As expected, Ninja Assassin trailer looks awesome

Earlier this year, Boing Boing Video ran an interview I conducted with Academy Award-winning special effects designer John Gaeta (Matrix, Speed Racer) about the technology and the human talent behind the forthcoming movie Ninja Assassin, directed by James McTeigue. Gaeta served as visual consultant on the film. The trailer for Ninja Assassin is out now, and it's pretty great. (thanks, Wes Varghese!)


  1. Something about this just doesn’t look good at all. Granted, previews often tend to make any good movie look crappy, but if you’re going to do something as classic as a ninja movie, why throw in butt rock, special effects, and gratuitous explosions? I really hate to see a ninja movie go that route and it’s a shame that movie producers use those elements to pander to the brotastic, testosterone swollen, meat heads and/or thug gangsta crowd. Just lame.

  2. I’m pretty sure I saw this movie before, except it was either Denzel Washington or Mark Wahlberg who was playing the lead. I guess it’s good to see asian filmmakers can steal American movie ideas, too.

  3. Serious ninja movie? Please the title says it all really. Its like saying flaming sword of fire :D

  4. The term “ninja assasin” is redundant.

    It’s like saying “abs breaking system”, or “pin number”.

    And as always, the plural of ninja is…ninja!

    1. The term “ninja assasin” is redundant.

      Ninja, which is the kanji reading of shinobi no mono, means more-or-less ‘secret person’. Many ninjas would have been spies rather than assassins. The black outfits from ninja movies are stolen from set movers in the Japanese theater who were meant to be invisible. Real ninjas would have looked like nerdy accountants and frowsy secretaries in order to blend in.

  5. entertaining, but I was already bored after 1:30. Somehow this sort of over-cinematic action-movies feel like videogame-without-controller to me.

  6. Yeah, hyperbole is the order of the day. The trailer is dreadful. If I hadn’t seen any of the behind the scene footage of Rain looking badass doing all the Wo-Ping style stuff, I would think this was a schlock B-Movie of the poorest kind.

    The music: bad. The plot description: hackneyed. The credit titles: second grade.

    This is the first real indication I’ve had that the movie might suck.

  7. Wow, Xeni…. It looks like a run-of-the-mill low-budget foreign actioner with cheezy effects, lots of wire-fu and a ‘seen it all a jillion times action plot of *shock* betrayal and revenge. What’s with the gushing prose?

    You must be the last die-hard Wachowski fan in existence.

    Comic-Con this week heralded the arrival of some truly amazing, stunning, visual trailers for any of a number of upcoming films. BB ran THIS over Tron?

    Oh, and the title Ninja Assassin is written in splattered blood. I bet the filmmakers are really impressed with themselves for that idea. WTF?!?!

  8. pretty much agree with other comments – now and again a BB post will really suprise me, for the wrong reasons – more often than not those RARE posts smell like a bit like a planted post. Mr Gaeta, in a BB video interview i saw, comes across as being incredibly dull and jaded. I don’t want to be mean but he definitely seems to be a one hit wonder in the FX world. I would loved to have seen a post about ‘Moon’ on BB – miniature effects by original star wars and alien miniature makers – made for 2 million sterling etc. that’s a BB movie! Anyways, it’s not my blog so go BB anyway

  9. Hilarious … I saw the TRON VFX, they were unoriginal compared to Speed Racer.

    Funny to see all these “experts” of cinema give comment when they probably don’t have the competence to even remember to remove the lens cap before video taping their cousin’s wedding.

    ..and I suppose the stunt team that did Matrix, Kill Bill, Bourne Supremacy, 300, more and whom are at the center of this picture are just hacks as well. This movie seems intended to feel like a Shaw Brothers pic done today. Which is cool.

    Stick to your day jobs and stop arm chair criticizing while your supposed to be working saving your company’s bacon. Noobs.

  10. Woah, Moon effects does sound like a cool idea for a story, ABITSKITZO.

    I think it’s the “AS EXPECTED..” part of the title that makes it smell plantlike. Because I usually expect Wachowski stuff to be overloud, overindulgent, adolescent bloodsoaked wank-material half as deep as a comic book, while taking itself twice as seriously.

    At least, that’s what *I* expect.

  11. Poor orphan boy is brainwashed and trained to do horrible things. But eventually he is pushed too far, and breaks free of his programming, fights insurmountable odds to save the pretty girl all while dodging cars, explosions, and shuriken. Am I close?

    Stunningly lame.

  12. I thought ninja assassin was meant to mean it was someone killing ninjas (who as it turns out is also a ninja) so not redundant just descriptive of the assassin’s victims

  13. #16 – who said anything about being an expert, I’m just a guy who likes good movies, and that is a shitty movie.

    I don’t think this has anything to do with the stunt team involved, it has to do with the directing. Incidentally, I didn’t like any of the movies you listed except Kill Bill, and I think Tarantino is a great director and has the skill to make a film that is both appealing and well-done. I would compare movies like this to a 40 of High Life. It’s not very good (though it claims to be), but it sure gets the job done.

  14. Also, I apologize for the expletive, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to use those around here.

  15. Anonymous, I don’t know what you’d call an “expert of cinema”, but I’ve got dozens of film credits to my name, many of them big-budget hollywood blockbusters.

    But as anyone who’s worked in films can tell you, great people can still do good work in a crummy movie. The stunt teams in the movies you named are excellent. But take it from me, that doesn’t mean that the movie will be any good at all.

