A lot better than it has any right to be, this ultra-violent martial arts actioner is competently made with a charismatic lead in Korean pop star Rain. Also having the legendary Sho Kosugi cast as the villain is a prime example that they knew exactly what type of film they were making and who their fan-base really is. Pure popcorn entertainment.
"Ninja Assassin" is stylishly photographed on a low-budget and filled to the brim with ultra-gory violence, like an anime come to life. I dare say this is more of a tribute to 80's-style action than "The Expendables," what with our well-oiled hero dispatching foes with ease despite grievous flesh wounds and a delirious climax involving a SWAT team attacking a secret ninja lair. A potent guilty pleasure.
Released when gritty, ultra-realistic Bourne-esque action was all the rage, "Ninja Assassin" was maligned for being OTT, ultra-violent, cheesy 80's fun. While it does occasionally take itself far too seriously, there is a lot to like here for genre buffs, and it's even pretty clever sometimes (the cut from a washing-machine oozing blood to ketchup squirting on fries always makes me giggle). Rain is a badass.