Ninja Assassin and High Integrity
We discussed the movie “Ninja Assassin” in an earlier blog post. I got a lot of strong comments about what the movie was and what it could have been.
Did you get a copy of the “Ninja Assassin” movie on Blu-Ray? Be sure you check the “Additional Features” section on the menu. Blu-Ray only; not the standard DVD.
Before the film hit theaters, the producers flew me to Los Angeles to tape some commentary on the historical background of Japan’s real ninja. Also in the interview is actor Sho Kosugi from the movie, commenting on cultural perceptions of the ninja, and a local California martial artist showing some commercially available imitations of ninja weapons.
I was impressed with the producers.
Clearly, they were making a movie to entertain large audiences. They were not making a movie to please a tiny group of ninja historians. They did not write the script to fit the notions of a small group of traditional ninjutsu practitioners.
Think about the honesty and integrity of the “Ninja Assassin” producers. They did not have to acknowledge an alternate reality at odds with their story. They did not have to hire me to talk about training with the actual ninja of Japan in the 1970s. They could have just let history go and focused on promoting their entertaining film.
How about that? “The Godfather” DVD did not interview an actual mafia don. “The Da Vinci Code” DVD did not include an actual Vatican bishop. “Star Wars” DVDs did not interview an actual astrophysicist.
The “Ninja Assassin” DVD did nonetheless recruit and interview an actual practitioner of historical Japanese ninja martial arts with a view and story quite different from what they portrayed on the screen.
For Hollywood, that is pretty brave, pretty high integrity, I think.