The American Ninja movie was a huge hit in 1985. American Ninja Movies Five Facts You Need to Know: A blog about the top facts you need to know about the American Ninja movies.
The American Ninja movie was the first movie to feature the American Ninja character, who would later go on to star in two sequels. The movie was directed by Menahem Golan, who also directed many other action films during his career.
The movie starred Michael Dudikoff as Joe Armstrong, a soldier who is recruited by the government to become a super soldier and save the world from terrorists. He is trained by Sho Kosugi and becomes an expert ninja warrior. He then uses his skills to stop an evil mastermind from destroying America with nuclear bombs.
The film received mixed reviews when it came out, but it got better over time as it gained cult status among fans of martial arts films. The American Ninja franchise has remained popular over the years with several video games and comic books being produced based on these characters and their stories.
American Ninja Movie Watch & Download
|Name of the Movie||American Ninja|
|Produced by||Yoram Globus, Menahem Golan|
|Music by||Michael Linn|
|Release date||August 30, 1985|
|Characters||Sean Davidson, Pvt. Joe Armstrong, Black Star Ninja, MORE|
|Directors||Bobby Jean Leonard, Sam Firstenberg, Cedric Sundstrom|
|Production companies||The Cannon Group, Inc., Breton Film Productions|
The American Ninja movie was based on the popular comic book series by Michael Zulli and Jon Woo. It was directed by Sam Firstenberg and starred Steve James as Mike Barnes, a soldier who learned martial arts from his grandfather, a Chinese man named Chen Chi.
During World War II, Mike Barnes and his friends are sent to Japan to fight against the Japanese army. They are captured by the Japanese and put into prison camps where they are tortured by Colonel Gondo (James Hong). As they try to escape from their captors, they encounter an old man who teaches them martial arts and how to use it against their enemies.
Ranking The American Ninja Movies
While Cannon’s American Ninja franchise was far from the first time an occidental character mastered ancient Eastern arts, it distilled the idea to its simplest, most populist form. He’s a ninja and he’s American so obviously, that means he’s the best ninja because, y’know, GO AMERICA!
A huge hit of the video era, spawning its own toy line and four official sequels (not to mention countless imitations like American Ninja Commando, American Ninja The Magnificent, etc), the original American Ninja was a defining rental for most kids growing up in the ’80s. Combining the brashest aspects of the US and Japanese pop culture was a winning recipe and, to this little kid from the Midlands, the coolest thing imaginable.
1. American Ninja 2: The Confrontation
You might be thinking I’m being pretty lukewarm on the franchise but don’t worry… all is saved by American Ninja 2: The Confrontation, a sequel so good it’s not only better than the first but better than all the other four put together, as far as I’m concerned.
With a bigger budget and a much, much tighter script, American Ninja 2 brings the Nanjing with more joy, gusto and nutzoid stunts than the others ever dreamed of. Joe and Jackson return and are sent to a lawless Caribbean island to solve the mystery of some disappearing marines. Mayhem ensues. The ‘genetic research’ plot (which I won’t spoil) is more entertaining and outlandish than any of the other rather lacklustre conspiracies in these movies and the rhythm of the film – balancing plot with fighting – is faultless. FAULTLESS.
Dudikoff and James have both honed their performances and have easy chemistry here that yields genuine laughs in amongst the action (as well as a knowing homo-eroticism – at one point the musclemen all go out to ‘Mangrove Island’ for a group swim!) and the supporting cast are fun too, playing flamboyant and engaging characters (especially Jeff Weston as unorthodox marine captain ‘Wild Bill’ and Gary Conway as uberbad dude ‘Leo The Lion’). Throw in a bright, colorful setting and a wicked synth score and you can’t go wrong.
2. American Ninja 4: The Annihilation
This one begins with Bradley reprising his Sean Davidson role but he has now somehow been ‘promoted’ from a professional karate fighter to a secret government agent (!!). He’s sent to Africa with his buddy Carl (Dwayne Alexandre as a mute, nerdy, barely-used replacement for Steve James) to stop some terrorists. These super-bad dudes have an army of ninjas, have kidnapped an entire squad of Delta Force commandos AND they have a nuclear bomb in their possession. Yow!
