Stars: 5 of 5.
Running Time: 90 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Sho Kosugi (ENTER THE NINJA), Sho's son Kane Kosugi (9 DEATHS OF THE NINJA), Arthur Roberts (CHOPPING MALL, TRANSYLVANIA TWIST), Professor Toru Tanaka (PEE WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE, THE RUNNING MAN), director Sam Firstenberg (BREAKIN' 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO, AMERICAN NINJA), writer James R. Silke (KING SOLOMON'S MINES, THE BARBARIAN BROTHERS MOVIE).
Tag-line: "400 years of training in the art of sudden death... unleashed on 20th century America."
Best one-liner: "Only a ninja can stop a ninja."
My mind's been blown, my sternum's been broken in nine different places, and a bunch of spikes have been spat in my face- we are talkin' cream of the crop Cannon here. This is DEATH WISH 3 good. REVENGE OF THE NINJA promises, then delivers, incompetent ninja action. Is there any other kind of ninja action that you need? This movie is all about takin' a leak in some dingy bathroom, an eyeliner-wearin' ninja sneaks up behind you, you spin around and say "What the fuck is this, Halloween?," and then you get stabbed with like 8 different ninja implements. Before I proceed with "MYTH VS. FACT- REVENGE OF THE NINJA EDITION," allow me to share a few things I learned from this movie.
#1. A ninja can be very dangerous, even in doll form. Note the finger wound:
#3. This is the proper way to travel between buildings.
#5. All of these guys hang out together at the playground on a Saturday afternoon.
Is that Robert Duvall from APOCALYPSE NOW?
#6. This is how a ninja bleeds.
#7. If you're going to work out, you're going to need pants.
#8. Forgetting your pants to your workout is a fantastic way to let Sho Kosugi know that you're interested, romantically.
#9. "What the shit is this?" is the proper response to seeing a homeless man killed with a throwing star.
#10. Generic police forces who don't answer to any particular jurisdiction are the ones who investigate ninja related crimes.
Alright, now that we've all learned a few things, allow me to tackle a few common misconceptions:
MYTH: You can defeat a ninja with something besides another ninja.
MYTH: Golan and Globus found a way to make a hot tub integral to the plot of this movie. FACT: Golan and Globus found a way to make three SEPARATE hot tubs integral to the plot of this movie.
MYTH: Real ninja don't carry around fiberglass dummies of themselves.
FACT: It's an essential tool in the ninja arsenal, and it totally buys you like, 10 seconds.
MYTH: The ninja were all evil.
MYTH: Gangs are generally divided amongst racial lines.
FACT: The henchmen and gangs here are extremely integrated. So the movie wouldn't be racist. We get, for example, a Native American named "Chief" who threatens to scalp people. I'm surprised the gang didn't have a wheelchair-bound Pacific Islander.
MYTH: Depicting violence against children as cathartic is 'taboo.'
FACT: The kid is hot tonite! Kane Kosugi (Sho's son, 9) gets some vicious action sequences. Watch him kick the shit out of a gang of bullies. So satisfying. Watch him get slapped in the face, thrown, smacked with a pole, tied up, and punched. Watch another kid take a throwing star in the FACE. This movie is brutal.
MYTH: You can never have too much Professor Toru Tanaka.
FACT: A semi-nude Tanaka rape scene is too much Tanaka.
MYTH: The greatest thing to ever take place in a Cannon film involves breakdancing and/or Charles Bronson.
FACT: Add "Sho Kosugi slicing a dude's 'stache in half with a razor fan" to the short list.
Five (ninja) stars, and top-tier Golan-Globus. Nice work, gentlemen.