Yes, we interrupt our regularly scheduled program. I thought I would review some shitty B movies from time to time. Even though I call this movie a shitty one it’s one that I’ve loved since I was a kid. I remember we bought a VHS copy from some shifty guy going around the neighborhood selling a bunch of movies from a box he was wheeling around. I remember my brother bought this and the George A Romero classic Day of the Dead. Any who, there was something about this movie that spoke to me. Cheesy as it is, but I love a good ninja/martial arts movie and baby this movie had a lot of action.
It’s funny, I’ve seen this one a lot, but I’ve hardly ever seen the first American Ninja movie. I do know that both stars from the movie star in this one as well. Legendary B movie actor Michael Dudikoff and his big headed black side kick, the late Steve James. Actually Steve James always steals every scene that he’s in. He’s funny and can kick some serious ass.
So we start the movie off with a bunch of guys riding their sports bikes around a bunch of dangerous curves. Just by looking at the scenery we can tell that it’s an island in the Caribbean. Once the badass 80’s music finishes along with the credits, they go to some shitty looking bar looking to pick up some fresh wool, if you know what I mean. But right away these smelly looking homeless guys are giving them the stink eye as they go inside. They say that they’re Marines but come on. Where is their high and tight hair cuts? These guys have a full set of hair. Non regulation I think.
This one guy tells the other two that it’s the hottest joint in town. But it’s a real shit hole. Right away the head smelly looking fat guy comes along and asks them for some money. The tall Marine tells him to fuck off. The fat guy says, “Yankee Marines earn a lot of money.” They decide to leave, but that’s when a fight begins. The tall Marine goes into a corner like a huge pussy and just hides. The other two get ganged up on and get their asses kicked. The fat dude then goes and opens a back door and a couple of ninjas come out and take the Marines away. Seems like the Tall Marine was with them, the fat dude telling him. “You did good Tom, you did good.” As this is happening this rat looking kid in a goofy looking hat just witnessed everything that happened.
We then hear this rad sounding island song and our two heroes come out of an old ass propeller plane. But they’re been looked at by a guy who looks like Guy LeDouche from MXC. Right away Jackson, (Steve James) is suspicious. He goes on to tell Armstrong (Michael Dudikoff) that he’s not going to like it there. Just then these guys along with the coward in the previous scene pull up and ask them if they’ve seen a couple of Marines. When they tell them the names they’re looking for, they just look down at their name tags. Armstrong and Jackson are actually Army Rangers and the Marine driving can’t hide his disgust. How rude.
We then hear what I think is Motley Crue. The Marine driving named Charlie tells them that they’re borrowing the car from their CO, Wild Bill. Jackson isn’t liking this by the minute. Until he see’s a couple of hot chicks going on their way to the beach. Charlie most likely being full of shit informs him that once they get on the beach everything comes off. Jackson being a big horn dog immediately changes his mind and says that he thinks he’s going to like it there.
Tommy being a rude asshole shuts the door on Armstrong while he’s trying to get out. Charlie tells them not to mind him, that he’s going through a lot of problems. Armstrong should have given him an American Ninja beating for that. After being hassled by a few more Marines, they finally meet Wild Bill and he looks like a cross between Ice Man from Top Gun and Pornstache from Orange is the New Black. He gives them the low down on why they’re even doing there. He tells them that they’re dressed like they’re going to a Jimmy Buffet concert because the natives hate the 20 something Marines that are there guarding the Embassy. He goes on to tell them that four of his men have disappeared and that the homeless looking kid from earlier said that he saw two guys that looked like giants dressed all in black took them. But please, they looked about 5′ 11” tops. So he goes on to say that they’ll be working as clerks while they’re investigating the disappearances, but then Wild Bill says something that makes zero sense. He’s all, “Look I don’t know who you are, or why you’re here.” Even though he just specifically explained the reason for them being there. That’s just bad screen writing really.
This scene showed why this was a B movie big time. Just as the Captain is telling them to keep a low profile and not to mess with his Marines we see Armstrong and Jackson. Then when they’re dismissed, it’s clearly another guy standing in for Armstrong. It’s the funniest shit ever and I’ve noticed this since I first saw it as a kid.
