Ninja Assassin (tbc)

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The ViewQueenstown Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/01/2010

One out of Five stars
Running time: 99 mins

Tedious action thriller that goes rapidly downhill after a decent opening, thanks to a nonsensical plot, dodgy acting and repetitive, over-CGI-ed fight scenes.

What's it all about?
Directed by James McTeigue, Ninja Assassin stars Naomie Harris as Europol researcher Mika Coretti, who stumbles across a money trail that links a string of political murders to an underground network of ninja assassins led by the Ozunu clan. When the ninjas get wind of her investigation, they send a team of killers to eliminate her but she's rescued by rogue ninja assassin Raizo (Korean pop star Rain), who agrees to help her bring down the clan.

Meanwhile, flashbacks reveal Raizo's tutelage under Lord Ozunu (Sho Kosugi), his love for fellow student Kiriko (Anna Sawai) and the events that led him to leave the Ozunu clan in the first place.

The Bad
To be fair, the film opens with a pretty impressive, enjoyably gory sequence that involves a room full of gangsters getting their heads sliced open (visible brains and all) by an unseen ninja assassin with a remarkably sharp sword. Unfortunately it's all downhill from there, especially since none of the subsequent fight sequences have anything like the same impact or flair.

To make matters worse, the script is dull and plodding, the dialogue is perfunctory at best (it's frequently reminiscent of a particularly boring video game) and the acting is shockingly wooden, particularly in the case of Ben Miles as Mika's boss. In addition, the plot is both tedious and nonsensical, even by the standards of trashy actioners, with several gaping plot-holes and ridiculous contrivances.

The Worst
Perhaps the film's biggest crime is the fact that it actually succeeds in making ninjas boring. The fight sequences are extremely repetitive throughout (like watching someone else play the aforementioned boring video game for hours on end) and rely too heavily on obvious CGI effects.

Worth seeing?
In short, Ninja Assassin is a tedious, badly written and poorly directed action thriller that would have been better off going straight to DVD. One to avoid.

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Content updated: 19/04/2019 14:16

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