Ninja Assassin. One could easily made an expectation based on its, for lack of better words, unimaginative title choice. It should be pretty low. Sadly, even if you’ve made no expectation, as I was, it would still be far too high. The film was jumbled confusion, unimaginative narration, numerous questionable marks, unsympathetic characters, painful chemistry, terrible scripts, and more others. The only consolation was that the film didn’t shy away from an R-rated material. For me, if the film went into a PG-13 territory, I would have no hesitation in naming this film as one of the worst of the worst films in 2009. Heck, in the last decade.
Raizo (Rain), was an orphan (why and how was left to the viewer’s imagination, but it doesn’t matter). He was taken in by a shady Ninja clan, and trained to become an Assassin. Cut to the present, Raizo went around, wrecking havoc, opposing his own clan, and left a trail of blood and plenty of body parts on his wake for a reason that wasn’t strong enough for the personal taste of yours truly here. At least, “Kill Bill” has a bold statement that it was a film about revenge. “Ninja Assassin”? A confusing kid with a terrible tantrum was more like it.
If I was one of the Wachowski brothers, I would fight with all my might to keep my name off of the credit title. The brothers started strong with “The Matrix” but that part of theirs was now a history and I’m quite certain with their recent efforts, both as directors or producers, that single feat that put their names on the map was not more than a single fluke many branded as “the beginner’s luck.” Harsh, I know, but that is how terrible the film was. Sure, it has catchy visuals but none were having the singular effect causes by “bullet time” back in 1999. Visually speaking, nothing in this film offers something new, or something “wow.” Those excessive bloods and generous flying body-parts didn’t help much, either. Plus, in order to get to those visual treats of blood and gore, you had to endure the plot advancement. Most are sleep inducing, but some of them are too painful to watch.
I don’t know what had made Rain as prominent as he was today. Ever since his first appearance (first, as in my book, as I’m not really tuned in to the Korean entertainment industry) in Korean drama, “Full House,” I had no illusion that this pretty boy has anything even remotely akin to acting talent. Yet, here he was, two Hollywood films under his belt, both are under Wachowski brothers’ name. This film is certainly his-vessel-would-be as an action star. He has a potential to it, sure, but only if the script doesn’t require him to utter a single word. The rest of the cast, well, all they had to do is writhing in pain while red liquids being pumped all over their exterior. In that sense, they did remarkably well.
My rating: 1/2 / **** The half rating was from its R-rating which made this film is remotely entertaining. And I’m being generous.
P.S. They should stop dubbing everything in English. Subtitles aren’t that bad.