Brief Thoughts: Ninja Assassin

Spoilers, you scumbags

I’m surprised how badly-reviewed this film is (34% on Metacritic, 26% on Rotten Tomatoes). Its story isn’t groundbreaking, but the action is visceral and frantic and the film (and this becomes more important to me the older I get) doesn’t outstay its welcome, being a sleek 99 minutes.

It’s an odd mix: a martial arts film in English; a German-American production set in Germany, where none of the main actors are German or American; battles where ninjas and machine-guns collide.

I particularly enjoyed how the film presented the ninjas as supernatural, with a hint of horror. A few times I was reminded of Aliens when the ninjas appeared, and there was one shot (the camera pulled up from the special forces to show ninjas perched above waiting to attack) that was similar to one from Aliens vs Predator.

The ninjas did become less scary when they ended up on lit streets, having their heads smashed into the sides of vans. They should have stayed in the darkness.

While the love story was mostly predictable, I didn’t expect the girl to die in that scene, or as abruptly as she did. Nicely done, Ninja Assassin


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