"Just like Ronseal – it does exactly what it says on the tin"
Let’s be honest – you’re not going to expect a lot from a film entitled ‘Ninja Assassin’ are you? Sure, you’re going to anticipate a liberal sprinkling of ninjas, with the odd assassination here and there, but I don’t think anyone is going to be surprised if the plot and acting aren’t quite up to Oscar standard. In this regard, ‘Ninja Assassin’ doesn’t pull any surprises. There are ninjas by the bucket load, one of the highest body counts I can remember from recent films and not a lot else.
I’m not going to dwell too long on either the plot or the acting, because quite frankly no one is going to see this film for either of those reasons. In short, Raizo (played by Korean pop sensation Rain, for which this film is essentially a vessel) is a bad ninja turned good, seeking revenge for the death of his long lost love. Along the way he bumps into Europol agents Mika (Naomie Harris) and Ryan (Ben Miles) and all hell breaks loose. The good guys win, the end.
With that out of the way, only two things remain – the ninjas and the assassinations. As you’d expect from a film boasting the Wachowski brothers (of The Matrix fame) amongst its producers, the fight scenes are pretty damn good, exploding onto the screen with real pace and venom. The ninjas are pretty cool too, bestowed with an almost ethereal quality, almost like a modern day Nazgul, as they swarm all over the place. It’s such a shame therefore, that the CGI blood, and there’s a LOT of it, looks so fake – think the final battle from Blade and you wont be far off.
For fans of the genre, ‘Ninja Assassin’ is probably worth a watch, but by lacking in the fundamentals of plot and acting ability, doesn’t really offer anything for the average Joe.