Get ready for breathtaking action and electrifying martial arts magic as a young American becomes one of the greatest masters of Ninjitsu, the deadliest art of the Orient. American Ninja is entertainment as swift and sure ... more »as the flashing blade of a samurai's sword! Stationed in the Philippines, 18-year-old U.S. Army private Joe Armstrong (Michael Dudikoff) is escorting a supply convoy when it is ambushed by rebelsone of whom he recognizes as a Black Ninja warrior. Instinctively, Joe defends himself using the esoteric martial art of Ninjitsuan ability that puts him under suspicion by his commander and fellow soldiers. Alone in his fight against corruption, the boy finally discovers the secret of his mysterious pasta secret that pits him against the evil Black Star Ninja in the ultimate martial arts battle.« less
"I watched this film earlier today and you know what? For being 20 years old this movie holds up remarkably well. Much better than the previous year's NINJA III: THE DOMINATION, which was instantly dated thanks to the FLASHDANCE influence.
New recruit Michael Dudikoff unwillingly gets mixed up in some illegal arms transaction between crooked Army brass and a group of ninjas. He also accidentally arouses the lustful attention of the Colonel's hot tan daughter! But before he can make sweet love he's got to stop the evil ninja clan!
Some reviewers mention this as a "guilty pleasure" I disagree. With great fight scenes, icky sound effects every time somebody gets stabbed, a fun story and a energetic performance by Steve James there's no way you can classify this as a guilty pleasure. It's too good for that.
Judie Aronson who plays Dudikoff's hot girlfriend gets naked a few times in FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER.
D: Sam Fastener (NINJA III: THE DOMINATION, REVENGE OF THE NINJA)
Joe Armstrong - Michael Davidoff (BACHELOR PARTY, TRON) Curtis Jackson - Steve James (I'M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA, WEIRD SCIENCE) Patricia Hickock - Judie Aronson (FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER, WEIRD SCIENCE)"
Simplistic Kung Fu Fun.
derek glidewell | 04/25/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"American Ninja is a simple-minded little Kung Fu action flick that is here simply for entertainment, no more no less. And let me start off by saying that American Ninja is by no means a film to be taken to heart, it's cheesy and hokey and is pumped full of the most annoying sword sound effects since The Street Fighter, but, American Ninja can be a fun little 80's flick that will keep you on the edge of your couch cushion for an hour and a half if you view it with all your logic in suspension and a nice bag of Act III. With all that said, let me get to the plot run down. Pretty boy Michael Dudikoff (with bulging biceps and all) plays new Army recruit "Joe", who, on only his second day on the job, gets caught up in a weapons heist while delivering Military supplies by a group of rogue guerrillas and a few Ninjas. Using his martial arts skills to fend off the lethal Ninjas, he saves himself and the colonel's daughter, Patricia Hickock, while 4 American soldiers are killed by the Ninjas. Upon his safe return to base, his fellow soldiers seem to have a newfound hatred for their "hero". All the while, a secret Military weapons exchange is being conducted among certain dirty Military head honchos and a local crime lord who feel that "Joe" is a threat to their operation and must be silenced. In addition to that sub-plot, we also learn a vague description of "Joe" and his past while the all too suspicious Black Star Ninja hounds his every move. American Ninja just tries too hard sometimes, I'm sure the minds who conceived this neato little Kung Fu flick intended for the film to be taken seriously, but deep down American Ninja is no more than a simple popcorn flick with a cute actor who bears his biceps nearly 90% of the film that by no means is meant to give us a new view on life and a warm-hearted feeling upon completion. By no means will you ever enjoy an ounce of American Ninja if you watch it expecting the likes of "Philadelphia". View it as nothing more than entertainment, or a WWE match with a plot, otherwise you'll be on here crying a river about how you got ripped for 10 bucks, just turn off your mind and relax.As for the DVD quality of American Ninja, I must say MGM pumped out a nice budget title and put some faith in a relatively forgotten film. The transfer is pure and crisp, flesh tones are bright and the picture is clear and vibrant with no sign of aging. A high quality 1.85:1 transfer for such a lost 80's hit. As for the sound, well, I guess the quality is fine; as good as it's going to get for a Mono mix. But I guess the constant, cheesy little sword slashes and fake punches got to me, not that this has anything to do with the quality of the mix, it's the sound effects that got bothersome in those few scenes. So other than that, the mix is great and the sounds are well divided and decipherable from one another. As for features, we get an interesting little trailer that die-hard American Ninja fans will adore. The trailer is an old little 80's trailer with that booming voice we are so familiar with that narrated half of the 80's Action flicks way back when that bears the original title American Warrior. Kind of nostalgic and one for the fans. Plus the trailer itself is in great shape and has some decent, if not tiresome and aged sound. American Ninja is a simple film that will keep you munching on popcorn for a good 95 minutes. If you are a fan of Martial Arts films or the cheesy Action films of the Reagan era then I can give a full-hearted recommendation for American Ninja. Those who have the viewing mentality of Roger Ebert need to steer clear, you'll only be complaining of the lack of relevance American Ninja fails to hold. Simply put, American Ninja is simply for the Action fans or those who feel like adding another mindless title to their growing collection, and for the Budget price and the high quality transfer I can easily say it's worth the price. Thanks for reading my lengthy review of American Ninja; I hope it helps in your decision."