Unfortunately, Sean and Carl are no match for such dudes so – after a full 45 minutes of duffing up henchmen then getting caught – Joe Armstrong (Dudikoff) is called back to the franchise to save the day! Hooray! Rumour has it that Dudikoff insisted a lot of this be rewritten so that, rather than teaming up with Bradley as per the original intention, he got to demonstrate he was the superior ninja by rescuing him. It’s sad if that’s true because, along with being one of the most bizarre actor hissy fits ever (straight out of Godfrey Ho, I imagine Dudikoff slamming his fist on the producer’s desk and screaming “NO, *I* AM THE ULTIMATE NINJA!”), this weird structure (45 minutes of one story, then 45 minutes of the same story again with a different hero) lets the film down. It would’ve been great to see them fight side by side.
3. American Ninja
Former fashion model Michael Dudikoff makes his lead role debut here as Private Joe Armstrong, the defining character of the franchise. Joe’s an amnesiac off-the-rails lone wolf youth who enlists in the army to avoid jail. He has no memory of his childhood and little exists on record about him so it’s a mystery as to where he picked up his almost supernatural martial arts skills. We first meet Joe when he and his loudmouth nemesis-turned-buddy Curtis Jackson (the inimitable Steve James) are stationed in the Philippines. They become embroiled in a local conflict against a gun smuggling ring headed up by the evil Black Star Ninja, and this unlocks a conspiracy leading all the way up to the heads of military and government.
I have to admit I enjoyed the ‘fish out of water’ element and Joe trying to ascertain his true identity much more than the bland smuggling plot. The Black Star Ninja – despite an awesome name and the fact that he shoots lasers in the climax – is a bit naff. He looks like he’s wearing a wooly hood, which makes me itch just thinking about it, and his black star facial tattoo kinda looks like a disease.
4. American Ninja V
David Bradley returns for a third outing but his character is now ‘Joe Kastle’ instead of Sean Davidson. Turns out American Ninja V was originally meant to be an unrelated Cannon film called American Dragons but got retitled at the last minute. It shows.
There’s a massive tonal shift from the first four (all rated R) as it’s deliberately made for kids. This new ‘Joe’ is given a 12-year-old apprentice called Hiro (Lee Reyes) by his master (Pat Morita) and ordered to instruct him in the ancient arts. At first they don’t get on because Hiro is a wise-ass who would rather play his Game Gear than train but, when Joe’s girlfriend Lisa (Anne Dupont) is kidnapped, they bond together to rescue her from the clutches of the ever-present evil scientists (this time they’re building a gas bomb or some shit but really, who cares?). This involves flying to Venezula and duffing up a bunch of ninjas, as you’d expect.
There’s a lot that doesn’t work about this film. At 1 hour 42 minutes, it’s obscenely long for such a minimal plot and, while we endure the trappings of action cinema (illogical storytelling, irrational contrivances, poor pacing) we never reap the rewards of insane fighting because it’s, y’know, for kids. In most of the fights, Bradley will literally knock down three or four ninjas with one non-connecting punch. It’s funny I guess, but not exactly exciting to watch. The rhythm of the film is very different to the others as a result and, for the most part, it’s boring.
5. American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt
While Michael Dudikoff tried to launch a career outside of martial arts films, David Bradley stepped in for this misstep of a sequel. Although he sometimes gets blamed by fans for wrecking the franchise, Bradley is not actually bad at all. He’s got insane muscles, can act well enough for the material, and fight as ably as Dudikoff. It’s just a shame he’s dropped into the franchise with this particular movie.
The plot involves a karate tournament and an orphan called Sean Davidson (Bradley) who was trained to be a ninja after the murder of his father. Unfortunately, the tournament is a front for some kind of Evil Science, masterminded by a ninja leader called The Cobra. This means we get three different classic martial arts templates crammed into one – the tournament plot, revenge for dead parents, and bringing down a powerful organization – and none are carried through satisfactorily.
How to Watch American Ninja Movie Online?
American Ninja is an action movie that was released in 1985. It was directed by Sam Firstenberg and starred Michael Dudikoff and Steve James as the main characters. The story of the movie revolves around Joe Armstrong who is a former US Army Ranger who is on a mission to seek revenge for his father’s death. He travels to Japan where he meets up with an old friend named Tetsuo Hara, who helps him find the man responsible for his father’s death. Here we mentioned some useful steps to watching American Ninja movies online now!
Step 1: Go to an Online movie watch site.
Step 2: Search for American Ninja
Step 2: Click on the “Watch Now” button above to start watching American Ninja Movie.
Step 4: You will be redirected to the official movie page, where you can watch American Ninja Movie in HD.
Step 5: Enjoy watching the American Ninja Movie!