Enter the Ninja Reviews
In addition this also happens to be the film that propelled its REAL star (an actor who was actually playing the role of the movies main villain!) to super stardom literally overnight (if only for a modest while) and made him forever synonymous with such roles. Who was this actor? Well it was of course the legendary Sho Kosugi!
While ninja had previously reared their heads on a number of occasions in western cinema, (probably most famously in the classic James Bond outing 'You Only Live Twice') THIS was the film that really catapulted them into the movie going publics eye. Such was the demand for ninja themed shenanigans following this films initial release that producers Golan-Globus were sagaciously swift to rush two sequels into production, namely The Revenge Of the Ninja (probably THE seminal 1980's ninja flick) and the sadly embarrassing Ninja 3: The Domination, again, both starring Kosugi (albeit in the more welcome role of the good guy)
But enough of the history lesson?..what of the quality of the film being reviewed here I hear you cry? Well as it happens, it's rather solidly entertaining stuff!
Franco Nero plays Cole, a westerner who through hard work and determination has against all odds (not to mention certain persons wishes) ascended to the top ranks of his ninja clan. Traveling to the Philippines to visit an old friend Cole finds that his deadly skills come in mighty handy when he is forced to stand against some local hoodlums. (In a morally ambiguous subplot he also manages to sleep with his best friend's wife ? but we won't go there?..!!!)
In fact these hoodlums are merely puppets belonging to a much larger crime syndicate headed by a particularly ruthless boss (the always fun to watch Christopher George hamming it up wonderfully!)
Seeing that Cole is laying waste to his plans, the crime lord takes drastic measures and hires Cole's old nemesis from Japan (Kosugi) to take care of him.
Inevitably the two ninja must square off at the films climax with only one left alive by the final credits but which one shall be triumphant? Well you can probably guess?..
Aside from the odd casting of Nero in the lead (a great actor in his own right but woefully miscast here owing to the fact that he has blatantly no martial arts skills whatsoever) ? it has to be said that this is a great movie and is intrinsic viewing for fans of the genre.
Of course the main attraction here though, is undoubtedly Kosugi himself, who succeeds in carrying a wonderful silent air of extreme menace in every single scene he appears in, in addition to entertaining us with some excellent martial arts demonstrations.
Franco Nero plays martial arts master faces rival and his own personal vendetta. Choppy in the extreme, though never boring. Followed by REVENGE OF THE NINJA and NINJA III: THE DOMINATION.
2009 Movies: 80
Give it a look.
Shortly after graduating from a ninja academy, Cole receives a desperate message from an old war buddy in the Philippines. Cole arrives in the Philippines to discover his friend and his wife may lose their estate when their employees are bullied by the locals. Can Cole save his friend from losing his property?
"He's called the hook. When he had both of his hands he was a real son of a bitch. Now he's worse."
Menahem Golan, director of Death Game, Crime and Punishment, The Versace Murder, The Delta Force, and Fortuna, delivers Enter the Ninja. The storyline for this picture is uncreative and stole premises from several martial arts pictures, most notably, Chinese Connection. The action is interesting but seemed strange based on the characters. The cast delivers average performances and includes Franco Nero, Susan George, Christopher George, and Sho Kosuqi.
"He is bitter and frustrated."
My wife and I loved Franco Nero in Django and decided to DVR some of his pictures. This seemed like an odd movie for him. Most of his scenes were awkward, especially those that focused on Nero's training. Overall, this is a below average action picture with a few fun scenes and a hot Susan George.
"Let's have a cock fight."
I saw a bunch of these old Cannon films when I was a kid. Whenever my dad came around, he would take me to see these action movies that were fairly inappropriate for very young kids. Between my dad?s love of action movies and my mom?s love of scary movies, I could have been a really messed up adult, but I?m only semi-messed up. This movie brings back memories and I now realize why my Dad liked this enough to take me to the other Ninja series movies, it took place in the Philippines. I don?t believe the others did though. And this movie has the lady from Straw Dogs in it, what happened to her. She should have been a big star. I guess I can look it up, I?m online.
As for this movie. A great bad movie. Definitely worth the mid-point rating.