Here’s a different idea.
Grab a martial arts expert. Make him the centerpiece of a concept. Add a couple of dozen extras in black, ninja face-wrapped garb. Shoot a series of creative, high-octane action sequences. Make them really bloody. Add CGI effects and some very complicated stunts. Then write a story around them.
That’s probably not how it went with Ninja Assassin. It just seems that way.
Here’s what director James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) and writers Matthew Sand and Changling’s J. Michael Straczynski developed.
A Europol team discovers that ninjas are assassinating political leaders. They must be stopped. The team, however, quickly discovers that people in high places want their investigation brought to a halt.
Ninjas that aren’t supposed to exist now threaten to kill them, too. Salvation is found in Raizo, a former member of the evil Ozuno Clan of Ninjas. The story of the brutal training he got that made him a formidable fighting machine and why the clan wants to kill him is shown in a series of flashbacks.
Everything in Ninja Assassin is over-amped. A cut of the blade is accompanied by buckets of non-realistic-looking blood. It is thrown around with glee in slow-motion and fast. There is so much of the stuff that a character getting a paper cut would be doused in gallons of the stuff.
Entertainment value here is relative. If it’s your thing, you’ll love it. If not, you won’t.
Mr. Movie rating: 3 stars
Rated R for blood, gore, extreme violence. It opened Wednesday, Nov. 25 at Regal’s Columbia Mall 8 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.