Charlie then invites them to go water skiing. So yup, next scene they’re on a boat with Charlie, Tommy and another Marine who acts like a complete dick with Armstrong. Jackson saying, “Our fan club is starting to grow.” Tommy convinces them to go to some island to meet some local whores. All of a sudden they’re all asleep and Tommy decides to pull some wires apart and the boat stops. That sneaky bitch. They beach the boat and they say fuck it and go swimming instead. Everyone except for Armstrong. Right away he figures out what happens and just reconnects the wire. But uh oh. He spots a group of ninjas heading straight for him. I thought they were supposed to be discreet, but no, these motherfuckers are running towards him in full view.
So we begin what I like to call the sweaty beach brawl. Armstrong starts to kick the shit out of these guys and it’s apparent that they’re the worst ninjas in the history of ever. I mean, he’s easily kicking their asses. And they’re using every weapon in the Ninja arsenal. Spears, Katana swords, bow and arrow, Shuriken stars, nets. But they’re no match for him and his American Ninja powers.
The dudes then come from the beach and here’s where sweaty beach brawl get’s it’s name. Jackson goes looking for Armstrong and they try to gang up on him now. He easily over powers these guys and starts to annihilate them as well. Breaking bones and shit. They finally meet up and decide to jump from a big ass cliff onto the boat because they’ll be out numbered big time. How they didn’t break their legs is beyond me. The whole time their head Ninja was just staring at them from a top a rock, once they leave he takes off his hood, revealing his lazy eye.
The next scene the dudes are telling Wild Bill all about the Ninjas, but apparently, he has no idea what those are saying, “Ninja, what the hell are Ninja?” Jackson tells him that they’re an ancient Japanese society specializing in the art of assassination. But these Ninja’s are completely worthless and couldn’t assassinate Don Knots. Wild Bill asks them why Ninjas would be there to begin with and Armstrong tells him that he thinks they were trying to kidnap them. Right away the loud mouth Sargent Major starts to laugh his ass off, but Wild Bill shuts him up. After the rest of the guys leave he talks to Jackson and Armstrong alone. You can tell this movie was made in the 80’s because he asks them if they think that they were working for the Russians or Libyans. Armstrong asks the Captain if they can have a week to investigate the matter and he tells him yes.
Tommy, or Taylor as they call him is talking to someone and he’s spilling all the beans about them. The guy on the other end says that the white boy is good, almost as good as a Ninja. Taylor then get’s told to bring him to the same shitty bar as in the beginning of the movie. If they only knew who they were fucking with. Taylor then comes into Armstrong’s room at night and tells him to meet him at the bar. Alone. Uh oh.
So of course Armstrong goes there looking cool with his jean jacket on. But he loses some points for having his blue jeans tucked into his boots. Anyways, the same smelly looking homeless thugs spot him and try to rough him up. But he’s not putting up with their bullshit. He beats the shit out of tubby and continues to break arms and tossing them about.
He finds Tommy in some room upstairs to have their talk. Why they couldn’t talk where the rest of the Marines are is beyond me. But oh yeah, I forget, he was ordered to. Taylor tells him that he’s sorry about setting him up and that he doesn’t want to do it. But then they’re interrupted but that fat asshole and his gang. Of course once again he beats them up one after the other. The funniest shit happens here when he does a Double Dragon style jump kick and kicks that fat fuck right through the door. I always laugh when I see that part. Taylor being a weasel tries to run away but Armstrong catches him. He claims that he doesn’t know anything, but then starts telling him in detail about some person named The Lion kidnapping his wife and that the Lion is a millionaire who made his money from the drug trade. He goes on to mention how he’s doing biological experiments on some island. Just then he hears something outside and being stupid he goes to investigate. Of course he gets killed by a plunger that pierced his chest. Armstrong just leaves his corpse to fester in the room.
The next scene Wild Bill is telling Armstrong and Jackson all about Taylor being killed. Inspector Guy LeDouche is there and he thinks that Taylor was killed because of a drug deal gone wrong. Jackson tells them that his wife was kidnapped and taken to some place called Blackbeard island. God how stereotypical is that name? Anyways Inspector LeDouche says that it’s a bunch of bullshit and that the owner, some professor is a well to do person. The inspector then acts like a dick and here we have another example of bad editing. He gets up from his chair and puts his pith helmet on. But when he goes to open the door, he’s seen putting it on again. Amazing!
