Raizo (Rain) has turned his back on the ninjas who raised him and trained him as an assassin, but he teams up with an Interpol agent (Harris) to track down his former family and stop their evil ways.
Nurtured on the wave of 1980s ninja flicks, the Wachowskis and McTeigue revisit that B-movie realm with an A-grade effects budget and an Asian superstar, Korean popstrel Rain (Speed Racer), who they cast as Raizo, a ruthless killer raised by the Ozunu clan but sworn to exact vengeance upon them. While the mixed martial arts proffer plenty of limb-lopping, and at least one very literal ‘face-off’, the choreography is a little drab, and even murky at times.
With gallons of slick CGI gore, the filmmakers seek a graphic-novel-meets-computer-game feel, and that’s what they achieve; with the rice paper-thin characters, however, it’s more Ninja Gaiden than V For Vendetta.
Decent ingredients but, as a whole, this is lacking in choreographic flair and plot substance.