Many college students revel in the release of any new martial arts film, particularly those involving Ninjas. While the newest Ninja movie is sure to have peaked interests of many fans, Ninja Assassin may not be exactly what movie goers are expecting.
The film follows the plight of young ninja assassin Raizo, a natural ninja and one of the world’s deadliest ninja assassins for hire. While the life of Raizo before his upbringing by the Ozunu Clan is left unknown aside from him being orphaned, Raizo is soon bred and raised away from a normal childhood to become a living weapon, an assassin so lethal that defeat is unknown to him.
Elsewhere in the world, Agent Mika Coretti is an agent for Europol who is investigating money transfers linked to political murders and discovers that several of the most successful and unexplained assassinations can be linked to the Ozunu Clan. She goes against Ryan Maslow, her superior who believed the ninja conspiracy theory to be a myth, and investigates further into the case, retrieving secret files which explain more about the clan and the ninja assassins. Once the clan finds out about the investigation, they send several ninjas to attempt to assassinate her, but Coretti is narrowly rescued by Raizo. It is revealed that Raizo for years had harbored resentment towards the Clan, rebelling against them after his first official mission is completed, narrowly escaping certain death in the process. Raizo goes into hiding, waiting to exact revenge on his former Clan. Together, Raizo and Mika desperately seek to find a way to exact Raizo’s revenge and take down the Ozunu Clan for the political assassinations permanently, while trying to survive the constant threat of ninjas descending on them from nowhere.
The film has a strong start that carries an air of promise, which turns suddenly to an air of confusion. While the film comes off in movie ads and reviews as being tastefully done with a clear balance of violence and martial arts, the film soon shows itself to be far from it. It is clear that the story is very simplistic and neutral to the level of violence and wonton gore that is not remotely close to the lineage of ninjitsu. Ninja Assassin takes many liberties concerning the history of ninjas and tactical fighting, almost boasting itself as being inconsistent and formulaic. For true fans of Ninjas or martial arts in general, be warned: Ninja Assassin turns away from the finest martial arts displays of the past to a gory bloodfest, leaving many ninja fans disappointed. Ninja Assassin runs 99 minute and is rated R for strong, bloody, stylized violence throughout the film and some strong language.