After he leaves Wild Bill starts going off on the inspector and on both of them. Saying, “This is really beginning to get on my tits!” He then goes on to mention that there’s a party going on at the governor’s mansion the next day and that he wants them there dressed as Marines.
We then go to what looks is a really boring party for rich people. Charlie comes in driving the Captains old Cadillac and they come out wearing Marine dress uniforms. Charlie telling Armstrong to take care of it cause it’s his only one. The Sargent Major can’t help being an asshole and tells Jackson to go mingle and tells Armstrong not get get all fucked up drunk. Just then Jackson goes to flirt with some hot ass island native. This chick is hot as fuck and as soon as she turns around Jackson just says, “Wow!” He has game.
Armstrong then spots the lazy eye looking guy with this guy Leo Burke. So it’s clear that this asshole is The Lion. Just then Inspector LeDouche comes along and tells Armstrong that he wants him to go with him to the police station because basically everyone at the bar saw him with Taylor last. But they’re interrupted by this chick yelling bastard and slapping the shit out of the Lion. But his lazy eyed thug grabs her hand and Inspector LeDouche has her removed. But not really, the Lion’s thugs take her away. Wild Bill then tells them that the U.S. armed forces haven’t let down a lady yet. Jackson saying, “Yes sir. We should kick some ass.” Wild Bill tells them to take his car. So along with Charlie they tail them back to the shitty looking bar. I don’t know why this location was used a lot. Must be their base of operations.
So we come upon my favorite fight scene of the movie and this one Steve James totally stole the show. They walk in and once again the homeless gang immediately starts shit with them. The fat dude saying, “Hi Joe.” But how did he know his name? Eh, who cares. The fight starts with Armstrong going up to save the girl, bitch slapping some guy along the way. The groovey island music comes back on. Jackson meanwhile is begging for everyone to gang up on him and they do. But with his Herculean strength he manages to throw everyone off of him and starts to just destroy these guys. Saying while laughing, “I love it!”
So many good one liners from him. Including telling some black dude, “Hey what’s up my brother?” and then throws him into a couch. Armstrong meanwhile is struggling to fight some Wall Street looking guy, they go flying off of the balcony onto a table. It looked like it hurt like a motherfucker the way he landed. Jackson meanwhile lets the fat guy hit him twice and it has no effect on him. Jackson just slaps the shit out of him and down he goes. Charlie meanwhile is trying to pick up on some hot looking blonde, but she just breaks a bottle over his head. Finally Armstrong beats up the guy but as soon as he does that, some guy in a Joey Jeremiah hat gives him a solid punch. Man, Armstrong is fighting like shit in this scene. But he finally kicks his ass too. Jackson grabs some guy’s hand and seems to be crushing it, we hear this disgusting squishy sound. The girl, whoever she was get’s free and just flees. She could have said thank you. But no.
Just then the lazy eyed Ninja comes in and Jackson says, “Yeah.” Wanting to fight him too, but Armstrong pulls him away to get away. Just then one of the homeless guys tries to start with lazy eye, but lazy eye just kicks the every loving shit out of him while he’s holding his hand the whole time. It’s hilarious.
Jackson is fully pumped up, telling Charlie and Joe, “Let’s do it some more! Come on, let’s do it some more!” They then come upon Wild Bill’s car and some pieces of shit have completely stripped it. They run away, car doors, bumpers and all. They dive into the car and drive away, Jackson yelling and pointing, “You’re lucky one eye! You’re lucky!” HAHA! Again, so fucking funny. More hijinx ensue when they come back to the party, car and uniforms all fucked up. Before they leave Jackson is seen begging the hot chick for her number whispering, “Please, please.” She then hands him a card and he’s all, “YES!” The way he says it is funny as hell.
One eye whose actual name in the movie is Tojo Ken (I had to look that up on IMDb because not once is his name said.) comes by and tells the Lion that it’s all that damn American Ninja’s fault. Seriously, he called him American Ninja. I love it when movies say the title in the dialog. Anyways, he mentions how he fights like a tiger and they’ll have to get rid of him. But the Lion says that he wants him alive. It’s clear for any moron to see that the Inspector and Governor are in league with the Lion.
