If bloody mayhem is your idea of fun, this movie could cause you to explode in joy.
Noamie Harris and Ben Miles star as Mika and Maslow - a researcher and investigator for Europol. The two have started to collect information pointing to the existence of a secret group of ninjas who are hired to carry out the assassinations of powerful political figures around the globe. Mika and Maslow want to find them and bring the ninja assassins to justice, but someone else seems to be exacting his own version of justice.
Raizo (Rain) used to be a member of this ninja clan, but he has broken away and wants revenge for a betrayal and heartbreak he cannot put in the past. Raizo will not rest until he has obliterated the ninjas, and they aren't too happy he is out there messing with their plans.
Will Mika and Maslow get the proof they need?
Will the rich and powerful who use the ninjas stymie the efforts of Europol?
What did the ninjas do to Raizo and will he get revenge on them?
Does any of this matter?
In a way, you have to admire the people who created, produced and directed Ninja Assassin. It is an atrocious movie, but they embrace everything I find horrifying about it, and don't make any apologies.
Director James McTeigue hasn't met a body part he didn't want to see mangled, detached or sliced in two. Right from the first scene, McTeigue makes it clear that carnage is more important than story, plot and acting. It is the kind of grotesque violence you would expect to read about when a serial killer is apprehended. People who revel in pointless blood and guts will be thrilled to have a movie made just for them, while the rest of us will be trying to get tickets to The Blind Side, Precious or The Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Writers Matthew Sand and J. Michael Straczynski provide a predictable, tired story where Raizo is haunted by the years he spent in ninja school training throughout his childhood to become one of them, and the horrible act that makes him turn his back on those who made him what he is today (along with a big dramatic moment in the rain). It's a rudimentary story without any desire to be ambitious.
Ninja Assassin is so bad, you can't blame the actors. McTeigue sucks the life out of Rain and forces the guy to act completely sullen and lifeless throughout the movie, while Harris and Miles are glad to be working to pay the bills. Rain is a very charismatic guy, so I hope he'll get a chance to make another, better, more interesting movie in the future, instead of one where his primary task is to show off his abs (with abs like this, he should be in the next Twilight movie).
Ninja Assassin would have been better as a video game.
0 Waffles (Out of 4)
Ninja Assassin is rated R for strong bloody stylized violence throughout, and language.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times