Scene of the Week: Attack of the Black Star Ninja
By the third act of American Ninja, not only has the viewer discovered that Pvt. Joe Armstrong (played by ninja icon Michael Dudikoff) is a real badass who can kick an immense amount of ninja ass, but the villains have also become privy to that information as well, and it makes for an excellent exhibition of all things ninja as the legendary Black Star Ninja takes it into his own hands to take out Joe while he’s locked up in a military prison.
Talk about a real baller move.
Tadashi Yamashita, second only to Sho Kosugi in his 80’s ninja awesomeness, sneaks very ninja-like into the prison facility, uses a pair of swinging kamas to take out a padlock, perforates some guards, and then utterly annihilates Joe’s bed mattress before realizing that he was hiding on the crapper like a junior high girl whose boyfriend just broke up with her. The rest of the scene becomes somewhat of a chase between the Black Star Ninja and Joe as they leap from APC to APC throughout the military motor pool that Joe had tried so hard to clean earlier in the movie.
American Ninja Warrior may have poisoned the “ninja” for this generation. Climbing walls and swinging from giant pendulum thingies is only part of being a ninja; the most important part is still straight-up killing fools. The Black Star Ninja and his crew might not be the most successful of all ninja clans (thanks to the efforts of Michael Dudikoff and Steve James) but what they lack in assassination skills they make up for in their color coordination.
Fans of the ninja movies of the 1980’s can’t help but love the American Ninja series. There’s no doubt that it’s one of the best! The fight scenes and choreography never makes fun of the ninja action, although I’m still trying to figure out that laser business from Yamashita, and Michael Dudikoff goes from unknown leading man to kickass hero in just a matter of a few minutes. I just dare you to try and shoot him with a bow and arrow.