Saturday, April 10, 2010


I've heard a lot of you roody-poo candy asses arguing Ninja is better than Ninja Assassin or vice versa

Well I'm here to set the record straight.

It's pretty much a draw, suckers!

How's THAT for taking a controversial, hard lined stance? Wishy-washerman Loaf himself is here to say that maybe perhaps I enjoyed Ninja Assassin a little more for its ridiculousness, but Ninja was still solid and I will root for Scott Adkins until I find out about him torturing puppies or something in the future.

Ninja's title is a bit misleading because it largely follows the traditional Hong Kong approach to ninjitsu in having the ninja be mainly a villain as opposed to a hero. None of the acting here is fantastic by any stretch of the imagination, and honestly after seeing Adkins' moves in Undisputed II (another solid fuckin action flick) recently, I felt like some of the martial arts were a bit tame as well. But the story here was decent and definitely a more traditional martial arts setup. It was straightforward, easy to follow, and really did not try to be anything it was not... a direct to video movie with ninja shit!

I've heard complaint here about a certain ninja costume being silly, and, well... it kinda is. But let's not forget what we are talking about here. A GODDAMN NINJA. Updating your gear a little to have night vision and wings is no more ridiculous than a person that can walk on water or heal themselves with mere mind power, right? I liked the direction the movie took honestly with the new ninjitsu style of a man who has lost his way in bitterness and jealousy vs. an older style.

There are some great looking stunts here, and even the little wirework gets a pass considering the subject matter.

If Ninja were a movie I paid 10 bucks to see in a theater, I'd understand complaining perhaps. But for a rental if you're in the mood to see some sword fighting and blow darts, you could do a hell of a lot worse.

Score: 6.25 / 10

The general consensus for the most part seems to be that Ninja Assassin is the superior film to the two notable ninja flicks of 2009. While I have defended Ninja here in the fight, I did enjoy Ninja Assassin a little more. The difference here is that Ninja Assassin could have been more but fell short for a few reasons to Ninja's being better than I thought it would be going in.

Both movies have their fair share of CGI blood and gore, but honestly it doesn't really bother me most of the time. There are exceptions of course when it just seems completely out of place (such as a neck stabbing in Un Prophete which I was totally distracted by unfortunately), but when you get buckets of gore, and it is established early that they are going the CGI route, then good on ya. Make it entertaining.

And boy does the blood flow in Ninja Assassin.

The story in Ninja Assassin is also structured similarly to a traditional martial arts film, but the added introspection as well as a detective agency sideplot really detracted from the overall experience for me. Raizo (Rain) had an interesting past as an orphan with a very bright (dark?) future as an assassin for a very old ninja clan, but for a reason that I will not spoil here goes rogue.

I wish it had been left here.

There is a subplot that develops with an international agency librarian or some shit unravelling assassination plots and actually having video of Raizo in action. What kind of ninja is that getting caught plain as day on film? I will qualify this complaint by also stating that the ninja in Ninja Assassin are almost superhuman until Raizo splits their pressurized asses in two. You see them actually move fast enough to where there is a blur, climb on celings, etc. If Raizo is the strongest disciple, is he really gonna be fucking around without a mask and not hiding in shadows?

I don't like getting bogged down in geeky plotholes and stuff... I would say (particularly lately) that I am pretty forgiving of movies as a whole and just try to enjoy them for what they are. Ninja Assassin just forced my hand. I would just find myself thinking "I wish they would just get back to people or a car getting shredded by ninja stars.

There's some great shit in here though that balances out some of the over analyzation and overabundant plot points. A ridiculous body count and the magical ninja shit I like to see is all there with some crazy (if CGI'ed) weapon fights. The over the top elements really helped me enjoy this one in moments far more than Ninja, but the other elements really weighted it down so it ultimately overall was not that much more enjoyable for me.

Score: 6.75 / 10

So it's pretty much a wash.
Direct to video that soars higher than one would expect.
Bigger budget cinematic release with crazy shit weighted down by some corny turd

And I have gone around my elbow to scratch my ass!

No comments: