Raizo is a traitor to a secret organization of Japanese ninjas who raise and train children to grow up and be assassins. Before being a traitor Raizo went through the extreme training of his clan before abandoning it. Years later, still hiding in the shadows, Raizo saves a woman named Mika (Naomie Harris) during an attack against her and with this an opportunity present itself for Raizo to exact his revenge. Mika had been investigating the mysterious deaths of several important personalities by secret organizations, by meddling in the situation she has become the next target. Now Raizo must protect her, fight his way through anyone in his path, bring the pain back to his former fighting grounds, and end his suffering by defeating his old master Lord Ozunu (Sho Kosugi).
Ninja Assassin features high flying, over the top, blood gushing, decapitations, martial arts, and the same old revenge story that many people have undoubtedly seen before. But please don’t be fooled by the seemingly similar plot. As I first watched the film things began to feel similar, but yet I was drawn into what was happening. Let me tell you, the story isn’t as bad as I was expecting given all the prior negative reviews. Sure it was somewhat over the top, but it managed to keep my attention throughout the movie with its stylistic killings and all the action happening often. Several scenes left me in awe of how good some of those action sequences were. I enjoyed the style the director used by implementing some of those special effects used in his previous films which gave a nice touch to the movie. On top of it the implementation of the CGI was good it wasn’t overly used to the point where everything appears fake.
It’s impressive to see what Korean pop star Rain was able to do with the character of Raizo. Yes, a Korean pop star plays the hero of the story. His training obviously paid off quite well because every moment when he was called upon an action sequence he delivered. Rain was surrounded by a supporting cast that managed to pull a decent performance and a director who knew what direction to take the film. It wasn’t all a brainless action film, I may have somewhat bias for ninja stuff let that be known, it packed a decent story which I am pretty sure it won’t appeal to everyone. If you are going to go in with high expectations you may be disappointed, but if you don’t mind some of the “brainless” things in the movie then by all means enjoy some sweet ninja action.
Ninja Assassin arrives on Blu-ray with a very nice 108p VC-1 encode framed at 2.35:1. This presentation of Ninja Assassin on Blu-ray is right down gorgeous. The film features some vibrant colors from reds, blue, yellows, etc. You name it’s all there beautifully displayed on your screen. Black colors are deep and inky, being that a good portion of the film is set during night and dark shots it was imperative that this was done right. Skintones are spot on and the contrast just adds more to the already great image. There are a few shots which display some ugly video noise, but is very minimal that many will just brush off. There are no signs of any other technical issues or image altering. All in all this is a fine looking Blu-ray and it appears that Karl Lindenlaub and James Mcteigue intended vision is fulfilled in this release.
Ninja Assassin arrives on Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless track. Just when you think the good thing about this release can’t get any better, BAM! A surprise just creeps up from behind. What I am talking about? The audio included in this release is even better than the video. Amidst all the chaos and high flying action packed scenes you’d be surprised that the dialog isn’t overtaken by chaos, instead it remains clean and clear. The base is used quite often and let me tell you it helps deliver some great booming sound. The rears are in constant use, delivering spot on effects to compliment the action. The directionality of the sound is perfect and the soundfield is incredibly immersive. Warner has done an excellent job with this release, Ninja Assassin sounds amazing to say the least.
Ninja Assassin doesn’t include many desired supplements like an audio commentary with the filmmakers that would satisfy more than just the occasional onlooker. However, what it does offer is a series of featurettes surrounding members of the cast alongside part of the film crew, this should be enough to appease some of the viewers.
Training Rain – This featurette looks over the intense training that Rain had to go through in order to film the movie. We see the transformation of a pop star into a ninja.
The Extreme Sport of a Ninja – This is just an overview of the stunts, martial arts and action scenes of Ninja Assassin.
The Myth and Legend of Ninjas – This is a look and mythology of ninjas and I must say it is rather entertaining, but way too short.
Exclusive Look At The New Clash of the Titans– This is self-explanatory, is just a quick look at the upcoming remake of Clash of the Titans.
Deleted Scenes – Four deleted scenes have been included for your viewing pleasure. I am just wondering why the Raizo scenes which deal with his past aren’t included in the final cut of the film.
BD-Live – Access movie trailers and more.
Ninja Assassin is filled with blood soaking, high flying, over the top, furious action scenes so I am going to go right out and tell you that it will not appeal to everyone. It is a hit or miss. I am really surprised the by the performance by Rain, but the overall presentation by a talent film crew has left even more satisfied. The Blu-ray is packed with a beautiful video transfer and even better audio that should appease any movie watcher looking for mindless action. I reiterated the film will not appeal to everyone so be careful before spending your money on it, otherwise if you buy you will end up pleased.
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