Rain is Coming…Soon! – Ninja Assassin

D7036-01When I first heard about this film, I had a good chuckle. “They just had to make his first film a martial arts one,” I thought to myself. “So typical of Hollywood.”

The ‘he’ I am talking about is Jeong Ji-hun (정지훈) a.k.a Rain (비). He is of course, the big-ass Korean supernova sensation who has often been compared to Justin Timberlake. With sweeps of fans across world who would gladly plonk down their hard-earned money for a chance to fix their gaze on him on the big screen, the movie will certain make back the production budget within a few weeks, I should think.

Hence, I had dismissed it as nothing than a movie that doesn’t seem very interesting.

Until now.

This was despite the fact that the team behind the film is quite impressive. The director is James McTeigue, coming up from the long slumber after ‘V for Vengeance’. In truth, he was kept incredibly busy afterwards, going back to what seems like his true calling of an assistant director (15 years worth of experience!). I don’t know of many other directors who would do that, especially after their big break (and ‘V’ was a big break, I should think). Nevertheless, I respect him enormously for that. He did some good work on ‘Speed Racer’, directed by the Wachowskis and produced by Joel Silver. Why do I mention them? Because they’re also involved with this project as the producers. Good, but it still doesn’t really grab my attention.

Meera Supramaniam got lost and accidentally got on the set...
Meera Supramaniam got lost and accidentally got on the set...

It doesn’t help that the story seems oh-so-bloody typical. Rain plays Raizo (nice name; didn’t want to stray to far from his actual stage name, did they? :)), reputedly one of the world’s most dangerous assassins. He was kidnapped when he was a young child, and was brought up by the Ozunu clan. However, feeling somewhat betrayed by the clan, he goes into hiding, turning up years later to bring them down. There are some other subplots involving an Interpol agent (Naomie Harries, who was in ’28 Days Later’ and the second and third ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films). However, I doubt very much whether this would translate into a large amount of screen time relative to Rain’s. Having said that, a film’s success lies very much not only in the idea, but also its execution. All things considered, the idea doesn’t sound truly extraordinary.

Not that I want to take anything away from this project. Like I said, this project appears to be made by well-regarded people. I certainly don’t want to take anything away from rain; his recent brush with the law doesn’t help his image much, and quite frankly, I happen to think that the superstar singer Rain is an ego-maniac. I mean, look at all of his albums so far. ‘It’s RAINing’, ‘Eternal RAIN’, ‘Rain’s World’, ‘Rainism’…if that’s not egotism disguised as conventional K-Pop marketing strategy, I don’t know what is. “I bet that by the time his tenth album comes out,” I joked with a friend, “it’s probably going to be called ‘Rain is Still Here!'” Laughs. “And the one after that…’It Stopped RAINing…NOT!'” 🙂

He's finally a bad boy.
He's finally a bad boy.

However, I do understand the need to play the game; strip all of that away and you’ll find a humble young man well-respected not only because he’s good looking or a good dancer, but because of his professionalism, work ethic, and humbleness. These are the values that I always respect, and I think that while this film doesn’t strike me as being particularly good, he has deserved the step up. Furthermore, it’s not as if he hasn’t acted before; his role in ‘Speed Racer’ wasn’t that big, but his first acting effort, ‘I’m A Cyborg But It’s OK’, was rather impressive. Whatever people say about the film, I don’t think his acting should be pilloried because of it. He did well there, and I am sure that he’ll do well here again.

But still…it is still missing that little something. I don’t know what that little something is, until I saw this:

The nunchucks. The knife on the chain. Oh, how it appealed to me, called out to me from the days of playing ‘Shinobi’ on my Sega Mega Drive (remember those? :)). Even his English has improved; gone are the days of bloody-weird American accents that Koreans tend to put on when they’re actually trying, really trying to speak English properly.

You might also find Stephen Colbert’s rivalry with Rain hilarious. ‘Ninja Assassin’ will hit cinemas some time at the end of the year. And Fikri probably still have the Mega Drive somewhere in his mother’s house in Penang. Don’t throw it, mother! 🙂

8 thoughts on “Rain is Coming…Soon! – Ninja Assassin

  1. Your review on Rain (Bi) is right on the dot. I have been a fan of Bi since 2003. He was a upcoming actor in the Korean Dramas and did quite well there. He did a few comedies which I love. As for K-Pop, my daughter is a fan of K-Pop, so I was able to watch Bi in action on TV a number of times….Justin Timberlake, you say…no..no. He is nothing like Justin…I’ve nicknamed Bi or Rain, “The Korean Michael Jackson”. He has the flare like MJ, especially in the way he dresses on stage and his dancing is pretty awesome. I have even questioned his sexuality because of this…is he gay? Or straight? Not like I really care what his sexual orientation is…heard he is straight, though. There is no doubt that Justin is straight, so to compare him to Justin no…more like MJ. And Justin does not have the flare like Bi in the way he dresses and presents himself. Bi is definately more like MJ. Wasn’t MJ egotistic as well?

    Nevertheless, Bi is awesome….he will alway be, just like MJ, everyone will always remember him. I am so happy that he got a “Big American-Role” within Ninja Assassins. I look forward to seeing it.

    You really should watch his K-dramas he did…they are really funny and he was playing the lead roles…and this is why his fan base is so huge as well. In 2003, he was the lead male in the K-drama, “Let’s Go to School, Sangdoo!” and in 2004, he was the lead in another K-drama called “Full House”. Both were comedies. There was another drama where he played lead role as well in 2005, it was more of a serious drama, it was called “A Love to Kill”. You should check it out.

    Bi is a really good actor. He did well in Speed Racer as well, but it did not show his full potential as in the K-dramas.
    From watching the trailers of Ninja Assassins and seeing Bi in the other shows, I can tell you that Bi will do excellent in this role of Raizo.

  2. This movie will be seems like it will be good…but what type of HOMO is rain? like really the previews made him look all cold-blooded but then i read this and find out his a HOMO like Justin Timberlake?? They could have at least got Jet Li to do this movie

  3. Hey Bob…cold-blooded…this is why I stated Bi (Rain) will do good as Raizo. I have seen him in roles where he was cold-blooded as well…he did good in these roles, exceptionally good. This is why I stated that in Speed Racer they didn’t show his full potential. Hopefully in Ninja Assassins it will show his full potential but that really depends on the storyline/screen writers. (Actors are paid to act out what the screen writers write.)

    And by the way, Rain is straight heterosexual (a straight male). I’ve even heard he dated a Korean actress, he’s just eccentric (in the way he dresses) that sometime makes a person wonder.

  4. I saw the move and i just loved it!!!!!! I like those kind of movies! and when it came out i just had to get the movie, cuse when i first saw it in theiters i just went siked about Rain!!!! cause like me i just love guys whith the kind of hair he’s got! and the way he looks to but i also love Differnt kinds of chinese guys i think he’s just HOT!!!! and i cant stop watching his movie! I LOVE THAT MOVIE AND I LOVE HIM!!!!!!
    And plus i love Kang Fu,

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