[Screen It]


(1997) (Chris Farley, Nicollette Sheridan) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild None Mild None Moderate
Moderate None None Minor Mild
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Mild None None Minor Moderate

Comedy: An inept, "Great White Ninja" goes to Beverly Hills to help a pretty woman.
Haru (CHRIS FARLEY), as an infant, washes up on the shores of Japan and is taken in by the Sensei (SOON-TEK OH) of a secret ninja doju. As an adult he trains to become a ninja like his brother Gobei (ROBIN SHOU), but his clumsiness prevents him from attaining that final goal. When a sexy woman, Allison (NICOLETTE SHERIDAN), comes looking for a ninja to follow her boyfriend, Martin Tanley (NATHANIEL PARKER), Haru jumps at the chance. He finds that Martin is the head of a counterfeiting ring and later goes to Beverly Hills where he hopes to find Allison to help her. Gobei is sent to shadow Haru and he, hotel baggage handler Joey (CHRIS ROCK), and Haru find themselves in many dangerous situations as they try to stop Tanley.
If theyíre fans of Chris Farley or of martial arts films, they just might.
For sex related humor, martial arts violence and a humorous drug related scene.
  • CHRIS FARLEY plays an inept ninja whose wild actions and clumsy behavior causes injuries to himself and others.
  • NICOLLETTE SHERIDAN plays a sexy siren who lies to Haru to take advantage of him, but does change her ways when she really needs his help.


    OUR TAKE: 2 out of 10
    A little of Chris Farley goes a long way, and unfortunately this film goes on way too long. Deserving more of a time frame given to a Saturday Night Live skit than a full length film, this movie produces far fewer laughs and no where near the martial arts excitement of Jackie Chanís latest movie, "First Strike." The biggest accomplishment of this movie is that Farley didnít keel over from a heart attack while racing around giving his normal manic performance. You have to give it to Farley though, he certainly doesnít hold back in his movies, but this one has too few laughs and not enough inventive slapstick humor or martial arts action to make it bearable. The plot is lame with stereotypical bad guys posing as moving targets and Nicollette Sheridanís only purpose is to be "eye candy" in her high heels, tight fitting short skirts, and cleavage exposing tops. Given the right material, Farley can be very funny and might one day ascend to the ranks of Belushi and Gleason, but it wonít happen with this film. We give it just a 2 out of 10.
    While much of the violence that occurs is cartoon-like, several people are shot (all off camera, but their bodies are seen falling to the ground), and two are hit in the chest with knives (nothing graphic). There's lots of punching and kicking and other martial arts action as well, and the other violence that occurs is slapstick in nature. There's one scene where Haru and others are seen laughing out of control from breathing in "laughing mushrooms." Part of Haru's bare butt is seen when he dances at a strip club with women who are seen somewhat suggestively dancing in bikinis. Other sexually related material is limited to innuendos. Profanity isn't too bad with only a few "s" words and some other milder expletives. We do suggest, as always, that you read the category listings to determine if this film is appropriate for you or your kids.

