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[REVIEW] "Ninja Assassin"

최종수정 2009.12.01 00:23 기사입력 2009.11.30 23:59

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Rain stars as Raizo in the film "Ninja Assassin" [Warner Brothers]

The lights go out inside the room. And the yakuzas who were laughing a moment ago at the ninja story told by a tattoo artist get their bodies slashed by swords and flying knives. That is how the legendary ninja assassin makes a comeback to the real world in the film "Ninja Assassin".

The public's curiosity toward "Ninja Assassin" is largely due to the fact that Rain is leading the cast of a major Hollywood movie. But the film, which opens with blood splattering that is reminiscent of Kawajiri Yoshiaki's animation, focuses mostly on the fear of ninjas and less on the emotions of the main character Raizo, played by Rain. It is the fear of the unknown being. Like in the Discovery Channel's "Unsolved History", where ninjas were shown to secretly assassinate samurais using the mysterious martial arts technique "Ninjutsu", and the Ninja-inspired movie "Batman Begins", "Ninja Assassin" also paints the ninja as a mysterious assassin from the East. The only difference is that the film adds more detailed and more destructive footage. The flying knives of the ninja, is a weapon as deadly as a 13.5mm machine gun and Raizo's chain sickle attacks its victims from unpredictable angles, slicing off their arms and legs. The moment lights go out and darkness enters the room, ninjas turn into slaughterers that can instantly annihilate the most highly trained Special Forces soldiers.

Movie Points 1-10
Rain's physique deserves a 12, but the film deserves only a 6.


A fight scene from "Ninja Assassin" [Warner Brothers]

For those who were hoping to see Rain delivering his lines in improved English, sorry to disappoint you, but the character Raizo is a murdering machine who, by nature, rarely exposes his emotions. In other words, do not expect to see a sweet glance or smile from Rain. As a matter of fact, the young Raizo in his teens (played by Lee Joon of Rain's idol group MBLAQ) displays more expression on his face as he agonizes over the kill-or-be-killed principle of the ninja organization. The film's plot -- about Raizo plotting revenge against his former organization that trained him to become the group's top assassin after losing a close friend -- offers no subplots or multi-layered elements in the story. The only thing that the movie leaves behind is its images. The lasting images could be either Rain's ideal physique that was perfected by rigorous training, or the blood-splattering chopping up of body parts, or the flashy weapons used in the fighting scenes. People who appreciate peripheral and temporary satisfaction from a movie screen might give the film higher points. "Ninja Assassin" opened in theaters on November 26.

Reporter : Wee Geun-woo eight@10asia.co.kr
Editor : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr
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