Beverly Hills Ninja Reviews
also stars Robin Shou, Nathaniel Parker, Chris Rock, Soon-Tek Oh, Francois Chau, Billy Connolly and Keith Cooke Hirabyashi.
directed by Dennis Dugan.
He has not become a master ninja, and has only been able to master very few skills. He is overweight and accident-prone, and not too bright.
One day, he is told by his Sensei (Soon-Tek Ho) to stay behind and tend to the shrine as those who graduated to ninja in "Haru's" class go on some mission. As he is messing around with a tight-fitting ninja uniform, a woman calling herself "Sally" (Nicollette Sheridan) comes in looking to hire a ninja to tail her boyfriend, "Martin" (Nathaniel Parker).
Based on a matchbook "Sally" dropped, "Haru" goes to Beverly Hills to find her. He also finds out that "Martin" is involved in counterfeiting foreign money. Also, he discovers that he can not adapt to Western civilization.
Out of the entire cast, Farley is the reason to see this movie. He really should have been a Hollywood stuntman. The guy will do just about anything to his body for a laugh, no matter the level of physical harm. For a guy of his size, he was flexible, as evident with martial arts fights in the movie. He is also good with using props set up in the room he is in, which are for a few good laughs.
In fact, there are many laughs in this film. There are just not enough side-splitting ones. If you ask me, the laughs are actually some really good chuckles. I also didn't laugh at every joke, possibly because I didn't think they were that funny.
I felt that none of the supporting cast had any real chemistry with Farley. Sheridan was OK when she was with him, but sometimes didn't set up the jokes for Farley's punchlines very well. Chris Rock seemed to me to be playing himself as seen during his days on "Saturday Night Live" more than a character.
I also felt that the supporting characters were not well developed. "Gobei" (Robin Shou) was mostly there for his real-life martial arts skills, but was pretty good with the limited amount of physical comedy he was subject to. If you ask me, the majority of the supporting cast were there to make a buck.
Out of the most recent movies I've seen, this one has the most memorable soundtrack. Many of the songs are martial arts themed popular songs or covers of classic songs like "Kung-Fu Fighting". I pretty much liked the music in this one.
For a martial arts movie, there really isn't a lot of martial arts in it. There is one extended fight in the entire movie, wish some brief ones through out. Even though Farley was trained for the movie, but he uses the ancient form of fighting more for jokes. He even uses martial arts weaponry for laughs more than what they are made for.
Sadly, I can't recommend this as a "Must See" movie. I would say it is more suited for watching on television when nothing else is on.