I didn't know anything about the plot before watching the film but I masterfully deduced that Ninjas would assassinate some people. I was not disappointed in that respect. Here's a warning: There is a lot of blood and extreme gore in the film. If people being sliced in half with cgi-added blood splattering everywhere turns you off, you might not want to watch the film.
Cinematography and fight correography were done well for the most part. If you're one those people able to watch a film and not even spend one iota of thought, then it would be enjoyable.
My main issue with the film is the horrible, horrible writing, and numerous logical inconsistencies.
I'm extremely familiar with terrible writing, so I get angry when I see it produced on the screen. The main Ninja's betrayal of the other ninjas seem very weak. It just seemed like a weak reason. If the main ninja brought up the idea that he was kidnapped at a young age, became an orphan due to his real parents murder, then maybe there would have been more weight to his betrayal. As shown on screen, he has no problem killing random people that the Ninja Boss says, but he has a problem with killing a girl. Refusing to kill the girl, the main Ninja attacks the Ninja Boss and his thousands of Ninja Disciples. The main Ninja narrowly escapes as he falls thirty floors from the top of a skyscraper into the ocean. The main Ninja has been hunting his former Ninja brothers ever since.
The biggest writing flaw is the inclusion of the whole EuroPolice storyline. It was obviously added as a way to bridge western audiences with an otherwise Japanese/Asian dominated film. The idea that Ninjas aren't enough to sell tickets without adding white and black people is ridiculous. Ninjas can sell anything.
That storyline is about a female researcher finding links between Ninja killings. She visits an old EuroPol agent's wife who was deemed crazy and was suicided. Ninjas don't want anyone finding any information about them. A Ninja Assassin was sent to assassinate this chick. The main Ninja decides that he needs her help to expose the Ninja Conspiracy and fights to protect her.
Now for the logical inconsistencies.
Ninjas portrayed in this film have three special qualities
- They're super fast. This helps them to hide in shadows effectively, and they appear as a blur to an average viewer. Fast enough to avoid bullets.
- They can regenerate cut flesh just by twiddling their thumbs in meditation.
- They are super strong, able to throw Ninja stars faster and with more force than humanly possible. They can wield katanas that can slice a torso into two.
With these abilities, how is it possible that they get defeated by mere gun toting normals? Well, for the first 90% of the film, the Ninja Assassins were able to kill anything and anything they wanted, other than when another Ninja stops them. They pop out of shadows whispering words such as "kill him", and "ninja" in a Lost-Others fashion.
I don't want to spoil the super awesome ending, but the Ninjas get demolished by a group of commandos. Oh yeah, and the researcher lady is with them with her weapon shooting at Ninjas too! Who thought it was a good idea to bring her along. Good thing gets killed by the Ninja Boss so that the Main Ninja enrages and out-Ninjas the Ninja Boss. Except that in the end, she's going to be okay. Ugh.
Oh yeah, and the acting wasn't done very well either. (Except for the Ninja Boss, and some of the flashback scenes)