American Ninja 5 (1993)
User ReviewsReview this title
Whatever you do DON'T watch this movie... try doing something more fun and less painfull during these 1.5 hours, like ripping of your pubic hair with a pair of tweezers.
(1 / 10)
I expected a lot of ninja fighting and I got it, from the very competent David Bradley, It looks like he really knows his stuff and that`s always a big plus.
The film opened with a bang with Bradley showing his stuff in a training studio, this was best in the film. It also contained some entertaining car chases and had some fine comedy in it, but the fighting takes first position.
It should have been just PG for it's time and not the rating is TV-14. You can show this movie on any of the local stations without editing.
Of course it would be late night. I had no problems letting my kids watch this show. In fact it has less violence than today's cop shows and less adult situations than some stupid comedy on evening TV.
In fact I think the movie is up there with the Ninja Turtles. However, Ninja Turtles had better acting.
Yes you can watch this if there is nothing else on TV. However, I would rather take a nap.
David Bradley should be ashamed of himself. He is not cast as "Joe Armstrong" of the other movies, but as "Joe Kastle." An entirely new character that had nothing to do with any of the other movies. Not as "Sean Davidson," his previously dopey character. Did the writers think that we wouldn't notice this?
Most of the young Reyes kid's stunts are done by a big fat white guy stuntman. The reason I know this is because the camera makes it painfully obvious every time. The dialogue is corny, and David Bradley's comedic lines are absolutely wretched. The plot almost exactly mirrors part 2's plot: Mean rich guy with an accent that deals with other evil rich guys with accents has a "brilliant" scientist (with an accent) working for him to make some super chemical that will allow him to rule the world. Scientist with accent cannot quit or runaway because mean rich boss with accent has kidnapped his daughter (who does NOT have an accent.) American Ninja gets wrapped up in this fiasco by incredible luck and circumstances.
The "Super Ninja" of this movie is a vampire looking guy (James Lew) that farts everytime he appears or disappears. Pat Morita rounds out the cast in three scenes where his presence is entirely useless to the plot.
Most importantly, this movie suffers the most from one very large flaw, just like part 3: Micheal Dudikoff's entirely unemotive acting and hilarious fight sequences are not present. Thank Goodness he had the smarts to end it with part 4.
This film has neither element needed in a good martial arts film. The story and acting are dumb. And, the martial arts action is lousy. In fact, I could easily see Asians watching this and becoming angry that the US could produce a film with absolutely no one with good martial arts skills. Well, perhaps not--as I have seen a lot of martial arts films and bad martial arts films are unfortunately relatively common. And this brings me to a problem with ranking this bad film among the horrid Bottom 100 list. The Asians have made a lot of martial arts films and have produced a few that are FAR WORSE than this film. For every Sonny Chiba or Bruce Lee film, there are others that simply are terrible. My favorite of these horrid films featured guys using 3 foot tongues to fight AND they had gorillas (guys in cheap gorilla suits) who also did wretched kung fu! So, no matter how stupid "American Ninja V" is, it isn't even close to the worst the Far East has to offer. The big difference is that "American Ninja V" has a much wider audience and therefore is easier to notice and hate! For the life of me, I sure wish I could remember the name of the film with kung fu gorillas and the guys with the huge tongues--I'd love to see it again! I remember how the punches and kicks often weren't even within a foot of the intended victim! It made "American Ninja V" look like "Gone With the Wind" in comparison!! If you can place the title, drop me a line. I am SURE it's a real film and I am not hallucinating about it! Cartoon-like villains and special effects
The action, the main attraction of a movie like this, is very lame. There is only one real martial arts battle in the first 30 minutes of the movie. When the action does start coming, there is nothing exciting or special about the martial arts sequences. The movie is also not very well made. There are signs that footage is missing from the movie - either it was lost or never filmed, leaving to some question marks such as how Bradley's character severs the chain on his handcuffs. But even if the missing footage was here, the movie would still suffer from a badly written screenplay - there's barely a plot here, and it crawls at a snail's pace, with plenty of scenes seemingly only there to pad out the running time.
I suppose Bradley gives one of his better performances, though he's still not a very compelling actor. And it's always good to see Pat Morita, though he only gets three short scenes. But even with that stuff, the movie will still have even dedicated martial arts movie fans squirming in their seats.
This is a straightforward, family friendly martial arts adventure film with added ninja action. I notice that it's a widely panned movie, but I find that somewhat odd given that there's nothing particularly wrong with it. Sure, it's cheap, and there are some laughable moments in it, but that's par for the course for this particular genre of film.
I tend to enjoy action B-pictures from the 1990s because they have a certain fluidity of approach, combined with a refreshing simplicity that makes them easy to watch. American NINJA 5 is no exception. The viewer can simply sit back and watch as the protagonist and his annoying child sidekick go around and fight off various ninja attacks, gradually working their way up to the final boss.
The action choreography is acceptable rather than striking, but there's a wealth of random ninja attacks to enjoy. David Bradley, who previously appeared in the last two films in the series, is an adequate leading man, pretty wooden in the acting stakes but good in his fights. There's a supporting role from Pat Morita, and a cheesy bad guy turn from the ever-entertaining Clement von Franckenstein (GABRIEL KNIGHT 2: THE BEAST WITHIN). You could do worse.
The movie has action, and fighting scenes. And a cute girl. And an annoying kid. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Mainly for the cute girl, and mindless action. I have seen far worse martial arts movies.
