So it’s been just over 2 years since I last watched an American Ninja movie (The American Ninja 2: The Confrontation) and I’ve finally taken the plunge and decided to give another one another go. my review probably wont surprise anyone who’s already seen these movies, but to newcomers all I can say is I hope you like this one!
Whenever I think of the American Ninja series of films I am chronically reminded of my own failings as a critic. I started on 2! Who starts reviewing a series on the 2nd one!? thats a bit like eating the bread and leaving the filling of a sandwhich! Its something Im hoping to correct at some point in future…I mean…technically I’ve reviewed the Bollywood version of the first American Ninja movie With “Commando” (No not that one) So I suppose im not utterly shameful…I dont know…anyway! here’s AN3BH…I hope you enjoy it as much as I did…
From the worst movie I’ve ever seen to frankly one of the most unmemorable films I’ve ever seen. In all honesty I can only recall three things about this movie:
*John Rhys-Davies camping it up to an astounding degree
*A scene featuring a “Terminator” knock off slowly destroying a car and then a person
and David Bradley getting involved in a high speed car chase.
Other than that and some very fleeting memories of an opening combat battle which has a man fully on fire I literally couldnt tell you one thing about this film. In fact arguably had I not reviewed this film I may have forgotten that i’d watched it all together.
Okay so I’ve just rewatched my review of it to see if it jiggled anything out of my memories. It did nothing…I seem to have enjoyed it more than I remember at the time of writing so I may well be misremembering how I felt. But I can only honestly tell you how I feel about it now. And how I feel about it now is that I dont have a strong opinion about it either way it’s a “Grey zone” movie in my mind. I mentioned in the review that I think it could work well as a B-movie or as part of a double or triple feature. And I actually think this is probably the best way to describe this film. Its by no means an “Essential watch” but if your using it to subsidise another film (Like say “Terminator woman” or “Robocop”) then I think it could work really well…I’ll probably do the sequels to this at some point in the future…If I can remember to…
(You wont believe how hard it was to source a film poster of this movie for this review…I ended up using the VHS cover because it was the only “Medium” sized image I could find”)
American Ninja 2 (Often released with the subtitle “The Confrontation”) was a sequal to the original American ninja movie which came out in 1985. This is one of the few times I’ve spoken about a films sequel before I’ve delt with the original and there are a few reasons for that that were fairly tedious but basically boiled down to “When I started this channel I was only going to talk about Janky B-movies and experimental/erotic films” and the first American ninja movie is actually pretty good. its a bit slow in places but its fun enough…this film was a bit more unusual and weird and I thought at the time it would fit my channels tone a bit better. It may have also been down to the fact that i’d watched the first one only a week or 2 before I decided to start my channel in the first place and I really didnt feel up to rewatching a film like this so soon after i’d watched it for the first time. This was also the first episode I recorded for the second ever group of episodes I made 🙂
(I’ll be honest; im a sucker for a ninja film that features genetically modified super ninjas)
So At some point around 18 months ago, for reasons youtube cant fully explain to me, a glitch happened on my youtube channel scrubbing approximately 8 minutes of footage from the Above American Ninja review. I worked with them over a couple of days to try and retrieve it. But as far as they were concerned it has sadly been lost. So! I decided to try and put this right. In part because I plan to cover more American Ninja films on my channel in future, and in part because I actually kind of like this review. Im not massively fond of my early work (As most youtubers will atest after a certain period your ‘early works’ come with a healthy dose of cringe at what you could have done better/differently.
So I decided to rebuild the review! I luckily keep the original isolated vocals of every review I make and, while doing some frame matching for the review itself I sourced better quality copies of the footage, I worked on the layout, processed the audio and generally tidied the whole thing up to make it look and feel a lot more in line with my current reviews. I wouldnt say it was a ground up remake. more that this is a 2.5D reimagining of a 2D review. it’s just a bit more polished. AND it brings the review back from near obscurity! So I hope you enjoy this; it didnt take a particularly long time to put together, but I felt it needed doing! 🙂