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Does Ninja Assassin stealth its way past our memory of the last two Matrix movies?


Ninja Assassin (2009)

Should this Ninja Assassin keep his Ass-assin in the shadows or step into the light to slay some (insert name of jackass here) meatsack? You didn’t think we would hit “ass” twice in a sentence did you? (Ha, we just said “hit” and “ass.”)

The Wachowski brothers, er siblings, are back in a production capacity. They "Speed Racer"ed their way to a flop after finding some vendetta in advance with the very well done “V for Vendetta.” Now they bring us some assassin ninjas who will assassinate ninjas in all the bloody-good ways possible. Some (read: we) say they are washed up, but after seeing “Ninja Assassin” we’d like to think there is at least one more better-than-decent movie left in the future. This movie only qualifies for the “decent” part, but it’s a fun ride.

The movie’s greatest weakness is its story-line. Matthew Sand and J. Michael Straczynski’s write a script that tries to have the poetry of some old-school Japanese movies, but what we end up getting is enough of an excuse to see some people kick, punch, slash, hack and mutilate each another – with moments of sap in between. The sappy moments are supposed to show us the “heart” of this story via dialogue and some ninjas who get dealt with properly.

James McTeigue's direction provides great action and gore, but the rest of his work is lost due to the story-line. Gore is center stage in this film and its there in spades. Did you know that ninjas don’t share the same biology as the rest of us? They are merely giant sacks of blood who shoot gallons of it when punctured. Had it not been for the gore, “Ninja Assassin” would have been a bore.

The film maintains interest with decent acting, namely by Sung Kang and Randall Duk Kim. While meditating to heal a giant gash in seconds and moving faster than the speed of light took us out of the movie a bit, all is forgiven when the blood flows.

Those with sensitivity to blood, guts and severed heads should realize that we all have them then NOT see this movie because you won’t last a second.


Official website:

Ninja Assassin (2009)


Directed by: James McTeigue
Written by: Matthew Sand & J. Michael Straczynski
Cast: Sung Kang, Randall Duk Kim, Naomie Harris

Source of the Bitter: JAS

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