When I posted my first K-Shot of Hot entry of Rain, I did so knowing that I did not watch all of his offerings as an actor. I knew I would get around to seeing everything eventually and I don’t want to pass up an opportunity to comment on his work. So instead of going back to the original post and reworking it to add my comments, I decided to create a K-Shot Postscript section where I can come back and spazz about a previously featured K-Shot. Onward with my thoughts on Rain in Ninja Assassin.
Before I begin, I want to say that I am not a violence blood and gore movie kind of gal. Yes, I have seen my fair share of hack ‘em up movies in the past; but over time those really become redundant. The formula is the same. And, I think movie makers in that genre are simply trying to out-gore each other! There are really only so many ways one can watch severed heads and limbs go a-flying in addition to seeing the copious amounts of blood that seem to geyser out of the human body! With Ninja Assassin, however, I was willing to give it a go because, well, it starred Rain. STARRING ROLE! LEAD ROLE!! And, it wasn’t a horror, hack ‘em flick, it was an action flick. An action flick with a great deal of hacking along with heavy doses of slicing and impaling! I think it really was, in some ways, an homage to early martial arts films.
Rain’s Raizo is a simmering force to be reckoned with always ready to explode and attack all who threaten him. He is a man of few words but a man of many moves. I knew, I just knew that all of that dancing was not for naught! Fluid, athletic, powerful and fast, Rain proved that in the action genre, he can fight with the best of them and probably best each one of them, if given the chance.
Watching his character in the fight scenes was pretty awesome (I have to admit) even when he was severing limbs and impaling people! And, I guess the writers did give Raizo his otherwise super human being-ness some mortal elements in that he took quite a few hits (including one of those Chinese throwing stars right to the six pack!), was knocked down, and appeared at times exhausted. It’s kind of interesting if you parallel that alongside Rain’s actual career. Early on he took quite a few hits, was repeatedly knocked down, and I am sure was at times extremely exhausted. Yet, he forged on and ultimately emerged victorious and successful much like Raizo. See, both Raizo and Rain had goals they each wanted to accomplish. There would be nothing or no one they would let stand in their way to achieve those goals. Kinda cool…..
One of my chuckle out loud moments is when Raizo is captured and the authority looks at him on closed-circuit TV and states, ‘he doesn’t look like a killing machine, he looks like he belongs in a boy band!’ Bwaahhaaha!
I would imagine martial arts fans would really appreciate Rain in this role – especially when given the back story of how he trained to get his physique in the condition it was in to play Raizo. Have you ever seen anyone so sculpted??
This is yet another reason to admire Rain. He has an unfailing dedication and commitment to a role which I think is pretty awesome. He became Raizo. He even looks so completely different than his drama and/or pop star self.
Clearly this was not a character-driven film. It was an action-driven film. Would I have liked to get more into Raizo’s head? Yes. Would I have liked to see him join forces with Mika in both love and work to fight good and evil together? Of course! But again, this was neither a romance nor a drama. It was all about action. It was all about revenge and kicking ass! I can clear my head of my own personal desires and accept Ninja Assassin for what it was: an action film. Even though, Rain did not really get to exercise those acting chops of his here in NA (the role really did not require him to do so, to be honest), I can only hope he is given more opportunities in Hollywood to stretch his acting wings without getting stereotyped. I hope producers and movie-makers here in the US view Rain as his fans view him: A gifted and talented actor who has universal appeal. He has the true ability to be deeply layered and can definitely step up to the plate and deliver a nuanced role. He also has the ability to be a LEADING MAN in any film, in my opinion……but, as you already know, I am extremely biased!