3 Ninjas Reviews
The characters of Rocky, Colt, and Tum Tum are fun and interesting. Grandpa is a goof ball as the boys say, but they respect him because he listens to them and respects them. The dad has an integral part in the story being an FBI agent and unlike most family movies, he's not useless as he actually saves everyone from Snyder in the very very end. The Mom character has the least development but one of the best line, "You think being a ninja is hard try being a mom." I know the line will be lost on most kids but not on adults.
My only gripe about this first installment in the franchise is 1. The poster using that stupid quote comparing the movie to Home Alone & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when obviously the mostly foreign Asian film makers probably more inspired by children films from China and Korea about groups of three martial arts brothers such as Kung Fu Kids.
and 2. That in the USA we got the G version (actually rated PG but seriously it's tame for a PG) while some countries in Europe got the uncut PG version which shows bad guys actually firing their guns, the boys loosing the basketball game and then beating up the bullies another day to get their bikes back, and a few other little bits here and there that where shaved off of some scenes, I want that uncut version too!
Final word, most people are under the false impression that this is a Disney movie, it isn't. It was created and filmed by a young start up company comprised of mostly Asian film makers from all over, some of their producers didn't even have any thing to do with movie making but education. The main man at the helm was the late great Simon Shin. Their intention was to make a movie that fused Asian culture in a family film that would be easily excisable to Western audiences, I think they could have leaned a little more on the Asian culture, but other wise they hit their mark quite well. So how did Touchstone a subsidiary of Disney get their hands all over the cover? I'm not sure exactly, perhaps Global Venture felt they needed help getting in movie theaters and a connection to an established brand like Touchstone/Disney would help.
So, I checked Yahoo Movies again, this time for "3 Ninjas". And the site says, based on the movies I've rated, I probably wouldn't like it. It's actually not bad, but not good either.
Brothers "Samuel Jr." (Michael Treanor), "Jeffrey" (Max Elliott Slade) and the always snacking "Michael" (Chad Power) are training to be martial arts experts by their maternal grandfather "Mori Tanaka" (the late Victor Wong, who is the only person to be in every movie in the "3 Ninjas" franchise). "Grandpa", as the boys call him, is a master ninja training the boys, despite their father (Alan McRae) being completely against what he says is nonsense.
During down-time in their training at their "Grandpa's" place, he gives them their "ninja names" (nicknames). "Samuel Jr." is named "Rocky", "Jeffrey" is named "Colt" and "Michael", thanks to his love for snacking, is named "Tum-Tum" (for "tummy).
Their father, "Samuel Sr.", is an FBI agent after a criminal "Hugo Snyder" (Rand Kingsley), who was taught the martial arts by "Tanaka".
The three boys, along with "Samuel Jr's" best friend/girlfriend "Emily" (Kate Sargeant) have to deal with typical schoolyard problems -- including a group of older, larger bullies.
However, the "3 Ninjas" have a bigger problem when "Snyder" sends three bumbling kidnappers to grab the boys to get "Tanaka" to agree to work with him.
Now, the boys need to use their martial arts skills to get away from the kidnappers, and "Snyder".
OK< so I was a little mad that Comcast sent out the wrong information through the on-screen TV Guide. But, since I was pretty bored, I decided to watch the movie.
The movie was definitely targeted to kids. The violence, all in the martial arts hand-to-hand combat, is used mostly for physical comedy. There is also a little gunplay, but no blood. Much of the physical comedy will make kids laugh, and will give a good chuckle to the adults who watch.
The three title actors are good in their performances. The jokes they say are pretty typical for brothers to throw at each other., and are worth some laughs. As for the adults performances, we mainly see Wong and the three actors who portray the three dope-heads. Sadly, "Tanaka" is portrayed more as a tough Sensei than a loving grandfather, but he does have a few moments where he does act like a grandfather. The rest of the adults are barely used in this film. "Samuel Sr." is seen at the start to introduce "Snyder" and at the end, but that is it. And all we know about the "3 Ninja's" mother (Margarita Franco) is the least used of the entire adult cast. Franco is seen in three scenes and does absolutely nothing to advance the plot of the movie. All we really know about the mother is that she is the daughter of "Tanaka".
As for the music, I don't really recall it that well. So, it isn't really worth talking about.
Like I said, kids would like this more than adults. If you ask me, this movie is good to watch on television when the weather is poor. I wouldn't put it on the "Must See" list.