Beverly Hills Ninja
|Beverly Hills Ninja|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dennis Dugan|
|Produced by||Bradley Jenkel
|Written by||Mark Feldberg
with Chris Rock
and Robin Shou
|Music by||George S. Clinton|
|Editing by||Jeff Gourson|
|Studio||Motion Picture Corporation of America|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures|
|Release dates||January 17, 1997|
|Running time||88 minutes|
Beverly Hills Ninja is a 1997 American action comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan, written by Mark Feldberg and Mitch Klebanoff, and starring Chris Farley. The main plot revolves around Haru (portrayed by Farley), the white orphan boy was found by a clan of ninjas as an infant in an abandoned treasure chest and was raised by them. Haru never quite conforms to their culture and never acquires the skills of a ninja, but is nonetheless good-natured and persevering in his personal ambitions. His first mission brings him to Beverly Hills to investigate a murder mystery.
A clan of ninjas finds an abandoned chest that has been washed onto shore, and find a white baby inside. One of their ancient legends spoke of a foreigner who would come among the ninja and become a master. The boy, Haru (Chris Farley), is raised amongst the ninja, with the expectation that he may be the one of whom the legend speaks. As Haru grows into adulthood, doubts are quickly cast over him for being the great white ninja. Although Haru does possess some ninja traits, he is clumsy and fails to graduate a ninja with the rest of his class. Left alone to protect the temple while the clan are on a mission, Haru disguises himself as a ninja when an American woman whose actual name is Alison Page but calls herself "Sally Jones" (Nicollette Sheridan), comes to the temple to seek assistance. Sally says she is suspicious of her boyfriend, Martin Tanley (Nathaniel Parker), and asks Haru to investigate. Haru finds out that Tanley and his bodyguard, Nobu (Keith Cooke Hirabayashi) are involved in a money counterfeiting business, but cannot find Sally to tell her. Haru leaves Tokyo and goes to Beverly Hills to search for Sally. Gobei (Robin Shou), Haru's adoptive brother is sent by the clan's sensei (Soon-Tek Oh) to watch over and protect Haru, without letting Haru know of his presence.
Haru checks in at a Beverly Hills hotel, where he befriends bellboy Joey Washington (Chris Rock), and teaches him some ninja lessons. Not knowing that Gobei is helping him, Haru manages to find Sally. Haru tracks Tanley and Nobu to a night club located in Little Tokyo, where they are trying retrieve a set of counterfeiting plates from their rival gang. The gangs fight, resulting in the deaths of two of the rival gang members, which Haru finds himself the suspect for. After receiving guidance from his sensei, Haru resumes his quest to search for Sally, and tracks down Tanley's mansion. Haru also then finds Sally and realizes her actual name is Alison Page who tells him that Tanley murdered her sister, and that she is dating Tanley in a search for evidence which is why she used the false name "Sally Jones". Haru disguises himself as a Japanese restaurant chef, and finds out Tanley will be hiring ink specialist Chet Walters (William Sasso) to help counterfeit money. Haru then disguises himself as Walters to gain access to Tanley's warehouse. Haru's identity is revealed after he fails to counterfeit the money correctly, and Tanley captures him. While Tanley succeeds in getting the other half of the plates that night from the rival gang, Alison rescues Haru, however, gets herself kidnapped by Tanley. The next day Haru enlists Joey help in finding the warehouse. After they fail, Gobei intervenes without Haru's knowledge and leads them back to the warehouse.
Tanley locks Alison in a room with a bomb. Haru attempts to intervene but is overwhelmed by Tanley's guards. Gobei reveals himself to Haru, and is able to distract the guards, allowing Haru to rescue Alison. Haru attempts to defuse the bomb but fails. On hearing Gobei become overwhelmed by Tanley's guards, Haru leaves Alison to help Gobei. Haru saves Gobei's life and successfully defeats several guards himself. Haru and Gobei are left facing off Nobu and two guards. Joey, attempting to enter the building, crashes through a window and knocks himself and one of the guards unconscious. Haru and Gobei defeat Nobu and the remaining guard. Tanley then confronts the Haru and Gobei. In the fight that follows Haru accidentally knocks Gobei unconscious, but forces Tanley to flee afterwards. Haru returns to attempt to rescue Alison. Using a large harpoon gun mounted on a cart, Haru shoots a harpoon through the room which inadvertently lands in the back of the truck which Tanley is trying to escape in. The harpoon drags the bomb into Tanley's truck and explodes. Haru successfully rescues Alison, then Tanley and his surviving hitmen are captured by corrupt police members of the LAPD.
Sometime later back in Japan, Haru tells his sensei he will be returning to Beverly Hills to live with Alison. Haru and Alison leave together on a bus. A grappling hook tied to a rope has fallen from the bus and hooks onto Gobei's wheelchair, causing him to be thrown into the ocean. Haru shouts an apology to Gobei.
- Chris Farley as Haru
- Nicollette Sheridan as Alison Page/Sally Jones
- Robin Shou as Gobei
- Nathaniel Parker as Martin Tanley
- Chris Rock as Joey Washington
- Keith Cooke Hirabayashi as Nobu
- Soon-Tek Oh as Sensei
- William Sasso as Chet Walters
- François Chau as Izumo
- Jason Tobin as Busboy
- John P. Farley as Policeman
- Kevin Farley as Policeman
- Billy Connolly as Japanese Antique Shop Proprietor
- Patrick Breen as Desk Manager (uncredited)
- Steve Terada as Martial Artist (uncredited)
Chris Farley was upset over the final cut of the film and reportedly left the premiere in tears.
