Ninja Assassin – 9/10

I really enjoyed this movie. It is a gore fest Ninja movie through and through (which I haven’t seen in years).
It’s possible the things i thought were mistakes (watery blood. verses wounds that weren’t bleeding. shots with inconsistent lighting), were actually nods to old Ninja movies. It really did feel like someone’s attempt to do for Ninja movies what kill bill did for … every shaw brothers movie ever made? hmm.

Over at AICN, I read this review, by some moron named “Capone.” It is the most embarassingly incorrect review I’ve read in years. … Ok, maybe months. (or maybe i’m just getting old and angry). All that follows is my reply to that shitty review (even though the reviewer liked the movie. i was stunned at how much he seemed to have misunderstood):

-He was groomed to be the world’s greatest ninja. the title refers to the twist that he instead becomes a rogue who assassinates ninjas. Wasn’t this obvious?

– I thought the plot was pretty lightweight and simple. ninja still exist, and when anyone looks into them they are silenced. Unless our hero is there. money trails and government coverups are secondary to the main story of Raizo. We are investigating him alongside the bookworman.
(a scene about modern day equivalent of 100 pounds of gold is just that. You don’t have to get confused by it. It’s just pointing out how cool it is that 100 pounds of gold still gets the job done.).

– the joyful part of the plot that you fail to mention: is that ninja have never gone away. It seeks to convince you that it’s possible ninja still operate everyday. I felt much love for the filmmakers for trying to update the genre. Like kill bill, i felt the filmmakers were trying to ressurrect a genre that has been overlooked, and poorly approached, for years.

– The other major joy of this movie, which you fail to mention, lies in all these 70’s era (shaw brothers) magic powers. healing by concentrating. hearts placed in wrong place. sensing how floor will bend while walking on it. ninja vanishing. etc.)

-the clan doesn’t resurface and go on a killing spree. wrong. some bookworm is pursuing a pet theory about assassinations that have taken place for years. the whole point of ninja is that they are whispered about. In fact if you ask “how could ninja exist in modern times without someone knowing?” you might note “maybe raizo keeps killing them.”

-while no heavy philosophy or politics is present, the main theme seemed to be about connecting to your heart. “growing how you need to grow”. some people need to grow a heart on the right side of their chest. some people need to defy their bosses and keep looking into mysteries.

-the constant cheap CGI is ridiculously in your face, fucking up the fight scenes. The 5 minutes of camcorder’d practice footage that was released (on this site) was the best trailer for this movie that I could imagine. And then we get to that scene and it’s horribly chopped up and confused.

-I think that is the main complaint someone needs to mention: this movie was horribly over edited!
Felt like the director wanted to pay homage to old chop sockey, but couldn’t let the camera sit still during the intense violence.

-maybe it was poorly projected at my local digital theatre? seemed it was often way too black and was cutting so fast all you could make out were some shiny sparkles. Like an Uwe Boll film! Which made the cg enhancement of the swinging chain knife seem more like a last minute fix to help comprehension. bleh.
(Plus a few of the shots looked cheap. Like “Straight to video” cheap. Not lit consistently with the rest of the scene cheap).

-seemed like they had the same fake ass silicon shit for the kid’s sliced feet (and the adult’s chest slashes) that was used for Captain Mifune’s face in the third matrix. I hate that shit. Wounds look like that for a few seconds before they overflow with with blood. Letting them sit there bloodless makes it feel like halloween wax bullshit.

-i still really enjoyed the movie. Was just suprised by how cheap they chose to go. there were some really sweet shots at the end (paper walls burning) which they skipped over quickly. whyyyyyy?? felt like mood was thrown out the window in favor of spasming strobe-like american action bullshit. (we cut it like that in America: because the actors can’t do the action. why embarrass your action star that can actually do it all in one take? whyyyy). hmmf.


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