There’s only one reason I continued watching after my twenty minute test: somehow the filmmakers managed to capture the feeling that the A-Team van would turn up at any second, followed by the guys exiting dramatically from three doors, venting Saturday morning safe fury that people were actually dying in violent ways. They might even have joked about why the ninjas at ninja school were wearing coloured ninja costumes.
The hand-to-hand combat and swordplay went from heights of ‘it could be worse’ to lows of ‘I feel bad for you, son’. Check out an Asian movie from the same era if you want to see some proper martial arts mayhem.
There’s some comedy value in American Ninja but even that’s shaky.