Worth A Look: 12.5%
Pretty Bad: 4.17%
Total Crap: 58.33%
2 reviews, 12 user ratings
Only the incompetent and now unemployed hacks like Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus could’ve made it. Starring the American hope for a martial artist or Ninjitsu artist Michael Dudikoff, American Ninja is at most a guilty pleasure, a passable flick for you to waste your time on while you wait for the (insert favorite fast food here) delivery boy to arrive. Otherwise, it’s just another chunk of horse manure you wouldn’t even want to get near to.Everyone draw out your cliché checklist as you check the clichés that are surrounding this heap:
"Cannon did this, you’ve been warned"
· A convoy attacked by terrorists, some are assholes the rest are ninjas, the convoy will be taken since Americans are too stupid to add an armed escort and are too stupid to defend themselves. Check
· You have your “Different American,” ironically and patriotically called Joe Armstrong (Dudikoff) who’s hated by everybody in his unit just for being different. Check
· You have your “bitchy, whiny ass” girl (Judie Aronson) who’s the Colonel’s daughter who at first hates Joe but ultimately falls in love with her after Joe saves her life. Check
· You have your “kick ass black guy” (the late Steve James) who also hates Joe for being different but becomes his best buddy after Joe kicks his ass and teaches him a lesson. Check.
· You have the girl’s father (Guich Koock, yep, that’s his name), who’s even a bigger asshole and wants to see Joe rot in jail for going after his daughter’s skirt. Check
· You have your crooked Sergeant (John LaMotta) who’s fucking around with the Colonel and secretly works for the bad guy. Check
· You have your typical bad guy: Rich and nasty, and with a hard-on for Ninjistu shit, even though he doesn’t know a damn thing about it. Check
· You have your “Bad Ninja” (Tadashi Yamashita), frown-eyed and Asian, who has betrayed the Ninjitsu code and is obsessed with kicking the American Ninja’s ass. Check
· The bad ninja is called The Black Star Ninja (get it?). Check
· You have Joe’s long lost “father” (John Fujioka), who also happens to be a Ninja, and will be killed by the bad ninja before the film ends. Check
· You have your usual plot of stolen merchandise from the Army yet the Army idiots are too stupid to realize who the fuck is it that’s arranging for those shipments to be stolen (Hint: the crooked Sergeant). Check.
· You have you’re usual “Americans kicking foreign ass” action scenes. Check
· You have the bad guys, the ninjas, whom can’t fight worth a damn and only serve to be either slashed by Joe or riddled with bullets by Jackson’s M60 in the end. Check
· You have your ending in which Joe kills the bad ninja, rescues the girl, the Bad guy in his chopper is blown to hell by sidekick and everybody lives happily ever after. Check
I could go on and on and on, but after showing you these clichés, I think you have more or less a clue to this film’s crappiness and Sam Firstenberg’s inability to even direct traffic. The only two ways of enjoying this film is either you shut off your brain cells so you don’t cringe at all these clichés or you watch it with something to smoke, and then maybe you will enjoy it.
The acting is below par. Dudikoff is as heroic as a used band-aid and is as emotional as Steven Seagal, and the chemistry between him and Judie Aronson is as interesting as watching two blocks of wood and concrete. No wonder Dudikoff went straight to video. James is crap, and tries his best to come up decent even if he ends up laughable as second banana. Oh, and he can’t fight worth a damn.In the end, sorry, I don’t buy the whole American Ninja shit; I watched all five films when I was a kid simply because I used to get off on people being slashed, bulleted, or blown up for whatever reasons. But as you get older you suddenly begin to realize what a pile of shit this crap was as well as the other four films because they’re stupid, and don’t provide anything… not even decent entertainment; recommended for bad movie and MSTK3000 fanatics. 0-5
link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3289&reviewer=235
originally posted: 10/22/04 07:16:29