Enter the Ninja - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Enter the Ninja Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 3, 2007
This one is not easy to get a hold of ( no dvd release as of right now) , but if you can and appreciate Ninja flicks, I highly recommend it. It may seem a little cheesy to today's younger generation, but in the hype of the 80's Ninja movies - this one has got it all. Great fight scenes and the most Ninja weaponry skills that I've ever seen displayed on film to this day. Sho Kosugi was great as the bad guy, Hasegawa,(along with playing many of the masked bad guys chasing the lead through his final Ninja test in the opening of the film)and actor Franco Nero's (Cole) efforts were pretty convincing as the newly graduated American Ninja (with a lot of help from Martial Arts great and writer Mike Stone behind the white mask). The opening of the film with Kosugi doing fantastic Katas with weapons to the Ninja test was too cool. All scenes were beautifully shot and the chase/battle between rivals Hasegawa and Cole through the test was awesome. The landscape,weapons,and uniforms of the Ninjas in this film had the appearance of authenticity. Along with many neat fights in between, the final battle is still one of my personal favorites, as jealous Hasegawa is hired out (with evil pleasure),by badger tycoon Mr.Venarius, to assassinate his rival. A must see if you can find a copy of the film
Super Reviewer
½ January 10, 2009
Well here it is ? this is the catalyst for the 1980's 'Ninja Craze' that swept the west by storm and spawned literally hundreds of similar themed movies from all around the world.

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.

Great stuff!
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2011
Pretty terrible ninja movie! The acting was cheesy, which I didn't mind so much. However, the fights were pretty awful!
Super Reviewer
½ August 30, 2009
Remember the scene from Pee Wee's Big Adventure where James Brolin stars as P.W. Herman, well that's this entire movie. It's like the director glimpsed into the future, saw Road House, and decided to preemptively take a cinematic dump of his own. This gem of a turd features vastly unappealing actors doing remarkably little ninja-ing. Throw in some smarmy land grabbing baddies, a fat comic relief todie and you've got yourself one of the most underrated terrible movies of the 80's.
Super Reviewer
January 20, 2007
Throwaway cheep martial arts flick.
½ April 25, 2016
Enter the Ninja (1981) ? 1/2
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.
September 18, 2013
This was during the ninja craze and I enjoyed this movie. I saw this a few days ago on ThisTV. This is about an american by the name of Cole (Franco Nero) who travels to Japan and trains and becomes a Master Ninja, while Hasegawa (another fellow Ninja played by Sho Kosugi) believes he's truly not a ninja because he came from the west. Cole (Nero) plays the hero ninja while Hasegaw (Kosugi) plays the evil ninja. Cole visits his friend and his wife in the Philippines, and all at the same time his friend and his wife are being threatened by a bunch of goons for his land. Venarius (Christopher George) hires Hasegawa to take out the couple and Cole, but in the end Cole steps up and has a showdown with Hasegawa. A pretty good ninja flick.
½ January 22, 2013
Man, was this a disappointment. I am an avid, avid fan of the sequel "Revenge of the Ninja" and have been for many, many years. I could only imagine the precursor was more awesome. Not so! The humor isn't nearly as funny, the ninja are not magical killers, and the film's pretty boring especially compared to "Revenge". Sho also plays a different character WTF!?!?!? There is one great scene however in which the bad guys hire their henchmen. So that's where they get their army. Ahhhhh.
½ October 28, 2012
So a white ninja is good, a red ninja is a henchman, a black ninja is the villain and this movie was mediocre. Got it.

2009 Movies: 80
January 13, 2012
Here it is, folks! The movie that kicked off the ninja sub-genre of the 1980s. What Enter the Dragon did for kung-fu, Enter the Ninja did the same for ninjas. Christopher George steals the show with his hammy performance as lead baddie Charles Venaurius. Franco Nero is rather awkward as the lead hero, especially considering he isn't Japanese and is supposed to be an American who learns ninjutsu. Regardless, ETN is still loads of fun and showcases tons of well-choreographed fights. The real star, however, is Sho Kosugi, the evil ninja whom Venaurius recruits to take out Nero. Kosugi is out of this world in his battle sequence with Nero and can act quite well. Susan George, unfortunately, does not get to do much but still provides much-needed eye candy. Enter the Ninja gets 5 shurikens out of 5 from me!
November 3, 2009
I finally gave this a re-watch this afternoon, as it was a film I only discovered in the past few years after honestly thinking I'd watched it during my youth. Such a corny film, but it was so much fun. You can see Nero's Goddamned mustache through his ninja mask for fuck's sake! There's a wacky 'wah-wah' sound of the saxophone when someone is killed! It's just so ridiculous I wanna re-watch it with friends and beer right damned now!

Give it a look.
October 4, 2011
He is no ninja

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."

Grade: C-
½ July 14, 2010
Though it has some good action scenes, especially the opening battle and the final battle, the film has some poor acting, and the plot isn't that great. Skip it.
½ January 16, 2010
Man, was this a disappointment. I am an avid, avid fan of the sequel "Revenge of the Ninja" and have been for many, many years. I could only imagine the precursor was more awesome. Not so! The humor isn't nearly as funny, the ninja are not magical killers, and the film's pretty boring especially compared to "Revenge". Sho also plays a different character WTF!?!?!? There is one great scene however in which the bad guys hire their henchmen. So that's where they get their army. Ahhhhh.
½ October 23, 2009
9 levels of power! The movie start off with an action scene that isn?t action packed, but about 15 minutes long, longer than the roadside action scene in T3 (I think), and has 1. a great chase over a waterfall. 2. dual near-syncronized death throes. 3. the worst looking severed head ever. But it all makes sense in the conclusion of the scene. And it is continually electronically scored like most 80?s movies! Does that sound like praise? Well, it?s more like awe. This is pure 80?s cheesy action. And you gotta take it for what it is.

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.
½ September 24, 2009
Watching a "Ninja" movie is like taking your medicine... some taste good and others well not so good, no matter how it tastes its doing your body good; well brain I should say. Enter The Ninja is one of those ninja movies in limbo, but with cheesy one liners, typical 80's hero mustache, the Epic Black vs. White Ninja battle and leaving you asking yourself "what is that jazz?" Only to answer back... gotta love the 80's action. Side note: 2 pointless cartwheels, 80's Cheesy and a White Ninja so good he doesnt even get blood on his p.j.s
June 10, 2009
I cant by any means give this a good rating but it is a very fun movie. The action sequences are entertaining and the bad guy is funny, expecialy when he yells at his lackeys like a 3 year old "He has a ninja, I want one too" This is best viewed with friends and probably enhanced by a bit of alcohol.
May 10, 2009
As far as the 1980's ninjasploitation films go, this isn't one of the greats. It starts of awesomely but then there isn't any good ninja action for quite some time. There's a few amusing scenes in the middle, but not that much to hold your interest. The ending is silly enough, and the ninja stuff incompetent enough to warrant a watch for dedicated ninja fans, but overall you could probably do better. The scene when the one handed guy gets his hook-hand pulled off is great, cause the soundtrack literally goes wah wah waahhhh, and the bad guys death is pretty funny too.
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