Armstrong then tells Wild Bill that he’s going to go look for the girl and he’s pretty sure he knows who knows where she is. And apparently it’s that smelly looking kid named Toto. Yes, his name is Toto, even though I thought he was a she. They find her and then another fight ensues. Those damn Ninjas are everywhere. But yet again they show how inept they are, including one of them that manages to stab himself right in the tomato. After he breaks one of their legs in about a million pieces they try to make a run for it.
Toto then comes along in a truck. But wait, I thought he just left after he got paid. Anyways, we then get a really boring car chase where they eventually drag a Ninja around. But before that she spots a Ninja just standing in the middle of the road and says, “Hey Joe!” But how the hell did she know his name? The car chase ends with all of them jumping out of the truck with the Ninja on the hood and the truck does a flip into a gas station. The Ninja dying a horrible flaming death. Joe tells Toto to go tell the Marines that they’ll be heading to the island. But Toto insists on being paid five bucks for his services. Joe tells him to fuck off and that he’ll pay him later.
Meanwhile the Lion tells the governor to call the American Ambassador and to tell him to put his men on some leashes, or else, “He’s going to find himself in the middle of World War III.” What a fucking cheesy line.
Our mystery girl goes on to tell Joe that they have to wait until dark because they have patrols. So she starts to give us the back story on her father and how he’s a scientist who wanted to find a cure for cancer, but he lost funding on some money and how he was devastated. She then mentions how The Lion shoved a bunch of money in his dad’s face so being greedy and stupid, he started working for him. Little did he know that the Lion would force him to work on his army of incompetent Ninja’s. But all I was thinking during all this was, “Was this scene touching or boring?”
Jackson meanwhile is trying to rile up everyone and go to Blackbeard island to help out Armstrong. But Wild Bill tells him that they can’t since it’s a political powder keg they have going on there.
On blackbeard island the Lion is going on about being low and dirty drug dealers, but that now they’re at the top. He goes on to tell his crones how he created these Super Ninjas as he calls them so that they could protect his little local drug empire. The Ninjas then do a lame demonstration where you could possibly see it being done in some Karate class. Finally Joe and the girl named Alicia arrive on the island.
Ok, next is a scene that makes absolutely no goddamn sense. Tojo Ken goes down where the Ninjas are and he joins their little demonstration. Then he just starts to kill about say 20 of them with his sword and other weapons. (All bloodless action of course.”) He just proved how shitty the Lion’s Ninja’s really are. So I have no idea what the point of all that was.
Meanwhile Joe manages to kill two Ninjas and they steal their suits. So she managed to fit into a suit that was about two sizes too big for her. They follow the Lion and his group into some lab. Apparently the Ninja’s are being given Ninja DNA. Huh?! I had no idea that in order to be a Ninja, you had to have their DNA first. I figured you had to learn the skills. But if American Ninja 2 says so, then it must be true!
Armstrong and Alicia follow the two Ninjas taking her father away, but Joe of course manages to fuck them up easily and he’s free! The professor then tells them that the Lion is planning on shipping a shit load of heroin to the United States so they just have to stop them. Even the American Ninja is joining the war on drugs. The professor then tells Joe where the Marines are being held and Joe tells them to leave the island.
Joe then decides to sit down and meditate in the middle of an open stair way. Japanese style music comes on and he flashes back to his old master from the first American Ninja movie. Apparently this master was an Imperial Japanese soldier, going by his get up. How they came to be together is beyond me. I guess I’d have to watch the first movie to find out. Anyways, he talks about the art of Ninja magic and all of a sudden Joe explodes in a puff of smoke. After it clears Joe is in a new Ninja outfit. Ready to fuck some motherfuckers up.
Jackson finally convinces Wild Bill to go to Blackbeard island. Once again Jackson comes out looking like Rambo with that head band on. They head off in a bunch of boats singing the Marine Corps hymn.
Haha. It’s so repetitive stating how much these Ninja’s suck. Joe kicks their asses and free’s the kidnapped Marines. The two from the beginning pick up the Ninja’s swords and they go into the arena. The lights come up and the Lion says, “American Ninja, I presume.” Funny how they have to add American to Ninja every time they refer to him.
