Revenge Of The Ninja (1983)

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Revenge Of The Ninja is the second film in the Golan-Globus Cannon Ninja trilogy that consists of Enter The Ninja, Revenge Of The Ninja and Ninja III: The Domination. However, Enter The Ninja and Revenge Of The Ninja couldn’t be more different. Enter The Ninja starred Sho Kosugi as one of the film’s many antagonists, but Revenge Of The Ninja stars Sho Kosugi as the protagonist this time in a completely different role; as a Japanese Ninja in America who stumbles across an American Ninja and a Mafia conspiracy. Revenge Of The Ninja became a minor cult hit upon release, it was incredibly successful for the Golan Globus Cannon company, but it wasn’t as culturally important as it’s predecessor, as Enter The Ninja helped start the Ninja action craze in the 1980’s and Revenge Of The Ninja became more and more forgotten over the years.

To begin with, I’d like to take back something I said about Enter The Ninja. I claimed that Enter The Ninja was just an excuse to showcase Ninja action scenes. I can see now that I was wrong, Revenge Of The Ninja is the film that just exists to showcase Ninja action scenes because, unlike Revenge Of The Ninja, Enter the Ninja actually had a coherent plot plot. It was a very cliched plot. but it was still comprehensible, focused and easy to follow. The plot of Revenge Of The Ninja is all over the place. The story introduces far too many plot elements and never seems to capitalize off them, plus there’s a lot of scenes which seem incredibly pointless and they happen for absolutely no reason. In the end, I found that the plot of Revenge Of The Ninja is just an incoherent mess, one that’s just there just as an excuse for many different action scenes.

However, I found out after watching the film that Revenge Of The Ninja was originally two hours long and was severely cut down to a 90 minute theatrical release after filming had ended, and that’s the release that made it through the years. In all honesty, the cutting down of Revenge Of The Ninja may have accounted for the film’s incoherence, as I came across the same problem with Clive Barker’s Nightbreed. Cutting a film down from it’s original cut can almost destroy a film’s plot if the scenes lost aren’t re-shot or replaced, and Revenge Of The Ninja definitely suffers because of it.

That being said, though, Revenge Of The Ninja is a film that exists for one purpose. Like Enter The Ninja was Mark Stone’s film, Revenge Of The Ninja is Sho Kosugi’s film. Sho Kosugi is the leading role and he took the movie very seriously, giving his all into the film despite Revenge Of The Ninja containing a lot of very ridiculous elements and a lot of very bad acting. Sho Kosugi isn’t a good actor either, but Sho Kosugi is an amazing martial artist and fight choreographer, and thanks to him, the numerous fight scenes in Revenge Of The Ninja are slick, entertaining and exciting to experience. All in all, Revenge Of The Ninja showcases some amazing fights scenes from a very talented cast of stuntmen, and even Sho Kosugi’s son, Kane Kosugi, shows himself to be an accomplished martial artist and provides some very entertaining fight scenes that are very reminiscent of the exciting and comical fight scenes in For Y’ur Height Only. However, Sho Kosugi definitely steals the show by his persistence in performing a lot of his character’s amazing stunts himself. The ‘caravan chase’, the ‘playground fight’ and the epic, climactic Ninja battle are absolutely breathtaking to witness, and they definitely show the determination, prowess and hard work that defines Sho Kosugi’s approach to Revenge Of The Ninja.

Revenge Of The Ninja is a film that reminds me of Enter The Dragon and Ong Bak. It doesn’t exist to showcase a good story, sleek production or talented directing, but it’s a film that merely exists to showcase the talents of a single martial artist: Bruce Lee to Enter The Dragon, Tony Jaa to Ong Bak and Sho Kosugi to Revenge Of The Ninja. Revenge Of The Ninja is a wildly entertaining movie that isn’t amazing overall, but it definitely blew me away with it’s amazing stunts and choreography. I’d recommend watching Revenge Of The Ninja, certainly, but I can’t decide on how it stacks up to it’s predecessor: Enter The Ninja. Both films are memorable for different reasons: Enter The Ninja had a better story and much better acting, but Revenge Of The Ninja had better stunts and better choreography, and I can’t determine which one’s better. In the end, I think that both films are as entertaining as the other for completely different reasons, and both are worth being viewed by an avid action movie fanatic.

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