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Review Enter the Ninja (1981): It's a classic alright. But not for the reason one would think!

genre: martial arts, action, crime






It's painfully obvious that Golan Globus wanted to cash in on the popularity of Enter the Dragon. Seeing how this film did help the Ninja craze in the Eighties you could say they succeeded. One would think that therefore Enter the Ninja was exceptional right?

Well, it certainly is exceptionally bad. Or good depending on what you expecting. As a martial arts flick it does have some decent moments. But for the most part it's just average to adequate. As a comedy this film is a classic masterpiece. Director Menahem Golan probably was very aware of how silly the concept was and threw in some random comedic moments that helped made Enter the Ninja become the classic that it is. Especially when it comes to the bad guys. From the lowest goon to the main baddie. They all suffer from the disease that is called overacting. Or hamming it up would be better suited really. Christopher George as Venarius takes the cake. He doesn't take the film seriously at all. Just watch his iconic death scene to see what I mean. Or perhaps he did take it seriously but thought they were still rehearsing. Or worse these were scenes from rehearsals and director Golan picked this over a serious scene for comedic effect on purpose. How else would this ever be allowed in the first place?




Above scene is a prime example of what makes this is a classic!

Frank Nero is a fine actor. But I don't buy him as a ninja. He is no martial artist or even agile to fake he is. So stunt doubles do most of his scenes. From all the actors they could have chosen, they chose one who couldn't fight? I am failing to see the logic here. I mean he is not even a big name enough to draw in a crowd. Chuck Norris would have been a better choice. I am wondering why they hadn't asked him.

It's been a long time I had seen this but I do remember this being better than it actually is. Now this could be due to the fact that I think that ninja's are cool. And yes Fonzie type cool. And Enter the Ninja definitely has enough Ninja coolness personified into Sho Kosugi. But is it enough? No, unfortunately it's not a film you can sit and watch and enjoy for the martial arts. For that it's too lacking. 



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