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Sunday, March 7, 2010

[7.50/10] Ninja Assassin (2009)

Ninja Assassin (2009)

Almost too self-explanatory, "Ninja Assassin" is a martial arts movie involving ninjas, and is set in the real world. It's produced by Andy and Larry Wachowski, who created the iconic Matrix movies, and is directed by the very talanted James McTeiguie, director of "V for Vendetta". "Ninja Assassin" has that 80's corny style of an action movie that focuses more on the action, the incredibility and the exaggeration of the violence, and a lame back story. Because of the fact that this pays homage to old b-movie ninja movies, it's easier to ignore some of the movie's flaws. The script was horrific, the acting, only slightly better. The only actor seeming to have any real fun in the movie was Ben Miles as Agent Maslow. The protagonist Raizo was played by the unusually one-named Rain, who, while a tremendous athlete and martial artist, could only deliver his lines with a stoic one-note woodenness and without any emotion or urgency. Even the usually good Naomie Harris seemed to feel stuck in her role. On the other side, "Ninja Assassin" has quite a strong sense of visual identity. All fight sequences are presented in an almost abstract way - you can't follow the action specifically, but that doesn't matter too much because there is such a strong overriding visual flair, in terms of dynamic movement, light and dark and colour. The ninjas themselves literally blend into the shadows. The great thing about this movie is that the film-makers know who their audience is and they deliver the goods. When a film is called "Ninja Assassin", you know what you're signing in for; a lot of martial arts, a lot of blood, some kind of honor/revenge related plot, a ton of fighting scenes, basically, mayhem. And that is what you get!

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