Movie Reviews

Film Review: “Ninja Assassin”

(Warner Brothers. 1 hour, 39 minutes. Rated R for strong bloody stylized violence throughout, and language. Directed by James McTeigue.) Rain (Raizo), Naomie Harris (Mika), Shô Kosugi (Ozunu), Ben Miles (Maslow). Music by Ilan Eshkeri.

Mika (Harris), a forensic researcher for Europol investigating a string of high-profile assassinations, teams up with rogue ninja Raizo (Rain) to take down his former clan. What follows is a messy, underwhelming tangle of a movie. With a title like that, you can expect a bevy of gratuitous action, and with Joel Silver and the Wachowski Brothers producing, you can expect that action to be stylishly presented. Unfortunately, some of the more interesting set pieces are marred by choppy editing, jittery camerawork and a lack of lighting. I realize ninjas stick to the shadows, but how much visual interest can you generate with black-clad assassins fighting in the dark? The poor editing isn’t limited to the fight scenes, as much of the story is told in oddly-paced flashbacks. Also, as simple as the story is, it contains a surprising number of plot holes (e.g., how can a bunch of ninjas be completely unstoppable in one scene and cannon fodder in the next?). Korean pop star Rain isn’t given much to do save glower and kill people, but he does handle the action sequences admirably. Harris is easy on the eyes and talented enough, though she gets saddled with a groan-worthy romance with Raizo. Miles is also good as an incredulous special agent who provides the lone comic relief in the film. Fans of ninjas in specific or martial arts in general can find something to like here, but others need not apply.

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Jared Counts

Digital Technology Manager

Jared Counts moved to Houston in 1995, survived high school and college, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a degree in Communications (Media Production) and a minor in Film Studies. After being hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, he proceeded to bounce between...

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