  • People are seen drinking in a strip joint.
  • People drink beer at a restaurant.
  • Haru pours "laughing mushrooms" into a man's mouth to get him to talk, but he coughs them out onto Haru and Allison. The three are then seen laughing themselves silly.
  • None.
  • Obviously the bad guys have both.
  • Gobei says about Haru, "He's fat. He's a fool. He's an embarrassment to ninjas everywhere."
  • Allison lies to Haru to get his help, telling him her name is Sally Jones.
  • A Beverly Hills hotel clerk looks down his nose at Haru when he checks in and says that they donít accept "wampum" for money. Once Haru shows that heís got gold, the clerk immediately changes his tune.
  • None.
  • Handguns/Machine Guns: Used by the bad guys to shoot at and kill several people.
  • Knives: Used to kill two people by accident, and by Haru to stab through the top of a convertible car.
  • Martial arts weapons (poles, nunchukas): Used during practice and during fights.
  • Thereís lots of martial arts action (punches, kicks, etc...) that kids will love to imitate.
  • Phrases: "Creep," "Pimp," "Fool" and "Thanks, *sshole" (mistakenly believed by Haru to be a compliment).
  • Ninjas place their hands onto hot coals as they train.
  • Gobei picks up a boiling hot cauldron with his forearms, thus branding an insignia onto them.
  • Haru stabs through the top of a convertible car with a knife after cutting the automatic seat belt that he thought was attacking him.
  • Haru shows off his sword skills to Joey and accidentally throws one of the swords through a door.
  • Haru tells Joey that "lesson 34" of becoming a ninja is to tear off a man's head with your bare hands. He then tells Joey to practice on a chicken and Joey is later seen several times chasing one.
  • Haru hoists up a rope used to trap a guard dog. Surprised to see the dog, Haru lets go of the rope and the dog falls several stories to the ground where it lets out a yelp when it hits.
  • Haru blocks bullets from a machine gun with his ninja swords.
  • None.
  • None.
  • A ZZ Top song plays in a strip club with the lyrics, "Give me all your lovin', all your hugs and kisses too..."
  • 4 "s" words (2 used in the phrase, "Holy Sh*t-to"), 5 "ass" words, 3 hells, and 2 uses of "Oh my God," and 1 use of "For God's sakes" as exclamations.
  • The sensei tells Haru (about his wanting to help Allison), "It sounds like you're being led around by your short sword."
  • Haru follows Martin into a strip joint, the "Gentlemen's Club," where women are seen dancing in bikinis. There is some suggestive dancing with one woman pulling on her bra straps to move her breasts and another shaking her butt in Haru's face. He then joins them on stage and licks his fingers and rubs them over his own nipple. Later, part of his bare butt is seen as he dances with them.
  • Haru, seeing Joey chasing a chicken (see "Imitative Behavior"), tells him, "Keep practicing Joe and someday you will choke the chicken" (a slang reference for masturbation).
  • Haru, posing as a Japanese chef, accidentally flips a shrimp that falls into a woman's cleavage. After retrieving the shrimp, he smells it and is pleased by the scent.
  • Haru dreamily tells Allison that if she were back in Japan there would be "oils you could rub all over your body."
  • After Haru accidentally ends up lying on top of Allison on the floor he apologizes to her: "I was just trying to get close to the temple, and not inside." He then states that he wanted to "take a peek at the sacred object."
  • None.
  • None.
  • That people would be hurt from all of the martial arts fighting.
  • Being inept at martial arts, Haru often whacks himself or others with martial arts weapons (poles, nunchukas), and often knocks down other people or damages property (with no apparent lasting or harmful injuries).
  • Other times, Haru's clumsiness leads to him: accidentally head butting people, running into the back of a truck, getting hit by tree branches while on that truck, walking into poles, getting hit on the head by a small satellite dish, falling from ledges, etc...
  • Haru spills a boiling cauldron of water onto the other ninjas.
  • Martin shoots a man with a gun (not seen), and the body falls into Haru's raft.
  • A father punches Haru in the face after Haru told his son that he'd have to kill him if he told him about his secret mission.
  • Haru tells Joey that "lesson 34" of becoming a ninja is to tear off a man's head with your bare hands. He then tells Joey to practice on a chicken and Joey is later seen several times chasing one.
  • More gun shots are heard and two bodies fall to the street near Haru.
  • Haru shoots a dart at a guard dog, but instead hits a bird that falls to the ground (dead or heavily sedated).
  • Haru hoists up a rope used to trap a guard dog. Surprised to see the dog, Haru lets go of the rope and the dog falls several stories to the ground where it lets out a yelp when it hits.
  • There's a big fight in a restaurant where machine guns are fired, many punches and kicks are thrown, and two people have knives accidentally land in their chests. As Haru and Allison speed away, Martin and the others fire machine guns at them, riddling the car with bullets.
  • Allison slugs a counterfeiter after Haru tries to use a martial arts choke hold on the man.
  • Haru mentions that Martin killed Allison's sister.
  • Allison uses a tire iron to shatter a van's back widow to rescue Haru.
  • Martin sets a timed bomb to kill Allison, and Haru and Gobei fight with Martin and others to stop them and to save Allison. Martin fires his machine gun at the two, but misses.
  • A bomb explodes in the back of a truck, catching it on fire, but no one is hurt.

  • Reviewed January 16, 1997

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