Friday, 8 February 2013

Beverly Hills Ninja (1997)




















I suppose it was too much to ask to make it through the whole of this film without hearing the songs "Kung Fu Fighting" and "Turning Japanese". Translation, this is probably and predictably the most cliched film you will most likely see...but Farley is the star so we can forgive a bit.

This was the last film that was released whilst Farley was still alive I think, and despite the fact its completely a one joke/gag film its still thoroughly enjoyable. Farley is a ninja, a big fat ninja, a big fat ninja believed to be the prophesied 'great white ninja' and has been raised from birth by a ninja clan in Japan.

The whole obvious gag being of course that he's not the prophesied great ninja (or is he?), nor is he really very good at being a ninja at all. The whole film is pretty close to the classic 'Pink Panther' as Farley goes on a mission to help the stereotypical sexy blonde lady whilst being shadowed by his ninja 'brother' played by D-list actor/martial artist Robin Shou. In other words a bit like 'Inspector Jacques Clouseau' and 'Kato'...well I think so.

As I'm sure many of you can guess this leads to huge amounts of childish visual gags and childish prat falls of epic Farley proportions. Yes we've seen it all before by now with Farley, his quirky rubber faced antics, his slapstick, his surprising agility and his over the top loud outbursts...but dagnabbit it still makes me smile.

Farley may not be to everyone's taste with his extremely simple dumb routine but I for one love it. This setting and concept does add a nice hint of originality to Farley's portfolio even though the whole idea of a spoof martial arts film isn't. All the slapstick does get a tiny bit tiresome towards the end as the same visual jokes are regurgitated but overall its still a nice laugh out loud serving of chop socky action. As usual with Farley...brain is not required.



6/10