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How not to get blood out of a dead plot

movie-reviews Updated: Jun 05, 2010 00:53 IST

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Highlight Story

Ninja Assassin
Reliance BIG Home/Warner, Rs 599
Rating: *

Halfway through Hot Shots, Part Deux, the send-up of all send-up films, a bodycount starts ticking furiously in one corner as machine guns start rat-tat-tatting over the rest of the screen. After a while, it declares Hot Shots ‘the bloodiest film ever’. Now, if that was bloody then all Clint Eastwood Westerns would be bloody. But they aren’t — in such films bodies just drop like flies, without spilling any ketchup. Guns can’t do that. The really bloody films are the slash-and-squirt ones that Quentin Tarantino mocked in Kill Bill 2.

But James McTeigue, first assistant director to the Matrix trilogy, is no Tarantino. By trying to extract an extra bucket of blood from the twisted Ninja genre, McTeigue spills it all over the floor. He lets loose the goriest bloodsport in filmdom with help from the shuriken, a weapon used like the sudarshan chakra in Japan.

If you’ve seen a couple of Ninja films, there’s nothing in this plot that would break your snoring. There’s the clan, the hero who rebels, the evil clan leader who trains everyone to be lethal, and his ambitious son who wants to lead the clan. The ham salad is tossed in a dressing of a watery unrequitted love. The only difference is that this thin, tired plot is stretched over the world.

Raizo — played as a series of poses by Korean popstar Rain — goes against the Ozunu clan after the killing of his lover Kiriko. Enter Europol officer Mika Coretti, who’s probing political murders. Raizo finds out that his clan does the dirty job. Need anything more?

The small mercy is that much of blood is spilt under the cover of night.