Certain members of Bujinkan Santa Monica (starts with J, ends with flames), are very excited about the upcoming movie, Ninja Assassin:
Ninja Assassin is an upcoming 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. The film is scheduled to be released on November 25, 2009.
Now I know what you are thinking: fuck yeah, badass!
Or, you may be thinking, what does this have to do with Bujinkan? If you are thinking the latter, there is help. I'm sure many members of the Bujinkan can offer relief at the end of their fist. But, wait, I'm bringing it up. So, what does it have to do with our training?
Probably not much in terms of martial arts. These movies are generally populated with stunts that are a combo of Wushu, Tae Kwon Do, and MMA or the fad style of the month. Visually arresting, but kinda unrelated to our taijutsu.
What this movie does do, is introduce the concept of Ninja in a visceral way that is not completely cartoon. You see, for me, my life can be divided into BN (before ninja) and BA (badass). I was 14 or so. The ninja boom was out of control in America. You had ninjas in black, red, white, and blue... seriously, American Ninja? what was that?
So I rode my ten-speed (what we called bikes) from the movie theater to the bookstore. What was on the shelves? Magazines with Sho Kosugi or Stephen Hayes, or even Hatsumi Sensei on the cover. In the martial arts section, entire shelves filled with Ninja porn. Some credible, some not. Some were Tae Kwon Do dressed up in nightsuits.
I read them all. I signed up for a newsletter. I found out about a seminar. And I went. That's when the BA era began. When I discovered a rich tradition that was so much more than a movie. And led to my travelling to Japan to learn from Hatsumi Sensei directly!
So no matter how cheesy this movie could be, it can't be cheesier than I was BN. And maybe it will lead a new young dreamer to something BA.
Oh, in case you have doubts, the movie also stars Sho Kosugi as Lord Ozunu. Leader of the Ozunu Ninja Clan.