Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Released today on DVD: "Ninja Assassin"


Grade: C-minus

Ahh, the temperature is warming. Spring is in the air. Summer is not far behind, Days at the pool. Still not feeling the coming of fairer weather? Maybe the DVD of a brainless, extra-bloody B-movie will provide the boost you're looking for.

In Ninja Assassin, director James McTeigue melds torture porn with martial arts, wrapping his vicious blend in a tissue-thin story about a trained ninja (Korean pop star Rain) who risks all when he rejects his deadly clan. A Europol agent (Naomie Harris) tries to help, but his nemesis (Rick Yune) is never far behind.

Neither Rain nor McTeigue displays undue talents, but they do get the job done. What matters here isn't plot or performance or even choreography, but violence, which is as extreme as any you'll find in a mainstream movie. There are decapitations, amputations, impalements and -- wait, what's the technical word for ripping another guy's organs out with your bare hands?

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