This is the sequel to "Romancing the Stone" where Jack and Joan have their yacht and easy life, but are gradually getting bored with each other and this way of life. Joan accepts an ... See full summary »
Joe Armstrong, an orphaned drifter will little respect for much other than martial arts, finds himself on an American Army base in The Philippines after a judge gives him a choice of enlistment or prison. On one of his first missions driving a convoy, his platoon is attacked by a group of rebels who try to steal the weapons the platoon is transporting and kidnap Patricia, the base colonel's daughter, who happens to be along for the ride. Joe rescues Patricia and gets her safely back to the base, but everyone else in the platoon is killed, leading his superiors to conclude that Joe is guilty of cowardice, collaboration or simple incompetence. At the same time, the rebel leader vows revenge against the serviceman who disrupted his plans, and sends an army of ninjas to assassinate him and bring back Patricia. If he wants to survive and save the girl, Joe's going to have to draw on every last ounce of his training. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
Most people today have forgotten, or just don't know, that AMERICAN NINJA did quite well (for an independent film, at least) when released to theaters, grossing 35 times its 1 million dollar budget. The sequels (that were released to theaters) didn't do as well, the chief reason probably being of Dudikoff's performance. For his first starring role, Dudikoff is pretty underwhelming in the lead. He has a blank expression in his eyes a lot of the time, and other times he seems plain nervous, as if he doesn't seem to know what to do. And it's clear that he was far from an expert in martial arts, seeing that the choreography has him doing pretty simple moves much of the time, and that for the most part he does only one or two moves before the editing cuts to another angle.
Most of the action (with or without Dudikoff) isn't terribly spectacular, and many viewers will probably get a little impatient between action scenes, since the movie isn't wall-to-wall action. Still, the movie never gets to be seriously boring; there are a few decent action scenes, and the goofiness of ninjas bouncing the story around does give the movie an entertaining cheesiness. Plus, there is the presence of Steve James, who (despite his limited time) really gives a likable and entertaining performance, and gets to show his genuine martial arts skills. He got to show more of all this in the sequel, which unsuprisingly is a significant improvement over this entry.
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