Movie Kumite: The Force vs. Ninja III
This edition of the Movie Kumite is being dubbed our Supernatural Spooktacular and for good reason. Both of our films feature the star being possessed by a spirit. In The Force, the spirit is a force of good. In Ninja III, the spirit is a force of evil.
This cinematic slugfest promises to have more boo than boom and you just may want to strap on your proton packs for this battle of good vs. evil…
The star of The Force is Jason Gedrick (Iron Eagle). Gedrick plays a rookie cop named Cal Warner. Cal had off the chart test scores at the Police Academy, but he is lacking in the street smarts and instincts that come from years of experience on the job. That is until the spirit of slain police officer Des Flynn enters his body and Cal Warner becomes a super cop overnight!
The star of Ninja III: The Domination is Lucinda Dickey (Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo). Dickey plays Christie, a young woman who works for the phone company and teaches aerobics on the side. She is also possessed by the spirit of an evil ninja one day while she’s out on a job for the phone company (wonder if she could file a workman’s comp claim for that?). The ninja spirit transforms Christie from a young woman making her way in the world to a bonafide killing machine.
Considering Cal actually becomes a better police officer after his possession and Christie becomes a cold blooded murder, I’m going to have to give this round to The Force. Heroes shouldn’t be murdering people, unless it is vigilante style justice.
THE FORCE – 1 NINJA III – 0
Gary Hudson (Martial Outlaw) played Des Flynn in The Force. Des was one of the best cops around and a true family man. Des becomes sort of a supernatural steroid for Cal Warner, performance enhancing Cal’s cop skills. One could argue that over time Cal could have been just as good of a cop or maybe even a better cop than Des.
On the other hand, all the time in the world was not going to turn aerobics instructor Christie into a lethal assassin. The only way Christie could have mastered those ninja skills was by being possessed by an actual ninja spirit.
So I have to give this round to Ninja III, just because the spirit of the Black Ninja (David Chung) had a lot more work to do with his vessel than Des Flynn did and hard work pays off here in the Movie Kumite.
THE FORCE – 1 NINJA III – 1
It is safe to say that both Cal and Christie were in way over their heads in their respective movies. It is also safe to say that neither of them were prepared to handle the situations they found themselves in on their own. Both characters get a helping hand or two to help see them through their time of possession.
Cal gets help from Des’ widow Sarah (Kim Delaney) and Des’ spiritual advisor Dr. Shin (played by Aki Aleong of Pound of Flesh fame). Dr. Shin is able to explain what is happening to Cal and provide guidance to Cal and Sarah on how to get Des’ spirit to the other side. Dr. Shin was invaluable but he is no Sho Kosugi…
An eye-patch wearing Sho Kosugi is called in to help Christie with her ninja problem. Remember only a ninja can stop a ninja and there isn’t a man on the planet that is more ninja than Sho Kosugi, with the exception of actual ninjas.
Kosugi puts another point on the board for Ninja III.
THE FORCE – 1 NINJA III – 2
Now is the portion of our competition where we turn to the critics, first up let’s see what the Internet Movie Database has to say about our two films…
The Force has a 4.6 rating on IMDb, just a few points shy of the 4.9 rating that Ninja III received.
Now turning our attention to Rotten Tomatoes where Ninja III had a 54% approval rating, meanwhile The Force had no rating whatsoever on Rotten Tomatoes!
I thought it was strange that I had never heard of The Force until a few months ago, especially since I’m a huge Jason Gedrick fan (I even sat through Rooftops), but now that I see a major movie website doesn’t even have an audience score for the movie, I’m obviously not the only one who was clueless to the existence of The Force.
Ninja III earns an additional point and gets a point from The Force by forfeit to wrap up this competition.
FINAL SCORE: THE FORCE – 1 NINJA III – 4
Never before has Ninja III: The Domination been a more appropriate title as it truly dominated its competition.