A former ninja master escapes from Japan with his son after a rival clan destroys his family. Cho starts a new life in America where he begins training his young son in the ways of the ninja, but when his business partner gets wrapped up in a botched drug trade, Cho is forced to suit up and launch an all-out assault against the mafia crime bosses and a mysterious masked warrior. Martial artist Sho Kosugi stars in this off-the-wall action flick that is jam-packed with kicks, flips, and tons of clanging katanas! REVENGE OF THE NINJA speeds forward with non-stop violence and gore as the not-so-mysterious villain eliminates his enemies using a variety of deadly weapons. The final rooftop battle between the two disciplined warriors best demonstrates Kosugi's immense fighting skills.
While it is highly regarded as one of the best ninja films from the 80's, it is also hard to overlook many of the sillier aspects that the film represents. NINJA opens with some of the clumsiest and most overweight ninjas the world has ever known as they fail miserably in their attempts to kill Cho. Later, a conspicuously dressed mob informant with an eye patch is killed in broad daylight after a secret meeting in the middle of a public square. The informant isn't the only person that seems out-of-place, considering director Sam Firstenberg throws in every single action movie cliche that he can think of into an hour and a half. From the greasy Italian mobsters and an Indian scalper to the hilarious assortment of street punks in the park, NINJA shamelessly exploits every racial stereotype possible. Much of the choreography is expertly achieved, but there are still many stunts, edits, and fight sequences that are laughably bad. Some scenes are so absurd to the uninitiated action fan that is almost seems like a bad joke. Firstenberg films the entire thing without a shred of indignity, however, which makes the unintentional humor that much more enjoyable.
Whether it is watched for the onslaught of violence or the goofy humor, REVENGE OF THE NINJA is a fast-paced and immensely entertaining action flick that is a must-see for fans of the martial arts!
If you liked REVENGE OF THE NINJA, check out:
NINJA ASSASSIN, BLIND FURY, RIKI-OH.