- Running time:
- 99 minutes
- Rain -
- Naomie Harris -
- Ben Miles -
- Ryan Maslow
- Rick Yune -
- Shô Kosugi -
- Lord Ozunu
Deadly ninja Raizo (Rain) is wanted by international agencies for his connection to the secretive ninja society known as the Ozunu Clan. He crosses paths with foxy detective Mika Coretti (Naomie Harris, minus her natural accent and any personality she showed in “28 Days Later”), who’s working a case involving Ozunu. She makes the shocking (!) discovery that Raizo’s actually a good guy, sworn to avenge the death of his love at the hands of the evil Ozunu leaders.
The buzz: When the Wachowski brothers were directing their future flop “Speed Racer,” they were so impressed with co-star Rain’s martial arts that they decided he needed his own movie. They turned to James McTeigue (who directed their underwhelming production of “V for Vendetta”) and got “Changeling” writer J. Michael Straczynski to rewrite an entire script in less than three days to meet production deadlines (always a good sign). For some reason, Warner Bros. has been so confident in the result they’ve shown the movie at several film festivals including Vancouver, Austin’s Fantastic Fest and a surprise screening at San Diego’s Comic-Con.
The verdict: The rotten clichés pile up faster than the bodies in this Z-movie disaster. A total dud start to finish, the film’s only selling point is its excessively graphic violence, and even on that level it’s a disappointment. A decapitation filled opening scene raises expectations for some creatively gory fights, but McTeigue only delivers CGI-enhanced slicing and dicing, mostly in the dark and never with any wit or emotional investment. The acting is pitiful—Rain, apparently a music superstar in Korea, must have more presence on stage than he does on screen, and Harris is awkward and forgettable—and the movie squanders its Hollywood budget on a story that’s tailor-made for “Mystery Science Theater.” If the generally humorless “Ninja Assassin” was meant to be a joke, it’s really not funny.
Did you know? Rain’s Korean movie debut in “I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK” opened at the top of the local box office before collapsing in its second weekend and disappearing from theaters just a few weeks later.
Movie theaters and showtimes for Ninja Assassin in Indianapolis.
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