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Review: Ninja Assassin

A real bloodbath
By TOM MEEK  |  November 25, 2009
2.0 2.0 Stars


So much blood splashes across the screen in James McTeigue’s martial-arts madness, you’d think the human body consisted of nothing but. Geysers erupt from sword slashes and heads explode in red splats.

McTeigue, who cut his teeth as an assistant director on the Matrix series and made his name with V for Vendetta, certainly gets the CGI eviscerations right. But not so much the plot.

Much of the action in this slapdash of far superior chopsockies centers in Berlin, where a Europol agent (Naomie Harris) links a series of killings to an ancient order of ninjas. That’s enough to stir up a swarm of black-clad Asian assassins, and only a rogue ninja named Raizo (Korean pop star Rain) can do anything about it. The hellish orphanage story told in kung fu–style flashbacks has its moments, but the here and now in Germany left me wishing for a rerun of Enter the Dragon or The Killer Elite.

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