Tuesday, 26 January 2010

REVIEW: Ninja Assassin

When a film calls itself Ninja Assassin, it pretty much lays its cards down on the table. There's gonna be swords, literal oceans of blood and actors who clearly speak English as a fifth language struggle through what is already bad dialogue. But the people who see this movie know this already, and they don't care. They came to see dudes get sliced up in every imaginable way by a near silent Bad Ass, and in this respect Ninja Assassin delivers I guess. But as a movie it still sucks, and sucks no question; though talking about narrative faults would be pointless by definition. As for a legitimate action complaint, I have to say I would have liked to see maybe a little less slow-mo and CGI and more allowing for the ninja skills to speak for themselves. Personally I enjoy these organic action scenes a little more then what was cosmetically on display here.

The plot, although using that word in regards to this movie is one of the most hilarious jokes I've done on here in a while, sees Raizo (played by an actor known only as Rain. Which is pretty badass in itself) is out to take revenge on his evil Ninja academy and all its produce, whilst protecting researcher Naomie Harris ( Of 28 Days Later fame) and proceeds to lay waste to all ninja. The ten year old boy in me got a kick out of the sugar-rush carnage director James McTeigue offers here, and Rain is an intimidating physical specimen to say the least, looking almost ridiculously like a sculpture. For a two-dimension hero, you could do worse. Can't act for shit, but were you expecting him to be able to? Harris is the shrieky action movie girl at its most stereotypically grating. I think she is better then this, but I guess for a director as unconcerned with performance with Mcteigue - which mattered a lot more in V for Vendetta - that's going to happen I guess. I kind of enjoyed Coupling's Ben Miles as a British special agent, and in particular the running gag (I choose to interpret it that way) of him disappearing for the violence and appearing again from nowhere once the carnage be through. The fact that he wasn't treated as British canon fodder was pretty cool.

But yeah, if saying the title Ninja Assassin sends you into an ironic fever pitch then you might enjot this movie. But then you probably also loved Punisher: War Zone, Transporter 2 and Resident Evil: Apocalypse for the same reason. And thus are responsible for all the evil in the world, plus the existence of Snakes On A Plane. Bitter much.

Rating: 4/10

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