There's some hilariously bad scenes. The villain is just damn funny, for example. Enjoy it for what it is, or if you can't don't watch it. It's funny how bad this is rated, when you consider the plot is no stupider than Bloodsport. Admittedly the fighting is not as good, but it's funnier. I also love all the differently colored "ninjas". Like there's special ninja types determined by the uniforms
This whole movie is about some scientist who is going to create something this world never seen before...I believe we already saw that in American ninja 2 and 3, he doesn't obey and his daughter is now being kidnapped which happens to be David Bradleys girlfriend WHAT A SMALL WORLD WE LIVE IN!
And what's even more funny David Bradley character in this movie is called JOE...what a???
Joe??? Isn't that name from Michael Dudikoffs character in American Ninja 1, 2 and 4. Damn couldn't they come up with another name or at least keep his own name from American Ninja 3 and 4 (Sean Davidson) ...what a hell happened with him?
So now "Joe" has to rescue his girlfriend and a little kid comes along who can't stop whining and who is not afraid of weapons and the whole situation.
And this kid later becomes "JOE'S" little brother somehow I don't know.
you see this kid beat up 3 buff guys at once and he himself never gets beat up...BUT THAT'S Alright I GUESS CUZ HE'S STILL A KID AFTER ALL.
then when they're on a plane trying to escape the evil you see this kid sit down calm and fly this plane...yes this kid is ACTUALLY FLYING A PLANE HE CAN DO ANYTHING HE PUTS HIS MIND TO. having fun as he flies it...what a joke...who does he think he is CJ from San Andreas?
and the ninjas are much more stupid they deserve Oscars...they fly 10 feet up in the air of one punch...and waste all their bullets as they miss "JOE" the little kid and his girlfriend.
real bad acting I don't know what they were thinking when they made this movie...letting the kid look up the American embassy to come and rescue them all...yes what does a little kid know about that...and this kid is so smart he even knows the way to the embassy knowing he is on the other side of the globe.
"JOE" and this kid beat up everybody that comes in their way and the funny thing is they not even bothered about the whole situation they beat up these ninjas like it was a joke. It's completely a rip-off Ninja Kids. And what was the old man from karate kid doing in this movie...I'm not even gonna leave a comment on that.
SO EVERYBODY OUT THERE IF YOU'RE A FAN OF American NINJA DON'T SEE THIS MOVIE, STOP WATCHING AFTER THE 3RD ONE CUZ THIS MOVIE IS AWFUL...
0,5 OUT OF 10
In this anti-climactic ending to the American Ninja franchise, David Bradley plays Joe Kastle (not Armstrong as in prior A.N. films), a guy who lives on a boat and likes to work out. One day, Master Tetsu (Morita) pawns off his "grand-nephew" Hiro (Reyes) on Joe and leaves to go to Greece for a vacation. While Joe is learning to cope with babysitting this annoying brat, it turns out that his new girlfriend Lisa (Dupont) is kidnapped by the evil Viper (Lew) and his gang of ninjas. Viper works for the nefarious Glock (von Franckenstein), a man who is using scientists to develop an insecticide named ZB-12. Lisa's father is a scientist but refuses to work on the potentially dangerous project. So Joe and Hiro must go through a bunch of travails in Venezuela to rescue Lisa who is kidnapped there. Along the way, Joe and Hiro forge a friendship based on the ways of the ninja.
Rather than be loyal to the fans that have followed the series through the years, Cannon pawns this juvenile, watered-down, PG-13 rated dreck on the audience like Pat Morita does his bratty relative onto David Bradley in this patience-testing exercise.
Bradley is likable enough and he looks like a young Craig Ferguson, although he is your classic action movie dumb-dumb. His young foil is another matter. Hiro is a precocious 12 year old whose presence in this movie is not needed. He says "whoa!" while Bradley fights the baddies, who are purple, green, and white ninjas, as if this was a video game. Speaking of which, Hiro's Game Gear plays a surprisingly big role in this film. Hiro has a matching Miami Dolphins baseball cap/coat and, sadly, brings this movie into the current "ADD generation".
The movie as a whole could have been better, even if it was aiming more for the family market, but this Hiro kid gets on your nerves. Plus the whole daughter/scientist father aspect was already done in American Ninja 2 (1987). Couldn't they come up with something new? It's director Leonard's only movie to date and you think he would be familiar with past entries in the series, but maybe he never watched them. That's certainly what it seems like; he didn't try to impress with his knowledge of past A.N.'s, that's for sure...which seems odd. Having American Ninja 5 be the only movie on your resume is indeed a bizarre way to enter movie history. The whole Karate Kid aspect of the film is even further enhanced by the presence of Pat Morita. Did any kid ever see this movie...ever? The baddies are more interesting, as Glock strongly resembles Bernie Madoff and James Lew's entrances and exits are by far the best part of this movie. It's here that this film becomes utterly absurd. They should have gone in that direction more, if you see the movie you'll know what we mean.
The jaunty flute music enhances the mild nature of the proceedings, and it's unfortunate that the mighty American Ninja franchise fell victim to the old sitcom trick of "Addakid", that is, when all the sitcom kids grow up and aren't cute anymore, to simply add a newer, younger, cuter kid regardless of whether it makes sense plotwise. It's an ignominious way for this beloved series to go.
Even though this movie came out in 1993, it looks and seems older, but maybe that's because it's pretty lame and impotent, not to mention way overlong.
You'd have to be a die-hard fan of the American Ninja films or any of the actors involved to sit through this insult to people who followed the original four films in this series.
For more insanity, please visit: comeuppancereviews.com
Movies like this give movies a bad name.