Ninja Assassin: Wikis


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Ninja Assassin

Theatrical release poster
Directed by James McTeigue
Produced by Joel Silver
Andy Wachowski
Larry Wachowski

Grant Hill
Written by Screenplay:
Matthew Sand
J. Michael Straczynski
Matthew Sand
Starring Rain
Naomie Harris
Music by Ilan Eshkeri
Cinematography Karl Walter Lindenlaub
Editing by Gian Ganziano
Joseph Jett Sally
Studio Legendary Pictures
Dark Castle Entertainment
Silver Pictures
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) November 25, 2009 (2009-11-25)
Running time 99 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million
Gross revenue $60,462,347 (worldwide)

Ninja Assassin is a 2009 American action/martial arts film directed by James McTeigue and starring Rain. The film was produced by Joel Silver and the Wachowski brothers, and filming took place in Berlin, Germany.



Raizo (Rain) is raised by the Ozunu Clan to become one of the most lethal Special Ops ninja assassins in the world. As a child, Raizo experiences severe training under the guidance of his "father", Lord Ozunu (Sho Kosugi): he is whipped and/or cut whenever he fails and is encouraged to hurt his ninja kin for their training failures. The only kindness he ever receives is from a kunoichi (female ninja), Kiriko (Anna Sawai).

As they grow older, Kiriko and Raizo develop a romantic bond, however Kiriko's desire to leave the Ozunu Clan for freedom is greater.

One stormy night, Kiriko decides to escape from the clan. She encourages Raizo to join her, but he decides to stay. They kiss and she then climbs over the wall to freedom; only to be caught and brought back by her ninja kin. Branded as a traitor, Kiriko is executed (a katana through her heart) by her elder ninja brother Takeshi (Rick Yune). As a result of Kiriko's death, Raizo begins to harbor resentment and doubt towards the clan.

After completing his first assassination, Raizo is instructed by Lord Ozunu to execute an escaped kunoichi like Kiriko. He rebels against his master by slashing his face with a kyoketsu shoge and fights against his ninja kin. Barely surviving, he escapes by falling into a nearby river. Raizo recovers and begins to intervene in Ozunu hits by foiling their attempts.

While staying in Berlin and waiting for Ozunu's next move, Raizo rents a small apartment where he secretly continues to refine his training until it is time to act.

Meanwhile, Europol agent Mika Coretti (Naomie Harris) has been investigating money linked to political murders and finds that it is potentially linked to the Ozunu Clan. She defies her superior, Ryan Maslow (Ben Miles), and retrieves secret agency files to find out more. The clan, finding out about the investigation, attempts to assassinate her but she is rescued by Raizo.

Mika convinces Raizo to meet with Maslow for protection and to provide evidence against the ninja clan, but Raizo is intercepted by a task force for interrogation. Mika feels betrayed that Maslow would trick her that way, but Maslow secretly assures Mika that he is still on her side and gives her a tracking device for emergencies. While Mika warns Maslow of the dangers of keeping Raizo, the Ozunu ninja infiltrate their secret base and slaughter all the officers.

Mika frees Raizo and he lures the ninja away as Mika tries to escape. Raizo kills and fends off as many ninja as he can while Takeshi continues to trail him. He and Mika manage to escape but Raizo suffers mortal wounds around his stomach. Resting in a private area, Mika implants the tracking device into Raizo. Unable to fend against the clan, she hides outside the hotel until special forces arrive to help her. By that time, the ninja have recovered Raizo and taken him back to their base, bringing him before Lord Ozunu for prosecution.

While hidden inside a steel locker Raizo uses his healing techniques to heal all major injuries before being reunited with his "father." Lord Ozunu decides to have Raizo executed as an example but is infuriated by Raizo's defiance to the end; Ozunu strikes against Raizo's internal organs, causing him to spit out the tracking device.

Europol Special Forces Counter-Terrorism tactical teams lead by Maslow storm the hidden Ozunu base and kill most of the ninja in the court yard. Takeshi and Raizo face each other in the burning Ozunu training hall. Raizo slays Takeshi and confronts Lord Ozunu in a sword duel. While Ozuno initially has the upper hand, Mika, fearing for Raizo's life, distracts and shoots Ozunu with her pistol.

Before Raizo can recover, Lord Ozunu stabs Mika in the heart. Emotionally ravaged, Raizo uses the 'shadow blending' technique for the first time and finishes off Ozunu. Mika, seemingly fatally wounded, is in fact saved by a quirk of birth: her heart is on the opposite side of her chest. Mika and Europol leave the destroyed Ozunu compound while Raizo stays behind. Symbolically, he climbs the same wall Kiriko did all those years ago and looks out at the surrounding countryside. Recognizing his freedom for the first time in years, Raizo smiles, ending the film.