Beverly Hills Ninja was well received by audiences, but received generally negative reviews. It holds a 14% "rotten" rating at review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and holds a 27/100 score at Metacritic.
James Berardinelli of ReelViews wrote: "Beverly Hills Ninja is essentially a one-joke film. That joke has to do with Chris Farley [...], who plays one of the clumsiest men on Earth, crashing into objects or having things fall on his head. There's a reason why cartoons, which often rely on similar tactics, are only a few minutes long. The first few times Farley gets hammered, there is some amusement value, but, soon after, it grows repetitious, then tedious. [...] It's rather amazing to see how agile Farley is in certain situations (he performed some of his own stunts), but his unexpected athleticism doesn't make up for the film's lack of entertaining material. [...] Farley might want to be like John Candy, but, while Candy knew how to make an audience laugh, Farley keeps missing the mark. His brand of humor, which doesn't vary significantly from film-to-film, isn't just juvenile, it's lackluster and unfunny. And, because Beverly Hills Ninja relies so heavily on the comic's limited talent, the movie sinks like a rock. No one, not even Jackie Chan with all of his enthralling derring-do, could have saved Beverly Hills Ninja from its ignominious fate."
Bruce Fretts of Entertainment Weekly wrote: "For the first few minutes of Beverly Hills Ninja, it looks as if Chris Farley may have finally found a movie to match the size of his talents. As an orphan raised in Japan by martial-arts masters, Farley displays a hippo-ballet grace while bonking himself on the head with various instruments of death. This chop-shtick generates a few belly-laugh-inducing quips [...]. But as soon as the action switches to L.A., a yawner plot about Farley busting up a yen-counterfeiting ring kicks in — and slowly starts to squeeze the life out of the movie. Ninja casts about for whale-out-of-water humor as Farley's long-sheltered Haru grapples with such newfangled inventions as metal detectors and seat belts. But when the writers run out of ideas, they simply have Farley walk into a lamppost, or cop from old SNL skits [...] Director Dennis Dugan has done fine TV work (NYPD Blue, Chicago Hope), but with 1996's Adam Sandler stinker Happy Gilmore and this sad affair, he seems stuck in a lamebrained SNL rut."
A favorable review came from Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle who wrote: "This weekend moviegoers who want to laugh will sit in stone- cold silence through the new Woody Allen film. Meanwhile, there's a better option, Beverly Hills Ninja -- not the kind of picture that gets respect from New York critics, but it's funny. [...] This is a movie in which the audience knows half the gags in advance, but thanks to director Dennis Dugan's timing and Farley's execution, the audience doesn't just laugh anyway, but laughs harder. Knowing in advance is part of the fun. [...] Beverly Hills Ninja is a silly movie, with silly jokes and a silly story. But the talents at work in it are not silly. The picture has, at worst, a 10-minute sag in the middle. But the rest of it is a pleasure. [...] Perhaps it's too early to start taking Farley really seriously. But he's too good, too funny and too in control of his out-of-controlness to be a mere buffoon."
|Beverly Hills Ninja|
|Soundtrack album to Beverly Hills Ninja|
|Released||January 14, 1997|
- Track listing
- "You're a Ninja?..."
- "Kung Fu Fighting" – Patti Rothberg
- "One Way or Another" – Blondie
- "...We Are in Danger..."
- "Tsugihagi Boogie Woogie" – Ulfuls
- "Low Rider" – War
- "The blackness of my belt..."
- "Tarzan Boy" – Baltimora
- "...my identity must remain mysterious..."
- "Turning Japanese" – The Hazies
- "You're the big, fat Ninja, aren't you?"
- "Kung Fu Fighting" – Carl Douglas
- "I'm Too Sexy" – Right Said Fred
- "...close to the temple, not inside"
- "I Think We're Alone Now" (Japanese version) – Lene Lovich
- "Finally Got It" – Little John
- "...Yes, I guess I did"
- "The End" – George Clinton & Buckethead
Beverly Hills Ninja 2, a sequel written by Mitch Klebanoff and co-directed by Klebanoff and Kelly Sandefur, and starring Lucas Grabeel in a Farley role, began shooting scenes in South Korea in October 2008. During filming, the name was changed to Dancing Ninja. Due to funding problems, the project suffered from repeated production shutdowns, leading to the eventual halting of principal filming. With 30% of the film completed, Klebanoff wished to continue production in Canada, but he was fired from the project.
- "Beverly Hills Ninja". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- ""Beverly Hills Ninja" Tops Beverly Hills Cop". Chicago Tribune. January 20, 1997.
- "Beverly Hills Ninja". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- "Beverly Hills Ninja". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- "Beverly Hills Ninja - A Film Review by James Berardinelli". reelviews.net. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- "Beverly Hills Ninja - Reviewed by Bruce Fretts". ew.com. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- "Beverly Hills Ninja - FILM REVIEW". sfgate.com. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- Beverly Hills Ninja at AllMusic
- Han Sunhee (September 16, 2008,). "'Ninja 2' to shoot in South Korea". Variety. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Mitch Klebanoff. "The Dancing Ninja (Beverly Hills Ninja 2)". dancingninjastudios.com. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Jeff Sneider (May 4, 2010). "'Beverly Hills Ninja' Co-Writer Sues Over Sequel". The Wrap. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Eriq Gardner (July 21, 2011). "'Beverly Hills Ninja 2' Director Scores Win in Arbitration Against Korean Investors". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Beverly Hills Ninja at the Internet Movie Database
- Beverly Hills Ninja at allmovie
- Beverly Hills Ninja at Box Office Mojo
- Beverly Hills Ninja at Rotten Tomatoes
- Beverly Hills Ninja at Metacritic
- Parental Review of Beverly Hills Ninja