It’s been a while since we had a movie like this. Ninja Assassin is a blood-squirting, limb-cutting martial arts movie with high production values. I was afraid that this is going to be another Disney affair with some peaceful Ninja warriors teaching kids how to throw kicks. Right from the opening scene, Ninja Assassin lets us know we’re in for a bloody good time. And then you start wondering how are they going to get away with this. How is this guy going to kill them all using just blades and his body when the bad guys have guns? The same way all those ninjas killed bad guys in the eighties.
Speaking of the eighties, we have here the man who single-handedly started the eighties ninja revolution, Sho Kosugi. You might remember him from a string of ninja movies like Enter the Ninja, Revenge of the Ninja, and Ninja III: The Domination. All three movies are insanely fun as every other Cannon film group movie, so do check them out for some old-school vibes. The star of Ninja Assassin is none other than South Korean pop star Rain, a guy who knew nothing about martial arts prior to filming this movie!
This just goes on to show you that with a bit of effort and the right training you can do anything. If a pop star can become a ninja so can I! The rest of the cast was also solid. Think of this movie as 300 with ninjas. The violence has that graphic novel vibe, like those ultra-violent mangas. I wonder why no one tapped into this market, I bet there’s a lot of potential there. And I hope there will be more movies like this. After all, Ninja Assassin is the only modern ninja movie I could find apart from the 2009’s Ninja starring Scott Adkins.
Raizo is one of the most dangerous ninjas in the world. This is not surprising as he was training with the Ozuno clan since he was just a little boy. Led by the ruthless Lord Ozunu, they turned Raizo into an assassin. However, soon Raizo will realize that things are not what they seem to be and turn against his former teacher.
As you can see, the story is very generic and familiar. However, that’s not an issue as we’re here to check out all the action. And all the cool weapons starting with kusarigama, basically a sickle on a chain. Now imagine a huge fight, in the rain, on top of a building, with a lot of blood. You would pay to see that, wouldn’t you? So, it’s time to dust off the old shurikens and nunchucks and wreck the house just like in the eighties. Just don’t fuck around with that sickle shit, you might end up dead.
Director: James McTeigue
Writers: Matthew Sand, J. Michael Straczynski
Cast: Sung Kang, Randall Duk Kim, Yuki Iwamoto, Naomie Harris, Rain, Stephen Marcus
Fun Stuff: The fights were filmed without wires or other special effects apart from shadow-blending.