Following the massive success of Home Alone, in the year 1992, a film called 3 Ninjas, is about three brothers who learn martial arts from their grandfather/sensai. At first everything was normal, until they get kidnapped by their grandpa’s former pupil who seeks revenge on him. With no other choice, the boys must defend themselves in order to stay alive.
3 Ninjas was released in theaters. It became a box office hit, but it received a bunch of negative reviews from critics. Despite Hollywood’s ignorance, three more sequels called 3 Ninjas: Kick Back, 3 Ninjas: Knuckle Up, and 3 Ninjas: High Noon At Mega Mountain, were released in 1994, 1995, and the last one to ever put the final nail in the series for good was released in 1998.
Like its predecessor, 3 Ninjas: High Noon At Mega Mountain earned a lot of overwhelming negative reviews and it didn’t earn enough revenue at the box office. Thus putting an end to the franchise once and for all.
Now that The Lego Ninjago Movie is out, I’ve decided to rewatch this movie, at the time, I enjoyed as a kid, but as an adult, you’re gonna know why I’m putting the pros and cons for this one. You know what this film and Lego Ninjago both have in common? They both star an infamous international fighting icon helping out a group of martial artists. If you don’t understand this clue, the answer is both Hulk Hogan for 3 Ninjas, and Jackie Chan for Lego Ninjago.
This review contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen it, read at your very own risk!
Positive & Negative Elements
Positive: Hulk Hogan & Jim Varney were ok. It stinks to see them partake in this movie. I guess they needed the money to pay off their bills.
One scene that only made me laugh is one character is named Mr. Smithers, hearing that name reminded me of Mr. Burns’ assistant from The Simpsons.
Negative: Acting in this film, is terribly bad, as in Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker bad, particularly Loni Anderson’s role as The Villain.
The Villain’s motivation to earn ransom money, is never stated on why she wants it. As a storyteller, you need to establish a specific reason on why the antagonist wants the money. For example if a proper motivation isn’t mentioned why he/she wants the cash, it would be like what if Joker’s motivation in The Dark Knight (my favorite film of all time) has never been stated. As a storyteller, you need to flesh out a villain’s role in order to find out why he/she wants to fulfill their goal. Without character motifs, what’s the point on taking an entire amusement park hostage?
Action Sequences felt underwhelming. Each boy shouts out “Hiya” every time he punches or kicks a generic thug, it gets old very fast. I think the whole choreography wasn’t fluid enough to replicate actual fight scenes.
At one point during their training session resembling The League Of Shadows’ (off of Batman Begins) training procedure, when the lights go out, the three brothers failed to rely on their senses. One scene later, their grandpa/sensai, said, “Congratulations, you’ve passed.” He can’t be serious, Ra’s Al Ghul (A Batman villain) has better grand-parenting skills towards Batman’s son, Damien Wayne!
A Plot Hole involving the cops giving the ransom money by helicopter. Why didn’t they just send a SWAT on helicopter to fight the terrorists? Is everybody in this movie a nimrod?
“Professionally” trained henchmen are incredibly incompetent like every single James Bond bad guy before Daniel Craig came on board to make the villains more realistic. To put the salt in the wound, they don’t even use guns except in one scene when they shoot the cops. In the real world, their difficulty level is high. This broke my Suspension Of Disbelief. I’ll have to double down the points for making me feel stupid. First the cops, now them?
As the film clocks into the 27:52 mark, there’s a shadowy figure of a Boom Mike visible exposed. Filmmaking 101, make sure you replay the entire movie, if you don’t want to ruin the illusion of movie magic.
Annoying Musical Score with way too much whimsical elements. Imagine seeing Bruce Lee fighting dozens of baddies while the soundtrack plays in the background? Would that work? I think not!
When the new neighbor accidentally destroys the boys’ window, their more reacts in a calm way. Nobody does that in real life, she would’ve had a heart attack for what she and the boys just witnessed.
The worst scene to scene transition I’ve ever seen in motion picture history, is when the terrorists manage to go incognito as guests at the amusement park, it cuts to a montage of people having a fun time at the park with a cringeworthy pop tune. I literally face palmed on this montage sequence.
One of the kids came up with a lame “NOT” joke. Borat can make up NOT jokes involving a black suit! He said, “This suit, is NOT black!”
This movie got me bored to death! It lacked excitement without anything interesting.
The Final Verdict: F FOR FAKER!
In my opinion, I considered this one of the worst films of all time. Don’t waste your precious free time on this movie. It doesn’t deserve to exist! If you want to watch a better martial arts comedy, I recommend Kung Pow: Enter The Fist, the Rush Hour films or the cult classic film, Big Trouble In Little China. That’ll definitely get you laughing out loud if you’re interested in a mix between Martial Arts and Comedy, all in one package.