A blogger wrote that a lot of the audience walked out of Ninja Assassin during the first fifteen minutes (though one would guess that they went during the first seven) and then remarked, quite rightly, that if they had thought about the title of the film, they would never have walked in. This is definitely a niche film, target audience mostly male, fans of martial arts and action shows of the graphic novel variety. There is not all that much more one can say about it except to admire the skilful direction of James McTeigue (the intriguing V for Vendetta and assistant to the Wachowskis on the Matrix films and Speed Racer). Also for admiration is the intricate choreography for the Ninja fights (and one can see why Tarantino admires this kind of thing and includes it as a feature of Kill Bill). It is the editing that should receive high admiration. The pacing, cuts, angles all make for a, to use a cliché, kaleidoscope of ninja action.
The plot is basic: little orphan is abducted to be trained as a ruthless, feelingless, warrior assassin by a master who is the equivalent of a sect leader in his body and mind control and in his vanity in exercise of power as well as the vicious and sadistic punishment meted out for alleged mistakes – he would be quickly arrested these days for gross physical abuse of children. Warrior grows up and, with the execution of the girl who had pity on him as a child, he rebels against the master, goes to Berlin where he teams up with a Europol researcher (Naomie Harris) and there are fights in Berlin as well as in the school where he is taken once again. In the vein of Indiana Jones shooting a sabre wielding opponent, it is clear that guns, especially automatic machine guns are far more deadly than all the Ninja training and lethal expertise
The hero is played by Korean pop star, Rain. Rain trained as a dancer and this is evident in the athleticism and poise of his acrobatic fighting. And, that's it.