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Ninja Assassin Blu-ray Review - -

Feature 6.0
Video 8.8
Audio 8.5
Special Features 7.0
Total 6.0

Distributor: Warner Bros
Running Time:
Reviewer: Jamie Kirk
: T18+


Ninja Assassin

Ninja Assassin is a video game committed to movie. It is not a film based on a video game (thankfully), and it is not as sophisticated as todayís best video game narratives. What it is though, is a bloody button mashing action game come to life. In fact, the similarities between Ninja Assassin, and the game series Ninja Gaiden are quite common. Obviously both feature ninjaís, both feature incomprehensible plotlines that are of little consequence, and both feature a hefty amount of limb severance. It also bears a small resemblance to the last Street Fighter film, featuring a boring Interpol type agency searching for a mythical group of warriors, although Ben Miles is no Chris Klein (whether that is a good or bad thing can be left up to the viewer). So basically it is a ridiculous tale, but it can also be fairly fun at times. 

The plot concerns ninja assassin Razio (Korean pop star Rain), who after enduring many years of brutal training and the loss of a loved one, defects from his clan and begins using his skills to disrupt his former clans assassinations. Somewhere in the middle of this Europol agent Mika is getting closer to uncovering the existence of the assassin clan, something which puts her in dire peril. So of course Razio and Mika are eventually forced to team up as a whole load of ninjas descend upon them with the intention to cut them into little pieces. Like many films of this style, the plot matters very little, only helping to move the film to the next bloody set piece. However whereas in a film like Street Fighter, that seemed to know a little that it was ridiculous, Ninja Assassin takes itself and its nonsense plot way too seriously, which ends up making the film way too boring while people arenít being chopped up with swords. Thankfully these parts move fairly rapidly, and the viewer is treated to more fight scenes. These scenes are the ones that have kept the fake blood industry alive for many years to come. Ninja Assassin is a gory film, a very gory film. In addition to the stabbings, shootings, whippings, flailings (yeah!), and ninja starrings (not a word!), there are enough decapitations and severance of limbs to make Eli Roth blush. It is ridiculous, but it is kind of nice to see sword fights resulting in their realistic end, instead of people just falling to the ground like it was a live action role play game. The blood might get a little overkill, but the action scenes are designed to be overkill. They feature insane acrobatics, innovative use of weaponry, and a whole heap of hardcore violence, and they are mostly quite enjoyable to watch. The first scene in particular is a bit shocking, as the resulting carnage was much more violent than expected. It wears off though, and some of the fight scenes delve into repetitive slugs, relying too much on the spurts of blood to keep viewers entertained. 

Ninja Assassin also boasts a variety of special features that include an entertaining history about the myth and legend of Ninjas (where was this when I was 8?), The Extreme Sport of a Ninja which is a mini making of featurette, highlighting the stunts of the movie and finally another small documentary about training the star of this action flick. The good thing about the special features and like the movie is that it's all filmed in HD that boasts exceptional detailed images and an impressive audio score.

In conclusion Ninja Assassin has some fun fight scenes and works occasionally. However the film has little to recommend above that. The plot can just be skipped over, and repeat viewings make the fight scenes feel more samey. Once the shock of the gore is over, the film offers little which hasnít been seen before, and most of the other films have done it a lot better. Drawing back to the video game analogy, Ninja Assassin is kind of like one of the average SNES or Mega Drive era side scrolling beat em ups. Fun for a while, enjoyable to experience with a mate, but offers nothing to come back to once it is done.

Special Features

The Myth and Legend of Ninjas
The Extreme Sport of a Ninja
Training Rain
Deleted Scenes


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