THIS WAS A GOOD MOVIE, SCREW WHAT THEM CRITICS SAID!
MICHAEL TAYLOR | RICHMOND, VA USA | 11/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"IN THIS CULT CLASSIC, AN ARMY RECRUIT [MICHAEL DUDIKOFF] MUST STOP THE ARMY FROM DOING A MAJOR WEAPONS DEAL WITH SOME RICH BAD GUYS. THOUGH THERE REALLY ISN'T MUCH TO THE MARTIAL ARTS THAT'S DISPLAYED HERE, IT'S STILL A FUN MOVIE TO WATCH, DESPITE THE BAD THINGS THAT ALL THE CRITICS HAVE SAID ABOUT THIS MOVIE AND ITS SEQUELS, I'LL ADMIT IT, I REALLY ENJOYED THIS MOVIE. SCREW WHAT ALL THE CRITICS SAY, GO PICK UP THIS MOVIE NOW. MICHAEL DUDIKOFF AND STEVE JAMES HAVE AMAZING CHEMISTRY. FOLLOWED BY FOUR SEQUELS."
US armys Joe Armstrong kills a smuggler & hundreds of ninjas
Matthew Skidmore | 03/20/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is the chop sockiest ninja flick since Jackie Chans fests. It centers around Joe(The none too articulate Michael Dudikoff),a ninja with amnesia who joined the army after nearly killing someone. After getting into a fight with smugglers,he causes the death of 4 soldiers,(By ninjas)putting his reputation at stake.Joe rescues the colonels daughter and falls in love with her.After scrapping with Curtis Jackson(The too articulate Steve James),a corporal,they become friends.It turns out a smuggling operation is going on,and they want Joe dead for he knows too much. The black star ninja (Tadashi Yamashita) nearly assassinates him on several points. Eventually Joe learns the secrets of his past and.....watch the rest yourself! Its a great martial arts movie,and so was #2. Unfortunetly,3&4 are not worth mentioning. "He possess great skills!" END"
So, you think you're a good fighter, huh?
Matthew Skidmore | Stourbridge, West Midlands United Kingdom | 11/18/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Being a fan of those poverty row exploitation films that The Cannon Group used to churn out in the 80s (Death Wish 3 & 4, Delta Force 1 & 2, etc), this guilty pleasure of a movie is probably worth 90 minutes of your life. That is, if you like your action dumb and your acting basic. Cannon Group regular Michael Dudikoff essays the role of Joe, a GI who leads his life as a loner and makes enemies fast. He also knows how to break peoples arms, bust them up and generally do harm to anyone who looks at him the wrong way. Flanking the hero is the late great Steve James as his fast talking and equally fast fighting partner. Together, they fight corruption (and an army of ninja!) in their own ranks of the army. The film is filled with great 80s action, the kind only The Cannon Group knew how to serve up. Dudikoff equips himself well with the fighting and propels the slow-moving screenplay along. However, the real star of the show is the excellent Steve James who wisecracks his way through the movie, stealing every scene he is in. (If you have time, take a look at him in American Ninja 2: The Confrontation. He shines yet again, with his final fight at the finale being a genuine classic of the genre). Director Sam Firstenberg does a good job at arranging the carnage to its fullest extent, and one wonders what this guy could do with a real script in his hands. (Last time I looked, he was directing SPIDERS 2. Hmmm, good move.) All in all, the movie is one of those shallow male bonding flicks where two men will fight their way through 90 minutes of non-stop action just to find out that they don't actually mind the company of each other. Now that's what I call value for money!This film was apparently so successful, it has spawned no less than 4 (count 'em) sequels, with Dudikoff returning for 2 and 4, James turning up in 2 & 3, and new guy David Bradley taking up the lead role of Aerican Ninja in parts' 3, 4 and 5. They too aren't very good either, but equally worth your time if you're in the mood for violence of the 1980s kind. The disc sports the movie and trailer."