The Lion’s big plan is to capture Joe and to use his DNA to make his Ninja’s even better. So good, he has an idea how shitty his so called Super Ninja’s actually are. One eye orders them to attack them. The Marines having no skills in Ninja tactics even manage to kill a few of them. But they’re soon over powered, a few of them getting killed the process.
Meanwhile the Marines along with Jackson have finally landed on the beach. Wild Bill can’t believe that there’s actually a drug operation going on and with that he orders them to attack. Grenades going off making huge enormous explosions. We see Ninjas and guards being killed easily by machine gun fire.
Back to the arena Armstrong is just killing all the Ninja’s until there’s no one left. The Lion pissed off tells One eye, “Finish off that son of a bitch. Finish him off now!” But once again, that makes no sense. I thought he wanted him alive for his lousy Ninja army. The professor then tells Alicia to stay where she is because he has something to do.
We get more action scenes of the Marines and Jackson just killing everyone in sight. They then run head on into the Lion, Inspector LeDouche and the Governor. The Governor saying, “What do we do now Leo?” Leo then tells him something I would have said and done. He’s all, “Kiss my ass.” And promptly abandons them there to be captured.
The Lion for some reason that’s unknown to mankind heads into the science lab again and the professor is in there hooking up dynamite charges to all the bodies that are getting Ninja modified. The Professor goes on this monologue on how the Lion corrupted him. He then says, “You’ve destroyed everything I dreamed of. Now I’m going to destroy YOUR dreams!” He flips the switch and both he and the Lion go down in a blaze of glory.
Oh shit, Jackson once again get’s his own action scene and fights four Ninja’s at the same time. By the way, the Lion’s drug operation looks like it was filmed inside a library or some shit. Anyways, once again Steve James shines in this fight scene. He takes out these huge fucking blades and proceeds to cut these guys into mincemeat.
Meanwhile Joe and head ninja Tojo Ken start to fight one on one too. Shit even one eye is not that great of a Ninja. Right away Joe slashes his leg.
We go back to Jackson fighting one lone Ninja and struggles with him for a bit, but then get’s the upper hand. Eventually he body slams his ass and then steps on his neck, crushing it to pieces, or so we think. The Ninja starts to get back up, but Jackson screams at him, “STAY DOWN!” And the Ninja does as he’s told. HAHA! I know, I know. It’s ridiculous as hell, but hilarious at the same time.
Back to Joe’s fight, he manages to cut one eye’s arm and other leg now. I love how there’s hardly any blood. But just then one eye shows how shitty of a fighter he is and busts out a shot gun out of his ass. I mean where did he get that from? Anyways, he’s as bad of a shot as he is a Ninja and doesn’t even hit Joe at all, but he does manage to kill his own fellow Ninjas in the process.
They get into a final duel with the music banging. For some reason he get’s this rope that’s attached to his outfit and put’s it in his mouth. Like that’s going to help him any. They both go for a swing of their swords and predictably Joe cuts him and he dies. He then takes his hood off and just stares at Alicia, as she returns his smile. I love how she shows no concern for her dad or where he might be.
Back at the embassy where the Marines are they’re being given a going away party. Wild Bill tells them that for Army, they’re not that bad and if they want, he can pull some strings so that they can become Marines. But Joe has other plans and that includes fucking Alicia like a jack rabbit. I noticed that she straightened her hair and she looks smoking hot now. They part on good terms with Wild Bill and the Marines. Jackson meanwhile tells the hot Island girl that he’ll write, and phone her, but she says, “No you won’t.” He’s all, “Right, just remember me.” With that I’m assuming that Jackson banged her really hard before he left. As they’re leaving to go to the airport Toto starts to hassle Armstrong about the five dollars he owes him still. Joe instead gives him this cheap looking Swiss Army Knife and Toto is delighted. Joe should have given him some soap so he could take a shower for once. But with that, they walk down the steps and the movie’s over.
Well there you, American Ninja 2. They sure don’t make movies like these anymore. Believe me, I know this isn’t going to win any acting awards. But if you like a good silly action movie like me, then I think you’ll enjoy it. Thank you Golan-Globus for this cinematic masterpiece you’ve unleashed on the world.