This movie opens with a massacre on a Japanese village and in which a woman gets her throat cut. but also some poor kid gets a shuriken in his fucking face .
That is definitely how to set a tone for your Ninja-movie! It is also quite a staple of Ninja movies, in which the hero´s village gets destroyed, a mythical trope well worth using.in these types of movies as we actually are dealing with archetypes and formulas.
This is also asurprisingly bloody and violent effort compared to the other in this Loosely Connected Ninja-franchise made by Cannon.
Sho Kosugi plays a Ninja, named Cho, whose family gets entirely wiped out in Japan, except his precious son. Cho is convinced by his friend Braden ( played by American Asshole #3211) to move to the U.S as apparently it is safer there. Unbeknownst to him, his asshole friend only does it so he can have a nice front to smuggle drugs through. Isn´t that nice?
His friend shows some sweet sneaky cocksucker techniques. So he must be a Ninja. Which he is. He is American just as Cole, which shows he is sneaky. But instead of Seducing Wife-technique, he employs Convincing Cocaine-Smuggler technique, an even harder technique to achieve. Braden is a far more sophisticated Ninja than Cole in my opinion. he just does not simply satisfy himself in bed, but satisfy himself financially.
Cho agrees and setups an art gallery of weird and creepy looking dolls who breaks easily. His son accidentally breaks one of these and finds a suspiciously looking substance. And then all Ninja-hell breaks loose. So to speak.
In this film, the American Ninja is seen through a different lense, He is not the protagonist, but instead the villain. He is seen as someone who is manipulative, but in this film not in any glamourous way, It is almost like if Cannon Group knew they dropped the ball on Enter The Ninja and tried to make it up. The perspective has shifted and lies now with the honorable protagonist Japanese Ninja,Cho, who is desperate in wanting to blend in american society, He is so obsessed in blending in that he yells at his son for being bullied, then fighting back, for actually fighting back. Weird.
The shift is dramatic from Enter The Ninja; now we have an honourable Ninja wanting acceptance within american society. Good for them, It seem like a half assed attempt on the filmmakers part of not trying to demonizing the Japanese, but instead presenting them through positive racist stereotypes instead . Well, it is progress, I guess.
The fights are legit as you now has an accomplished martial artist in the lead instead of that bar brawler Texan from Enter The Ninja. No offence Franco Nero, but you are neither Ninja nor american.
Japanese culture being exploited for greedy american needs is clearly demonstrated here. The villain is trained in japanese mystic culture, but not as well as our Japanese hero, which actually makes this one seem less xenophobic and just plain awkward in its representatuve delivary of values. The film is hamfisted in ways that is clealry shown, Cho is manipulated in some dumb way and we never understand why Braden is such a good friend to Cho, and why Cho believes anything this american ninja asshole says. Especailly after his clan is being murdered.
A more cýnical person like myself, wonders why Cho was never around in the opening scene. Well, after the massacre we see him lurking back together wth Braden, all the Ninjas goes into hiding. The filmmakers do not even bother hiding the fact that the white dude is evil, which makes the argument that Cannon wanted a very different appraoch rom the first one. they wanted a fucking evil American ninja this time.
There are some spectacular setpieces in this. One of them has Ninja climibing a skyscraper, and it is not CGI. It is simply Ninja. Because in the 80´s Ninja could do anything. CGI could do shit.
And the final at the rooftops is a showcase of anything you dreamed of seeing in a genuine Ninja film. I love it.