Hey folks, Valkor here. Last year resident TOV writer Ace checked out the blood-fest that is "Ninja Assassin". Well the folks at Warner Home have hooked up the Val-man with the DVD. And while I found the action bad ass, it's the pacing that slows things down. You can read Ace's full review [HERE], but here's an excerpt that pretty much sums up his thoughts on the film:
"Ninja Assassin became a personal classic for me. The people behind the film deserve a ton of credit for the action, because along with the story for me it made this movie complete."
Ninja Assassin is actually two stories that run parallel, but brings it all together at the end. On one side you have Raizo who is a ninja assassin, ex-communicated from his clan for betraying his teacher/father/master because he wanted to protect someone he cared about. Through flashbacks we see the events that lead up to the betrayal starting from when he joined the Ozuno clan as a young boy. On the other side of the parallel we have Agent Mika and Agent Maslow who are working together to find out who's behind a rash of mysterious murders. But it's when Mika meets the wife of now deceased Aleksei Sabatin, is when things start to piece together. Mika is given files belonging to Aleksei and with his files she finds out that ninjas are involved, specifically Raizo, who she sees in a surveillance video. Maslow warns Mika about what their facing when going this deep and that things could get ugly, yet he continues to assist her. One night, on her way home, her neighborhood has a black out, and it is then that she meets Raizo, which ultimately leads to a confrontation between himself and his former Clan.
Extras on the DVD include a few deleted scenes and not much else. Honestly I don't believe those scenes would've hurt the films pacing issues and definitely should have been left in to fill in a bit more of the story.
First I loved the story, which is solid and straight-forward with no crazy twists or surprises. It's a story about a Ninja Assassin and that's exactly what you get. Second is the action, though not heavy, there's enough of it to keep you interested. I freakin loved Raizo's chain-sickle and his dippin in and out of shadows, which puts me in a Ninja Scroll state of mind. Finally the blood… buckets and buckets of blood! This movie shouldn't be called Ninja Assassin, it should be called "Ninjas covered in buckets of blood" because there's just so much of it.
The pacing is much slower than the trailers made it appear and this mostly occurs when we're dealing with the flashbacks of Raizo's training.
That opening scene when a mysterious ninja attacks an Asian gang. Wow!
Overall Ninja Assassin was worth the watch and I enjoyed every minute of it, even with the pacing issue; it's a solid story with lots of action and buckets and buckets of blood. And did I mention the blood? Yea there's buckets of it! And out of TOV 5 stars, I give Ninja Assassin 4 stars and it's been Valkor tested and TOV Approved.