Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ninja Assassin (2009)

Cool, if slight American ninja flick from the Wachowski Brothers and James McTeigue with a Korean actor playing the lead ninja. The story involves an exiled ninja, one of the best, who left his clan after the death of a woman he loved. He attempts to avoid being recognized by enemy clan members and authority figures (namely a suspicious Interpol agent), but ends up getting caught up in the investigation of the clans' assassination trade. The story is stupid, and follows every cliche of this type of movie one could imagine. However, they could have easily gotten away with that on sheer style which, aside from the action sequences, is not really there. The action is easily the high water mark of the film, and the beats where they just show ninjas doing their thing in glorious (albeit CGI-ed) motion are pretty successful. But inevitably, there isn't enough action, and the film crumbles under the weight of its own irrelevance. Plus, the goddam Japanese assassin everyone keeps talking about is not only obviously Korean by his Chevy Chase, but Bee (Rain) is a GODDAM KOREAN POP SUPERSTAR!! I hope they reaped the benefits off of that casting choice (aka Korean cash money), because it's really distracting and illegitimizes the film from the getgo.

Slightly Recommended to fans of ninja B-movies or really thin spectacles a la the Wachowski's Speed Racer. Remember, after Matrix and Bound, when the Wachowski's were the baddest motherfuckers in Hollywood? Then one of them became a woman, then they ruined their greatest creation with pretension and greed, and now, keep trying to prove themselves with bastardized movies of good concepts. Sigh.

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