I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Revenge of the Ninja

(aka NINJA II)

REVENGE OF THE NINJA isn’t connected to the story of ENTER THE NINJA. Franco Nero’s White Ninja character is nowhere to be seen, defying the promise of his final freeze-frame wink. Which is bullshit, man. If you’re gonna wink – especially if you’re gonna freeze-frame wink – you better fuckin mean it.

However, Sho Kosugi (who died in part 1) is reborn as a different character, a collector of Japanese antique dolls whose family is killed by ninjas. His white friend convinces him to take his son and mom to AMerica to open a gallery for his dolls. And I don’t think I need to point out that any time in an action or fighting movie where you are discussing the hero’s doll collection you are on some paper thin ice. But I’ll be charitable and accept this as a fulfillment of the Theory of Badass Juxtaposition.

Revenge of the NinjaWhat Sho doesn’t know is his white friend is an asshole and set the whole thing up so he could smuggle heroin in the dolls. Which seems like a lot of trouble to go through, but I can understand if he’s uncomfortable with the traditional balloons up the butthole business model. He probaly saw MARIA FULL OF GRACE like I did. Anyway, Sho’s son – played by his real son, Kane Kosugi – is a little badass. There’s a funny scene where he gets picked on by bullies who could be the junior members of a gang in a Michael Jackson video. And of course he deals with them ninja style.

Little Kane is in that classic predicament: he’s trained in ninjitsu fighting and swords but he isn’t allowed to use it. It’s tradition to practice, but the family doesn’t believe in violence, he’s told. That’s one of the classic scenarios, the Ticking Time Bomb of Badass.

Sho also has a white assistant lady who takes care of Kane and tries to seduce Sho by training with no pants on. But it doesn’t work. Later it turns out she’s in on the heroin deal, and still later it turns out she’s actually nice, but she’s hypnotized.

In this one of course Sho is the hero, and the villain is the heroin smuggler, a Caucasian ninja. So it’s a nice reversal of Part 1. This guy doesn’t wear a white ninja outfit like White Ninja. He wears orthodox black with a silver demon mask to distinguish him from Sho. So I call him White Devil Ninja.

The fights are pretty cool, with lots of the ol’ ninja shit that ninjas are known to get up to. Marbles in a hall so you fall and land on tacks. Tacks in the face. Grappling hook between skyscrapers. Duel on top of skyscrapers.

It’s a much more respectable ninja movie than part 1, with more convincing martial arts. But the badass beats aren’t quite as solid and the other one is so much more silly that it’s more fun to watch. This one could’ve used a freeze-frame wink, in other words.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2007 at 8:35 pm and is filed under Action, Martial Arts, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “Revenge of the Ninja”

  1. I just watched 9 Deaths of The Ninja agian today. It’s not my favorite Sho Kosugi movie by far, (those would be this one, Rage of Honor, and Pray For Death) in fact, it’s pretty bad. But the opening credit sequence is worth checking out.

    If you go to Youtube and on the search thingy, put in “9 deaths of the ninja interpretive dance” it should be the first one that pops up. (Sorry, I’m link-retarded)

    It really is a great opening credit sequence. In fact, I think the world would be a better place if all ninja movies opened like this. It has Sho Kosugi doing some ninja shit with his sword, while having three ballerinas dancing around him. If you’ve never seen it, check it out. You can thank me later.

    As for Revenge of The Ninja, I absolutely love this movie. I wish that Sam Firstenberg would do another ninja movie featuring Dudikoff against Kosugi. If that ever happened, I might just have a stroke.

    I think Dudikoff as an uncredited role in Enter The Ninja, but that doesn’t really count. It’s also unfortunate that Steve James is dead because he would make a Dudikoff/Kosugi movie that much more awesome.

  2. hamslime is right about everything. REVENGE OF THE NINJA is awesome, with much better fighting than PRAY FOR DEATH, but the 2 are about equal in tone, unintentional comedy, and quality of bad guys. At one point in RotN, iIrc, a bad guy has a small child tied up as a hostage, and for no reason he checks in on the kid just so he can laugh at him. Like, he goes out of his way to visit the little kid in his special captivity room hellhole, just so he can crack open the door and laugh.

    There’s an excellent fight between an adult woman and that small child as well. Yeah, the kid’s Kane Kosugi, so he kicks ass, but comethefuckon, it’s a kid! Great stuff.

    PRAY FOR DEATH was a tad disappointing, but Sho’s character is a worthy addition to the world of BADASS CINEMA. Thing is, it’s his name attached to the fight choreography, too, so he’s to blame for it being too obvious all the times the fighters & stunt guys were holding back or cheating in the choreography & editing.

    Luckily, the PFD special effects crew got their automobiles from the Cannon lot and their attitudes from a young Craig Baxley, so when a truck collides with a couple of parked cars, there’s 3 instant explosions!

  3. Incredible! Thiis blog looks just llike my old one! It’s
    on a completely different topic butt it has pretty much thee same pge layout and design.
    Outstanding choice of colors!

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    Kirsten Nelson (Chief Karen Vick), and Corbin Bernsen (Henry
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  5. This is still a fucking awesome ninja movie. And unlike the AMERICA NINJA movies it deals with the 80´s ninja mythology properly. Being a ninja in these Sho Kosugi/Cannon joints mean something.Ninjas are bad ass and not just cannon fodder. Being a nninja means being awesome.

  6. Yup, this is one of the great ones. Almost as good as NINJA MISSION.

  7. NINJA MISSION is the best Swedish ninja movie I´ve seen. It sure beats RUSSIAN NINJA (AKA RUSSIAN TERMINATOR) in that category. But REVENGE OF THE NINJA is a more legit ninja movie.

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