This is what gets shit out when a 2nd Unit Action Director directs a movie. And I don’t want to blame McTeigue, because I thought ‘V for Vendetta’ was a really good first feature. But that was based on a really strong book, and screenplay.
Ninja Assassin, on the other hand, is a trainwreck from the script stage. And thus, a trainwreck for us the viewers. Complete with a completely underdeveloped love story, terrible acting (notably from Naomie Harris, who was horribly miscast), and plot holes and logic issues you could drive a truck through. I don’t even know where to begin…
Maybe with the whole premise of the movie. Supposedly he gets betrayed by his clan. But he is never betrayed. In fact, he betrays them. So, where’s our sympathy for this guy?
It always bothers me in action movies when you build toward a climatic end battle, but there is the head honcho and the asshole righthand man. And then you get two massive showdowns. It doesn’t make any sense. If our hero has to fight both, the asshole righthand man needs to go down quickly or in an odd manner (think of Indiana Jones when he pulls out his gun and shoots the giant guy).
Speaking of asshole righthand man, they try to set up one here but it doesn’t make much sense. They have the other ninja with the eye scar. Who the hell is this? We never see him as he grows up. And he kills the love interest, but only because he’s told to.
Special shout out to the actor playing the Interpol Agent above Naomi. Wow, talk about bad acting and a completely unnecessary character. Him holding an Uzzi at the end is laughable, as is Naomi popping out of a Hummer with a gun. In the previous scene, she goes on about how she is just a glorified librarian. Great, so why the hell are you in this battle?
And the end battle – these ninjas who can hear a heartbeat didn’t hear choppers and Hummers and all sorts of shit approaching this fort in the middle of nowhere?
And Reyso, our hero. He struggles with his first kill, then moments later he’s just so awesome that he’s able to kill dozens of ninjas. ‘Father’ gives a speech about how he’s the chosen one to take over for him – way too late, past the halfway point. We should have had this speech early on. And we should have seen Eye Scar Guy pissed about this.
I’m getting frustrated just writing this.
The action was sweet though. And the ninjas moved awesome.