Ninja Assassin (Some Spoilers)


Today I saw Ninja Assassin, and I enjoyed it enough that I wanted to do a quick little write up recommending it. ^^

DSCN0307 copy Ninja Bunny watches over ticket stub -de gozaru.

First, let me say that I loved the movie. It was great, it was everything I wanted it to be. I am a huge martial arts nerd, and I practice martial arts myself, so maybe take this review with a grain of salt if your not into movies with gratuitous ninja violence.

So here is the short and the dirty as I don't want to give to many spoilers I will try to keep it as vague as I can.

The Good:
-Gratuitous Ninja Violence
-Great weapon fights
-It's Rated R
-Ninja Hand Signs
-Decent Story

Gratuitous Ninja Violence
Let's face the facts, this is why this film was made, and this is the only thing that really matters about this movie. Ninja Assassin definitly delivers on the ninja violence. ^^

Great Weapon Fights
Loved, LOVED, the scenes with the bladed chain. If I had any complaints about the fight scenes it would be that not everyone had this weapon, some poor ninja's had to fight with a sword.. those poor.. poor bastards. I was especially grateful that the pretty much the most annoying weapon of all ninja time the dreaded Sai didn't make it into the film.

It's Rated R
This may seem like a weird thing to put as a plus, but teenagers really bother me. I know I was a teenager once, but if I had a time machine I would go back in time and kick my angsty teenage ass. So for me the movie being Rated R was a huge plus as it meant that anyone under 18 would have to convince their legal guardians to allow them to see this movie. I should also note that in America, where sex is viewed as more damaging to children than violence this movie got an R with little or no profanity and not an ounce of sex or nudity. Which goes back to the first good thing I listed.. ^^

Ninja Hand Signs
Got to love the ninja hand signs.^^

Decent Story
That is to say, it has enough story to hold the movie together which is all a martial arts movie needs. To make a martial arts movie you need the following

-A Nearly unbeatable master
-A promising student
-A Reason for Revenge

The film had all of the appropriate ingredients.

The Bad:
-Cheesy Dialogue
-Women portrayed poorly
-Inconsistent portrayal of Ninja's
-Lacking Story

Now I should note that 3 of the 4 bad things are consistent in all martial arts movies, so it can hardly be held against the film.

Cheesy Dialogue
Without giving to much a way whenever the dialogue is between the main character and a woman it is painfully cheesy. Not as bad as the dialogue between Anakin and Pademe which was a crime against human ears, but still pretty bad. With martial arts movies most of the budget goes towards stunts, blood, and destructible scenery, you can't spend to much money on writers.

Women Portrayed Poorly
It could probably be argued that women are portrayed poorly in all action films, but in general martial arts films seems to give them the short end of the stick. There are usually two female characters in martial arts movies and you will fall into one or more of the following rolls.

The girl that dies and gives the hero reason for revenge
The girl that betrays and gives the hero reason for revenge.
The girl that dies and gives the hero a child before the movie starts
The girl that convinces the hero that he is still human and has a reason to live (often dies)
etc.. etc..
In the rare case that female characters survive to the end of the movie they tend to be a replacement for the love the hero lost or
they have to share him with another female character that also managed to survive.

Basically the female characters exist to make the male lead more interesting. It is an unfortunate pattern, and maybe just maybe there will be a martial arts film where the female character makes it through without falling into one of the previously mentioned categories.

Inconsistent portrayal of Ninja's
I don't want to give to much away, but at the start of the movie the Ninja's are pretty much an unstoppable force of mythic proportions, and near the end.. apparently having enough spot lights and catching them by surprise is enough to mess up their game.

Lacking Story

This didn't really bother me, as I am familiar with the genre, but it may bother some. There is just enough story to carry the reasons for why things are happening in the film, but nothing much beyond that, which is more than can be said about some films. (cough)Transformers(cough).

So all in all, I highly recommend this film. It sets out to accomplish a goal and it does it, extreamly well I might add.^^

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