A law enforcment officer investigates a secret order of ninja assassins and finds herself a target along the way. Teaming up with an outcast from that order they fight to survive against a seemingly undefeat-able army of shadow warriors. Ninja Assassin seems like it was made with the specific intention of being the greatest ninja movie ever made. It features copius amounts of ninjas, ninja movie Godfather Sho Kosugi and it trades on the more mythological elements of ninjas considerably. More so, it tries to deliver on the potential for gore all those nasty looking weapons promise.
In fact it's probably the frequent and considerable arterial gushings that will stick in your mind. As a movie it works just fine although I didn't really find myself caring all that much. The plot and cast are all functional but never really engage and the movie doesn't truly display any chemistry or charisma. And if I'm being picky it would appear that a lot of the blood and flying blades are either digital or composited in post. As such the blades cut and blood flows a little too easily, making every kill past the opening sequence a little slick and lacking in grit and impact. I've watched this twice now and to be fair I'm having a hard time remembering much about it other than the extreme gore.
Ninja Assassin is, however, a movie that is clearly trying to please and more often than not it succeeds. The fights are nicely choreographed, the visuals and action are often inventive, it's messy and it's good fun. A more charismatic lead, some more varied outfits and some more practical effects and this could have been a contender for the greatest ninja movie ever made. That's not to say that as it stands it comes pretty bloody close.
Ninja Abilities – Blindfold fighting, super speed, rapid-fire shuriken throwing, super healing.
Ninja Kit – Shuriken, chain-scythe, swords, knives, sticks.
Ninja Colours – Black.
Notable Ninja Kills – Head sliced in half (ear-to-ear), body cut in half, repeated dismemberment (hands, arms and legs), disembowelling, decapitation, head smashed into urinal, katana thrown into forehead, chain-scythe pulled into throat.
Ninja Activity? – High
Ninja Mythology - Ninjas don't care about carpets, walls or upholstery.
Overall rating: - 9
Wondering what the hell you just read? Check out the introduction that explains everything you need to know about this column here!