It's time to finish off our Ninja-threepeat with a follow up to our American Ninja episode in which Michael Dudikoff dons the role of Pvt. Joe Armstrong, teams up with Curtis Jackson and fights hordes and hordes of random ninja.
Well it looks like Sam Firstenberg moved in to your house, as evidenced by all of these ninja movies. Well that, the toilet’s full and the cat’s pregnant. Week three of ninja business presents us with another film which most likely knows nothing about ninjas. If it did Michael Dudikoff wouldn’t be playing one. It will be difficult for American Ninja 2: The Confrontation to live up to the previous not knowing anything about ninja standards set by Ninja 3: The Domination, in which a ninja is a crazy person/ghost who wants nothing more than to kill everyone everywhere, and Unmasking the Idol, wherein a ninja is a middle aged man who has bedroom eyes and a chain mail Eyes Wide Shut costume. Ian Hunter was actually in the original cut of Eyes Wide Shut but he was covered by digital furniture as the producers found his apparel and demeanor obscene. Can this possibly know less about ninjas then the previous ninja movies? Let’s find out together.
This was made during the downturn of the Golan and Globus run at Cannon Films. Though the Assault had won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film the year before, the amount of foreign language and art films that Cannon was financing with the ninja movies, along with the disastrous purchase of an upside down theater chain had numbered the days for Yoram and Menahem. This was when budgets at Cannon started dropping below 500k, reportedly. Several years later it would be discovered that all of the numbers were outright lies. For example this film was reported to cost $350k and make 4 million dollars. That is an outright lie. The only somewhat reliable report on the return was that it’s opening 10 day was a little over 1.5 million, which makes it seem like getting to 4 would have been more than a little miraculous. Though the budget was probably above $350k, it was also most likely much less than Firstenberg would have thought. This didn’t stop him from bringing the ruckus however. Most reviews of the time praise the action, which to me is mind blowing. It also was sidelined for a couple of recuts to get the R Rating, why is more strange. The cited problem was for excessive close ups during fight scenes. I am not sure how excessive fighting close ups could get a movie towards NC17. Did the original cut have a great deal of ECU ball punching? Did Steve James punch a guy in the butt causing his eyeballs to come out of his head like in Total Recall? Would that even get an NC17?
Speaking of Steve James, He is back and so is, of course, the Dudikoff. Who isn’t back pisses my right off. Phil Brock will not be reprising his role as Charlie, inventor of hacky sack. They have brought Larry Poindexter to play a different Charlie, like we wouldn’t notice. They have also brought in Gary Conway as “The Lion” and Mike Stone as “Tojo Ken”.
KAEOF: Firstly who is the better Charlie, Secondly which of the last 3 movies understands ninjas the least, and lastly if Steve James progressively loses his clothing throughout the film as in the Last American Ninja.