If you are a fan of fantasy martial arts films, then keep reading, but if you like your martial arts to be realistic, then you may want to stop here. Ninja Assassin falls into the realm of what I call fantasy kung fu, which includes extraordinary feats of prowess, phenomenal leaps, mystical fighting skills and the ability for one person to take on a minimum of twenty guys at one time. I am a fan of fantasy kung fu, and during the 80’s, I swore I was a ninja. I even went so far as to have my mom dye my dad’s old karate outfit black, so my buddy Ken and I could do ninja style commando raids against each other and others. Yes, just like Star Wars, Star Trek and Godzilla, kung fu movies have helped shape who I am.
During the 80s, ninja movies swept the USA, and were frequently shown on HBO and I soaked them up with a passion. Movies like, Ninja Scroll, Chinese Super Ninjas, Wu-Tang vs. Ninja and Revenge of the Ninja are some of my favorite ninja style movies of all time. Each one of these films falls into the realm of what I label fantasy kung fu, so will Ninja Assassin rank up there as one of my favorites in the fantasy kung fu category? Yes and no. Ninja Assassin is short on story, but filled with some special effects fighting action scenes that will have you clinging to the edge of your seat. This film is rated R for a reason. I shouldn’t have any problem with horror films after the blood, guts and limbs I saw flying all over the place. Although it was filled with some cool action scenes, the fights weren’t as memorable as some of my favorites from the past. The kill moves were great, but the fights themselves just didn’t stand out to me. The coolest part to me was how they showed the ninjas appearing out of the shadows. What I would love to see would be a scene by scene remake of Chinese Super Ninjas using today’s technology now that would be a movie. The story itself was a classic revenge tale, but some aspects of the story didn’t make too much sense, and could have been tweaked with very little effort. Regardless, I will probably buy this one on DVD to increase the size of my kung fu collection. The movie is good, but not one of my all time favorites.
Kameron: Unable to attend due to movie rating.