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CIA agent Sean Davidson and his sidekick Carl are sent into the stronghold of sadistic British ex-soldier Mulgrew to rescue some Delta Force commandoes who have been captured and tortured. When Sean, Carl and pretty doctor Sarah run into some problems, Peace Corps vet Joe Armstrong is lured out of retirement to stop Mulgrew's plan to explode a nuclear device in New York City. Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
American Ninja 4: The Annihilation is a return to form in this great series.
Yes, we all know the movie is bad, so are the others but at the time of their release I found them absolutely amazing and I guess I still maintain a part of that admiration for them, maybe like gratitude for all the great moments in my childhood.
After an awful completely uninteresting third part, Annihilation goes back to the origins and brings with him, Michael Dudikoff, Joe Armstrong, the man.
So now we have not one, but two american ninjas since Sean, David Bradley is also back. Bradley was used as a cheap replacement for the fan favorite and the original near mute, no expression Joe Armstrong. The truth is while I too prefer Dudikoff I don't think Bradley did such a bad job. He had some acting ability, small but still it was there. And I still maintain that his fight scenes were much better that Dudikoff´s. In here he again gives us some nice scenes, kicking some ninja butt.
However his position is again ungrateful since the audience just wants to see Dudikoff and don't really appreciate his work. Dudikoff however only appears half way through the film and that's a huge flaw from the script.
They should have joined the two heroes on screen as much as possible. However that never happens until almost the last ten minutes. It's a shame and a let down for the viewer. Dudikoff seems more experienced a better actor than in the beginning of the saga but he has about five or six lines so it's hard to tell.
The other big problem is the absence of the great Steve James. Curtis Jackson was as important to the saga and its success as the lead guys. The movie sorely misses him and so do we. It's just not the same thing without him. RIP Steve James.
The story is not bad at all. Some Arab guy and an english terrorist have built a bomb that can fit in a suitcase and they want to blow up New York. The US sends the Delta Force but they're captured by the ninjas. Then they send Sean but he's also defeated. So, just like Rambo, Armstrong must come out of his work at the Peace Corps and save his friend and the rest of the prisoners.
The villains are pretty good. They're really nasty, sick guys and I couldn't wait for their painful demise. There's also a bad, powerful ninja Armstrong must defeat. There's even a fight between Armstrong and a fake Sean, in which we see Dudikoff and Bradley get it on. I thought there should have been more action but we still get lots of it, don't worry. There are even some intentionally funny moments.
Annihilation was a good sequel and for me I consider it the last of the series. A very entertaining film, with a nice story, fairly good action and the charisma of Dudikoff adding to the ability of Bradley. A good ending for these characters.
It was fun going back and watching these old glories. Felt almost like a kid again.
Thanks for the thrills.
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