American Samurai (1992)
American Samurai (1992)
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Critic Reviews for American Samurai
Audience Reviews for American Samurai
He sees with the eye of the mind. An American reporter who is a trained samurai and martial arts expert enters a fighting tournament to report/exposed an underground mafia. The tournament also includes his lifelong foe and adopted brother. His brother is the tournament's most likely winner. The tournament will obviously battle down through intense fights until an eventual brother showdown in the finale. "You have disgraced our family." Sam Firstenberg, director of Cyborg Cop 1 & 2, Criss Cross, The Alternate, American Ninja 1 & 2, Delta Force 3, and Blood Warriors, delivers American Samurai. The storyline for this is fairly putrid and delivered in a USA Channel Movie kind of way. It felt very clumsy and the cast delivered shaky performances. The cast includes Mark Dacoscos, John Fujioka, Koby Azarly, Valerie Trapp, and David Bradley. "One day I will come for my sword." I came across this film while flicking through cable channels on either the Cinemax or Showtime extreme channels (I can't remember). I decided to DVR the next showing and give it a viewing when I was in the mood for a grindhouse genre picture. This film was painful to get through and did remind me of American Ninja. It's a step down from Chuck Norris films from this era. "Why couldn't we have just been brothers?" Grade: F
Since Cannon films pretty much ran the Ninja craze into the ground (especially after the rather dismal American Ninja 5), they decided to exploit another Asian icon, the Samurai. Here we get David Bradley (American Ninja 3-5) playing, oh my gosh, an American Samurai! When he was a baby his parents plane crash-lands somewhere in Asia where he is found and raised by a Samurai and in turn is taught the Samurai fighting style. Sounds like "American Ninja" you say? You betcha! His 'adoptive' father is even the same actor that played Michael Dudikoff's 'adoptive' father in American Ninja! While growing up, his 'step-brother' gets jealous because his father gains more of a liking for Bradley and a blood feud occurs. Sounds like "The Octagon" you say? You betcha! When Bradley grows up and moves to L.A., a string of bizarre murders in Turkey garner his attention as they feature his brother's signature cut. He travels to turkey with an annoying "photographer" (who his very attractive) to hunt him down. He gets caught and is forced to join in a "fight to the death" tournament. Sounds like "Bloodsport" you say? You betcha! As you can tell there isn't much originality in this movie but you shouldn't expect there to be. The story rips off countless other Cannon and Martial Arts pictures. Bradley gives his usual stiff performance and the love scene between him and the women photographer has to be one of the most "awkward" love scenes ever filmed with body doubles. Even though this film is "supposed" to be bad, it still falls way below other great bad "cannon" fodder like American Ninja and Revenge of the Ninja (those two also directed by B-movie veteran Sam Firstenberg). Only for the most die-hard Cannon film fans or the most forgiving martial arts fans.
As far as Sam Firstenberg movies go, and as far as bad late 80's, early 90's kung fu movies starring white people go, you could do worse. Amusing.
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