  • Rain portrays Raizo, one of the world's deadliest assassins.
    • Yoon Sungwoong portrays Raizo as a child, and Joon Lee portrays Raizo as a teenager.
  • Naomie Harris portrays Mika Coretti, a Europol agent.
  • Rick Yune portrays Takeshi, the leader of a team sent by the Ozunu Clan.
  • Ben Miles portrays Ryan Maslow, Mika's Europol superior.
  • Sho Kosugi portrays Lord Ozunu. Leader of the Ozunu Ninja Clan.
  • Anna Sawai portrays Kiriko, Raizo's love interest.
    • Kylie Goldstein portrays young Kiriko
  • Sung Kang portrays Hollywood, a gang leader.
  • Richard van Weyden portrays Ibn Battuta, a historical Moroccan explorer

Actor Collin Chou was originally cast for an undisclosed lead role after Jet Li turned down an offer,[1] but Chou later left the role.[2]


Ninja Assassin was directed by James McTeigue, and produced by Joel Silver and the Wachowski brothers.[3] The project was inspired by the ninja scenes featured in the Wachowskis' 2008 film Speed Racer, in which the actor Rain had impressed the Wachowskis with his portrayal as a fighter.[4] The Wachowskis were dissatisfied with the original script, and hired J. Michael Straczynski to write a new draft for the film six weeks before it began production.

One day I got a call from the Wachowski Brothers, who are friends of mine. And they said we need some help on something, can you meet us tomorrow and talk about something?

I met with them and they had a draft for this movie called Ninja Assassin which wasn't where they wanted it to be. And they said we need a whole new draft, a whole new script, and we go to camera in six weeks.

And I said, "Okay, when do you have to have the scripts?"

And they said it had to go out to actors that Friday. So I went home and put on a pot of coffee, and I wrote essentially a whole new script in 53 hours.

Well, when a friend calls you and says they're in trouble, you do what you have to. And if you add in the seven hours sleep I got in three days, it was 60 hours, but the actual writing was 53 hours.

So I turned it in and Warner Brothers loved it, that's the first time they had no notes. I was like, I should do this more often![5]

Filming began in Berlin, Germany at the end of April 2008. Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg provided filmmakers US$1 million in funding,[6] and Germany's Federal Film Fund provided an additional US$9 million to the film's funding.[7] Filming took place in Babelsberg Studios and on location throughout Berlin.[8]

McTeigue cited various influences in filming Ninja Assassin such as the films Panic in the Streets (1950), The Getaway (1972), Badlands (1973), Ninja Scroll (1993), and the anime Samurai Champloo (2004–2005).[9]

Critical reception

The film generally received negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 29% of 104 sampled critics gave the film positive reviews and that it got a rating average of 4.3 out of 10.[10] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 34 based on 20 reviews.[11] While critics generally panned the film as a melange of gore scenes without a convincing plot,[10] some critics commended the film's numerous action scenes. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle described the film as "a gorefest, a borefest and a snorefest."[12] Joe Williams of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch opined that "this amateurish action flick is so lacking in personality or punch, it ought to be titled 'V for Video Store Discount Bin.'"[13]

Entertainment Weekly's Chris Nashawaty wrote "...this slick slice of martial-arts mayhem from the producers of The Matrix is awash in blood. It spurts and sprays in geysers. And it never lets up. There's a brutal (and admittedly very cool) fight scene every five minutes... But let's be honest, killing is this film's business...and business is good."[14]

Box office


North America

The film opened at #6 at the North American box office earning $13,316,158 in its first opening weekend. The film grossed $38,122,883 in North America and $22,339,464 in other territories, totaling $60,462,347 worldwide.


In Japan, this film opened on the 6th of March 2010 in Shinjuku, and will open on the 20th of March in Osaka.[15]


On 16 March 2010 Apple release the iPhone app.[16]

Home media

Ninja Assassin was released on DVD and Blu-Ray March 16th, 2010 in the US. Distributed by Warner Home Video.[17]


  1. ^ Szymanski, Mike (March 18, 2008). "Chou Stars In Wachowski Ninja Film". Sci Fi Wire (Sci Fi Channel). Retrieved May 20, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Colin Chou Turns Down Ninja Assassin". (ReelzChannel). April 18, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008. 
  3. ^ Paquet, Darcy (February 13, 2008). "Rain falls on 'Ninja Assassin'". Variety. Retrieved May 20, 2008. 
  4. ^ Sperling, Nicole (April 28, 2008). "Wachowski Brothers getting underway on 'Ninja Assassin'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 20, 2008. 
  5. ^ Neuman, Clayton (October 13, 2008). "Masters of SciFi - J. Michael Straczynski on Changeling's Message and Warp-Speed Writing for Ninja Assassin". AMC. Retrieved October 14, 2008. 
  6. ^ Kastelan, Karsten (April 14, 2008). "Medienboard funds 'Assassin,' Schweiger pic". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 20, 2008. 
  7. ^ Meza, Ed (May 8, 2008). "German fund backs 'Ninja Assassin'". Variety. Retrieved May 20, 2008. 
  8. ^ Ball, Ryan (May 30, 2008). "Cameras Roll on the Wachowskis’ Ninja Assassin". (Animation Magazine). Retrieved July 11, 2008. 
  9. ^ Douglas, Edward (August 1, 2008). "SDCC EXCL: Ninja Assassin Director James McTeigue". (Coming Soon Media, L.P.). Retrieved August 1, 2008. 
  10. ^ a b "Ninja Assassin (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Ninja Assassin reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  12. ^ LaSalle, Mick (November 25, 2009). "Review: 'Ninja Assassin' butt kicking is boring". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on January 31, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  13. ^ Williams, Joe (November 27, 2009). "Punchless martial-arts film falls flat". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Archived from the original on January 31, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  14. ^ Nashawaty, Chris (November 24, 2009). "Ninja Assassin (2009)". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on January 31, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Get the Ninja Assassin iPhone App for Only $.99
  17. ^

External links


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