Sunday, September 25, 2011

American Ninja

Plot Synopsis: American soldier, obviously very skilled in martial arts, single-handedly takes on mercenaries in the Philippines.

 I don't know why but I have been on a ninja kick lately.  I have said before I like ninjas.  Also I am a proud American, so it's safe to say I like American Ninja.
  Michale Dudikoff stars as Joe.  He's a soldier in the Army stationed in Hawaii.  He lost his memory, so he really remembers nothing about his childhood.  He was in and out of reform schools, so hes kind of a loner.  Turns out his army base keeps getting there supplies stolen, and trucks hijacked by ninjas.  Luckily for them Joe is a ninja, and American Ninja.  Which always makes me wonder, if he has no memory of how he learned to fight, how the hell does he remember how to fight?  Oh well.  When the convoy Joe is on is attacked, he springs, very slowly into action.  I say that because Mr. Dudikoff is not only a horrible actor, but he does not know martial arts, he's not even a white belt in real life.  But this was an 80's film so just seeing the ninjas made it cool.  Joe takes out the bad guys, grabs the generals daughter and escapes.  Unfortunately 5 soldiers were killed, so now all the guys hate Joe.
  Joe's commander hates him to, and sends him off to clean up duty, where he encounters Steve James.  James is a fantastic black martial arts actor, who unfortunately never got a big break.  He stars as Jackson, and he challenges Joe to a fight.  It doesn't end well for Jackson, as Joe basically makes a fool out of him.  Jackson shakes Joe's hand, and tells the troops he's ok.
  Its about this time we find out the bad guys, employ the deadly Black Ninja, and are stealing the army supplies, and weapons to sell on the black market.  They also train other ninjas.  God I love ninjas. 
   So Joe sneaks off base to have dinner with the generals daughter but is spotted by the commander who is having dinner with main bad guy Victor Ortega, the leader of the mercenary army.  Even though Joe doesn't see them, they want to cover there tracks.  I don't get that.  He never saw them, and he's a ninja.  Why would you want to start something.  Pay your check and leave.  But no, these are bad guys, so they have to develop a master plan of death.  The plan is for Joe to bring a trunk into a bay for delivery, and there he will be jumped by 10 ninjas.  As the film still has about 45minutes to go, Joe just takes them all out, and goes back to tell Jackson what happened.  He leads me to my next question.  If you have weapons, and ninjas why not give a ninja a gun and just have him shoot Joe?
  Joe and Jackson decide to tell the General what is going on, but wait he's in on it to, and has Joe arrested.  But wait, in another twist to ensure nothing happens, the evil black ninja kidnaps the Generals daughter, and send more ninjas to kill Joe while he's locked up.  This doesn't work either, as Joe just kills them and escapes.  And as the generals Daughter has ben kidnapped he gets the troops together for a raid on the bad guys compound.  Don't worry, Joe doesn't go in army fatigues like the others.  He wears his ninja outfit given to him by his former trainer who is not the groundskeeper for the bad guys lawn.  You cant make this stuff up!  Well you can, obviously someone did, I'm just not that clever I guess. 
  The raid is cool, lots of ninjas get shot.  Which proves that these ninjas receive sub par training.  10 of them cant kill 1 guy, and now there getting taken out by random ass army dudes.  This all does lead to the final battle between Joe, and the evil black Star Ninja, who is the coolest bad guy ninja in history, as he has a laser gun on his arm.  Too bad it doesn't help as Joe dispatches of him, and saves the Generals daughter, while Jackson blows up the main bad guys as they try to escape via helicopter.
  Ok, I said before, I like this film.  It's fun, the action is good, and I dig ninjas.  But be warned, it was made in 1985 so the action scenes are much more slower paced then the films of say a Jet Li are today.  The fighting style is realistic, so no out of this world wire techniques are used.  If your a fan of ninjas, or old school martial arts films I recommend checking this out.  If not you probably would find it laughably bad.

Overall 3 out of 5 Stars!

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