  16. I thought Ninja Assassin was redundant as well, but evidently Ninja is a warrior who uses unconventional warfare, which can include but is not limited to assassination. That said, film’s name does sound silly. I thought it was based on a game, but evidently there’s some connection to speedracer, which I have not seen. Honestly the trailer leads me to believe it’s like every other “super wicked awesome action fleck dese days.” Hard hitting rock guitar! – ¡Rex-kwon-do! Crush beer can on forehead!

    I predict all sorts of merchandise on offer at the knife shows.

  17. I guess Xeni is plugging the latest work of John Gaeta. I see nothing wrong with that if you take into account what Gaeta did for the BB community. I think it was pretty cool to be able to ask one of the greatest visual effects designer of our times any question I wanted.

    On the other hand I have to admit that the movie-geek in me tells me that I’m not necessarily interested in seeing this movie. But the stunts and the vfx definitely don’t look bad, they could even be a reason for me to go see this movie.

  18. Saw the little boy covered in scars at :30 and had to stop watching. Call me old-fashioned, but that’s just sick.

  19. Not that it needs repeating, but I’d have to agree with the crowd’s general leanings of “what are you smoking, Xeni?” Movies like this are why Hollywood sucks. Formulaic schlock designed with a single purpose… to pull in as much expendable cash as possible from the parents of tweens and teens that are the target audience. Stay home and rent “Harakiri,” you’ll be much happier.

  20. Ninja movies back in the mainstream means more and possibly better ninja movies in the mainstream.

  21. Ninja would almost never have actually dressed like ninja. There’s no real advantage to it, unless you want to stick out like a sore thumb.

    The stereotypcial ninja look actually comes from the Kabuki stage – specifically the black-clad stage hands known as Kuroko, who are so totally ignored by the audience that they are essentially invisible.

  22. RedElephantLabel, how dare you say “shitty!” :)

    For you convenience, here I quote from the BB Moderation Policy:

    Note that there are three words you can’t say on Boing Boing. I’d rather you followed that link and read the full explanation, but if you just want the rule, it goes like this:

    ROT13 is a simple method for encoding text to make it unreadable. This is a ROT13 conversion utility. Use it to read what I’m about to say. The three words you can’t say on Boing Boing are avttre, snttbg, and phag.

    There are only two exceptions to the rule. First exception: you can use one of those words if you’re a Boinger. It’s their weblog. Second exception: you may use one of those words if you’re quoting something genuinely worth quoting that needs to be said, and that’s also appropriate to the thread.

    If you go out of your way to find occasions to do that, we’ll notice.

    The rule on other crude language and obscenities is that they’re only permitted if you can use them as well as Joel Johnson does.

  23. I like Ninja and all, but the last several movies I saw that included a secret order of assassins sucked big time. “Wanted” was one of the dumbest things I’d seen on screen for years.

    Get the guy from “Ask a Ninja” to do a feature film and you’ve got something.

  24. egads!
    i can’t STAND people and their anti-goodtimes agendas.

    for god sakes, this movie looks so bad ass…
    booms and blood are great! blockbusters are fun!
    subtitles you don’t have to read are FUN.

    xeni i approve. we now need to hang out and watch revenge of the ninja. or american ninja. or gymkata.
    or anything eighties and ninja.

    god damn pirates and their blockbuster trilogies.

    (PS sorry for the dubba post… damn anon)

  25. gasp.
    WANTED was dope too.

    it only sucked once it got to the :
    rkcybqvat eng svanyr.

    lighten up folks…

  26. Okay, I don’t care if it sucks, it’s still awesome. I’d sit through Titanic if it had this many ninjas in it.

  27. #41 Ninja will never have their own porn movie because you’d never see them coming.


    Thanks, I’ll be here all week, don’t forget to tip your server…

  28. Under what criteria would this even be remotely considered awesome?

    If You want to see a visually awesome movie with ninjas in it, then wait to see Kazuaki Kiriya’s newest movie entitled Goemon:


    I am sure if you compare both of their movie budgets.. Ninja Assassin may cost more or are somewhat similar. Hollywood movies tend to spend too much money on effects and actors, and cut the cost on the rest of the movie.

  29. I have great hope for this movie given the caliber of the people behind it, and that of those who extol it.

    I am not going to cast judgment on the movie based on the trailer, nor will I try to dissect the trailer’s execution. I also do not intend to critique the elements of the movie which are exposed therein since I am not in any shape or form qualified to do so.

    I must however say that the trailer just fails to stir any real emotion or captivate my imagination. This is an irrefutable fact, and a judgment that I am perfectly qualified to make, and one that I shamelessly share.

    I only hope that I am in a small minority, or that a more engaging trailer is released in a timely manner if this movie is to reap the rewards which it has been said to deserve.

  30. I’m bitter and skeptical. I hate everything. I especially hate ninjas, assassins, and movies. Let alone a movie about a ninja assassin! I definitely don’t like to be entertained either. Somehow, I will be forced to watch this movie even though I know I’ll hate it. It actually disgusts me even more that I know this about myself. I don’t even like myself. If they entitled the movie “Ninja Assassins” I would be infuriated as the movie is singularly about a one Ninja and therefore it would be redundant to have more than one Ninja Assassin in this movie and absoultely superfluous to even think……oh…my…God. Relax.

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