Directed by James McTeigue
There are two ways one could go about approaching this movie.
1) With a title like “Ninja Assassin” this movie has a lot to live up to. In other words, this movie could be awesome.
2) With a title like “Ninja Assassin” this movie must be a harbinger of the Apocalypse. In other words, this movie is the antichrist.
I found myself more or less firmly rooted in the second camp before watching this film. I’ve never been one for cheesy, cheap, or exploitive titles. They just don’t interest me. They often warn me right away that no one put any effort into the movie, or even worse, somebody thinks they’re being coy, imagining that they are smarter than a first impression would suggest, when really, they’re dumber by about an extra half.
After seeing the film, my opinion hasn’t really been swayed to the other side. Yes, the action is fantastic. (If you like your action all “bullet timey” which I don’t really mind.) But after every action piece, the film slows down to a crawl. It’s the filmic equivalent to a fat man, blessed with the ability to turn into a sleek and powerful ninja every 20 minutes or so, for about six minutes. And that’s it. After that, he’s back to his fat boring life. And every time he returns to his real life, it’s that more depressing. After about an hour and a half, he can’t take it anymore and offs himself. “Ninja Assassin” is about as abrupt and graceful as that analogy. The film has its moments to be sure, but at its heart it’s empty. There’s absolutely nothing else to it. But with a title like “Ninja Assassin” what more could you really expect?
Countdown to the Apocalypse: 2 more “Ninja Assassin” sequels. (And who wants to bet that the first sequel would be called “Ninja Assassins“? Get it? See what I did there? Yeah, that’s how clever executives sometimes are.)