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Movie Review: Ninja Assassin (2009)

4 December 2009

Okay, confession time.  I went to the theatre and found out that I would have had to wait an hour to see the movie I had intended to see.  I went to Ninja Assassin because there was only a ten minute wait. 

Five minutes into this movie, I pretty much “knew” that I wouldn’t be writing a review about it.  Later, I changed my mind when I decided that I could relate the movie to the Gospel. 

Okay, so you’ve got this family, made up of orphans and one old guy who is a serious control freak.  He’s so controlling, that he doesn’t want anyone outside of his ninja “clan” to know about their existence.  What happens when someone asks too many questions?  Well, he sends his ninjas in, and they kill whoever is asking the questions. 

He’s equally controlling with his pupils.  You think the Bansai tree should grow as it would like to grow?  Well, we’re going to have  to cut you for that one.  But only just this time.  Next time, we won’t go so easy on you. 

Or, you want to run away from my great fiefdom?  You mean you’re not happy?  Sorry, but that’s betrayal.  Gonna have to kill you for that.

Or, you aren’t going to kill the pupil who tried to run away?  Sorry again, but that’s betrayal.  Your punishment will be to die a horrible death. 

You get the picture. 

It seemed to me for a while that I don’t know any families like this.  In my own dysfunctional family, the worst that can happen to you is that people won’t speak to you for a long time or (even worse) when you do bump into an estranged cousin at a family reunion, a very polite (and very cold) conversation ensues.  It seems to me that even in very controlling families, the worst that can happen to a free spirit is that the person is disowned, and either side goes miserably on their separate ways. 

Maybe in extreme cases, there are families that will execute the betrayer – You don’t hear too much about honor killings though, happening in the West.  I do know that young people who fall into the wrong sort of crowd, experience reprisals when they try to leave.  And I do know that crime families operate this way. 

But then I thought, this is how it is with our besetting sins.  Jesus referred to the Evil One as a liar and a murderer (John 8:44).  This is what sin is – a lie that destroys the sinner.  And it doesn’t let go without a fight. 

Fortunately, we have a Savior Who has won over sin and death.  As the Holy Spirit sanctifies us, we start to win over those besetting sins, too. 

Have you, gentle reader, asked Jesus into your life, as your Lord and Savior? 

As for the movie itself, I don’t recommend it.  The violence is gratuitous to say the least.  However, in my opinion the CGI stylization of violence is as annoying as it is repugnant.  Ninja Assassin does to CGI stylized violence what the Smurfs did to the color blue. 


– Elder

PS – The Ninja Assassin wipes out one of the nine ninja clans, so it is entirely possible that there will be eight sequels. 

Pure joy.

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