Where are the ninjas nowadays? They where everywhere in the 80’s. Michael Dudikoff was the American Ninja in several movies, there were ninja turtles, and every American TV had at one point an episode with ninjas. Yes, even Michael Knight and KITT battled a group of ninjas in an episode, I kid you not.
But the 80s and early 90s went and so did the ninjas. So it feels kind of fresh again to see some kung fu fighting involving ninjas as Ninja Assassin overtly demonstrates.
The story is about Ninja clans who kidnap children and raise them to be ninjas. The ninjas work as assassins and have been functioning under the radar for centuries. Anyone investigating these clans is being taken out by these ninjas. Raizo is one of these ninjas but has defected from his clan and has now become a target. He finds out his clan is targeting a young woman investigating assassinations by ninjas and becomes her guardian and possible solution in breaking this case. What ensues is a lot of fighting and little of what could resemble an actual plot.
After delivering the incredibly good V for Vendetta James McTeigue shows that a good and solid story is everything, that and maybe a few good actors. While delivering enough eye-candy the movie is actually quite low on a captivating story levels and doesn’t have really good actors. And most of the money shots were included in the trailer so if you’ve seen that the movie doesn’t really add something new to it.
Maybe I’m a bit too harsh on the movie, after all I wasn’t really bored by it, it looked great and had some nifty fight sequences. On the other side it felt like that was all there was to it. Everything serves as an excuse for some ninjas kicking ass. But without the good fight sequences this could just as well been another installment in the American Ninja series.