Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ninja Assassin. C

'Ninja Assassin' is about a ninja who's an assassin. That's about all you really need to know. The rest of it is old stuff we've seen countless times before: boy raised by evil man to be an assassin. Boy meets girl. Girl is killed by evil man. Boy betrays master and seeks revenge. The upside to a movie like this is that since the plot's so thin then there's ample room for ninja fighting. And yes, the movie does indulge in about as many bloody action sequences as it can muster in its running time of a little less than 100 minutes. The problem is that they're very poorly choreographed. The lighting, with the exception of a final battle, is dim, making it hard to pick out the moves or see who's fighting who. And the editing isn't very impressive and the moves themselves aren't exactly wowing. The film seemed more interested in severed body parts with lots of stylized blood spilling out than really cool martial arts combat. To really see what a letdown the fighting is in 'Ninja Assassin,' just check out the action in 'Kill Bill'-especially part one. Korean pop star Rain portrays the protagonist and he gives a pretty bland performance that makes him come across as a tired hero. Personally I don't think he's much of an actor. His character is much more interesting in the flashbacks that show his reason for vengeance than when he's actually going after the bad guy. In the end, despite its clumsy look and old story, 'Ninja Assassin' isn't awful. It doesn't try very hard to impress us and so it's hard to really regret watching it.

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