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Ninja Assassin (2009)

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1:13 | Trailer

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A young ninja turns his back on the orphanage that raised him, leading to a confrontation with a fellow ninja from the clan.

Director:

James McTeigue

Writers:

Matthew Sand (screenplay), J. Michael Straczynski (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,435 ( 159)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rain ... Raizo
Joon Lee ... Teenage Raizo
Jonathan Chan-Pensley Jonathan Chan-Pensley ... Yakuza Henchman
Ill-Young Kim Ill-Young Kim ... Yakuza Mohawk
Yuki Iwamoto ... Yakuza Couch
Ben Miles ... Maslow
Naomie Harris ... Mika
Sung Kang ... Hollywood
Linh Dan Pham ... Pretty Ninja (as Linh-Dan Pham)
Fang Yu Fang Yu ... Laundromat Manager (as Yu Fang)
Adriana Altaras Adriana Altaras ... Landlady
Shô Kosugi ... Ozunu (as Sho Kosugi)
Kylie Goldstein ... Young Kiriko (as Kylie Liya Goldstein)
Sungwoong Yoon Sungwoong Yoon ... Young Raizo
Eleonore Weisgerber Eleonore Weisgerber ... Mrs. Sabatin
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Storyline

Trained since childhood to be a lethal killer, Raizo has since turned his back on the Ozunu clan that raised him and now seeks revenge for their heartless murders. Teaming up with Europol investigator Mika, Raizo steadily butchers his enemies while inching ever closer to the long-awaited bloody reunion with his former master. Written by The Massie Twins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Prepare to enter a secret world of assassins. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody stylized violence throughout, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 November 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Asesino Ninja See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,316,158, 29 November 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$38,105,077, 7 February 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

WILHELM SCREAM: Ninja blasted from roof of the clan training compound by soldier's rocket. See more »

Goofs

Europol is a relatively small organization without executive powers, established to facilitate information and intelligence sharing between Europe's various national law enforcement agencies. It does not conduct criminal investigations, operate prison facilities or command paramilitary units. See more »

Quotes

Ryan Maslow: I've investigated World Bank organizations, drug cartels, arms dealers, I've never faced this kind of thing! For ninjas it's fucking unbelievable!
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Crazy Credits

The opening title appears in a spray of blood. See more »


Soundtracks

Heroes
Written and Performed by David Bowie
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Wicked weapons, killer moves and Bloody battles at its all-time Best.
26 November 2009 | by xamtaroSee all my reviews

If the Wachowski brothers' Speed Racer was the ultimate tribute to family friendly classic cartoons, Ninja Assassin is the ultimate tribute to 80s martial arts B movies like "Enter the Ninja", video games like "Ninja Gaiden" and the Ultra-violent anime genre titles like Ninja Scroll.(Already noticed the name "ninja" in all the titles mentioned? well, what a coincidence!). It is violent, it is bloody and packed to the gills with action. Every thing else ends up playing second fiddle to the fights.

Unfortunately, "every else" also includes the story which is, a hodgepodge of very familiar elements. Raizo (played by Korean star Rain) is an orphan raised by a cruel master Lord Ozunu(played by Sho Kosugi, famous for his starring roles in, what else, 80s ninja movies like "Enter the ninja".) to be part of a secret clan of ninjas that have been responsible for countless assassinations over the centuries. Through a series of flashbacks (intercut with scenes of a half naked hunky Rain training with some vicious looking weapons), Raizo's tragic story is fleshed out. We see his tormented childhood days as a ninja trainee; his only emotional refuge, an orphan girl who, like Raizo, is part of the clan. One day, his friend tries to escape from the harsh ninja way of life and is executed, prompting a change of heart in Raizo who eventually betrays his clan after a narrowly botched mission. Now on the run, hunted by both his former comrades and a special international task force, Raizo finds an unlikely ally in the form of Mika Coretti, a Europol agent who is close to exposing the secret existence of the Ninjas and hence targeted for assassination.

Simply put, the unoriginal storyline is highly predictable and filled with B movie clichés from stem to stern. It is a definite step down from the philosophical Matrix trilogy or the sophisticated and political V for Vendetta.

Characters are, at best, cardboard cut outs and at worse painfully bland. None of them come across as emotionally engaging. Raizo is especially underdeveloped despite being the main character. His internal motives for his betrayal are never fully explored and the cheesy romance bit, not to mention the whole big about "the heart' feels like a tacked-on afterthought. The acting is passable; nothing better than the level of a TV series, but the script manages to have a couple of witty lines of dialog.

Though Ninja Assassin is no work of storytelling perfection, it delivers what it promises: lots of fights and lots of violence. Limbs are lobbed off, stomachs are split open and heads are busted as the movie slashes its way from one fight scene to the next, delivering scenes of wicked weapons and bloody carnage that make even Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre look like a tame PG film. The fight choreography is well executed with a good mix of slow motion and frantic close-ups. Special effects and CGI are used to effectively give the movie a very comic book-like feel (not surprising since the Wachowski brothers are avid comic fans and one of the screenplay writers is also a comic book writer). Thankfully some erratic camera work (especially during the scene where Raizo is being chased through a busy street) does not feel distracting but enhances the frantic and lightning fast pace of the fights. Blood flows like rivers as Raizo proceeds to disembowel enemies en masse; definitely not for the squeamish.

On a whole, Ninja Assassin feels like a hack-and-slash video game come to life from the first skirmish to the climatic showdown involving modern day special forces taking on an army of ninja warriors . Some cheesy bits here and there require a certain suspension of disbelief but the film's portrayal of ninjas in general is gritty and realistic yet preserves their mysterious and legendary status. It is refreshing too to see that Raizo is not some invincible killing machine as he does tire and he does take his fair share of hits, even going down a couple of times.

Forget Naruto and all those brightly dressed, magic power spewing ninjas of recent anime. Ninja Assassin is the butt-kicking, face slashing answer to all that. A respectable re-imaging of a dated genre and 99 minutes of non-stop violent escapism once you look past its narrative flaws.


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