninja, and even The Octagon. Shô Kosugi was my hero.

So when I heard that the recent Ninja Assassin was a return to cinematic glory for the silent black-clad killers, I had to see it. It’s even got Shô Kosugi in it, for pete’s sake.

Well, it’s certainly a ninja film. It’s got full-on ninjas, sliding from the shadows, dealing merciless death. That death comes nearly non-stop, with almost no story getting in the way. And it’s got 21st-century SFX and production.

It’s also ludicrously gory, with severed body parts splattering every surface available. The SFX go over the top: the CGI blood sprays and gurgling sound effects become almost distracting. But if you can get past the hyper-violence – which the ’80s ninja flicks surely would have done if they could have made it look anywhere real – and its self-serious tone, it’s a genuine homage to cinematic ninjas.

The critics all hate it, of course, as they did all ninja films. But if you expect to see anything more than violent destruction from a movie called Ninja Assassin then you’re just a snob.

The trailer says it all. Except there will be much more blood. And severed limbs.


2 Responses to “Ninja Assassin”

  1. 2 Andrew_D
    April 27, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I liked it (as far as action/Ninja movies go). It was a great way to pass the two hours on my last Air Canada flight.

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