Monday, 31 January 2011

Film Review: NINJA ASSASSIN (2009)

Director: James McTeigue
Running time: 99 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

Genre: Action/Adventure/Martial Arts
UK release date 22nd January 2010

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 31st January 2011.


I do like a good martial arts film; I remember the Bruce Lee classics with great affection. Of the more recent crop, I’m not sure I like any of them, but I live in hope, and so I came to Ninja Assassin. It’s certainly not in the class of the Bruce Lee films and there is far too much CGI gore for my liking, but I’ll tell you more of my thoughts later. Here’s a brief summary first (summary haters please conceal yourselves in the shadows while I write the next paragraph).

We are told the story of Raizo, who, from a young boy, was brought up to be a Ninja. In his youth he formed a friendship that could not last and, thanks to his Ninja clan it ended tragically. Having grown into a lethal assassin, Raizo escapes the clan but they are always just one step behind him. Meanwhile, researcher, Mika Coretti is working on a series of mysterious deaths that she puts down to the work of a Ninja clan. Her boss, Ryan Maslow is sceptical but allows her to continue. As she digs deeper her life becomes threatened and a member of the clan is sent to kill her. Saved by Raizo, who has been watching her, the pair is now on the run… I won’t say any more as I don’t want to give too much away.

The plot, on the face of it, isn’t too bad; unfortunately the way it has been filmed has made it all a bit on the bloodbath side of gory. Gratuitous use of CGI has taken so much of the skill of the artists and stunt guys that it all looks a bit too fake for my liking. Performance wise; Rain as Raizo, Naomie Harris as Mika Coretti and Ben Miles as Ryan Maslow are all adequate without being stretched.

I guess if you like a lot of violence and blood and don’t mind that it’s mostly achieved by the use of CGI then this is the film for you. For me, because the plot does hold a little water and, bloodbath scenes excluded, it did have a little entertainment value, I’ll let it squeak over the 5/10 barrier. Over all, not recommended unless you’re into extreme violence and lots and lots of blood.

My score: 5.6/10

(RT = Rotten Tomatoes)
IMDb Page:
RT Page:
Official Site:

1 comment:

CACB said...

Nice review man, I was never interrested in seeing this