"Irish American Ninja"
Ninja" may well be the funniest ninja movie you've ever seen.
And it's got some pretty
stiff competition on all sides. "Kung Pow: Enter The Fist",
for example. "Shaolin Soccer", "Battlefield Baseball",
and a handful of other movies just like them have flooded video
store shelves in recent years. Hordes of Japanese imports and a
handful of American titles have all gone after the rank of funniest
But the incredibly ambitious
and gut-wrenchingly comical "Irish American Ninja" is
a match for them all.
So what we have here
is the story of George McGoogle, who wants nothing more out of life
than to be a ninja. A DAMN GOOD ninja.
Now, most folks are going
to see the humor in this right away. His name is MCGOOGLE. And he
wants to be a NINJA. This is like a man with the last name of Zhou
setting out to be the world's greatest polka musician. Or a fellow
named Klein who sets out to be the world's greatest pig farmer.
It's incongruous. It doesn't work.
But in George's case...it
will. Or so you can tell from the first seventeen seconds when they
supply this pithy quote from George:
"The true measure
of a man lies not in realizing his destiny, but in having the courage
to follow it...even if it means killing your long lost brother."
It's pretty much a dead
giveaway at this point that George will indeed become a ninja. A
damn good ninja.
And George, our Damn
Good Irish American Ninja is on an appropriately complex quest to
train, advance his skills, find his long lost brother, and of course,
kick a whole lot of pajama-clad ninja ass.
First off, can you SMELL
the parody? Smell it! It's thicker than Guinness on a cold November
morning! Okay, for those of you who don't habla, there was a franchise
back in the eighties called "American Ninja." I think
they got as far as four with it, and Bill Sebastian is going balls-out
in an effort to parody a movie franchise everybody pretty much forgot
about by the end of 1993.
And the credit roll sequence
for the first two minutes will show you, undisputably, what kind
of movie we're dealing with here.
boyhood, and everything that led up to George's ninja career, is
a brilliantly comical sequence that lasts several minutes and produces
several high-quality laughs. The training sequences are a laugh
All that's really missing
from "Irish American Ninja" is Wally Pleasant doing a
cover of "Kung Fu Fighting". Or maybe that's a little
too obvious--I can't be sure.
And the sequence where George finds his long-lost brother for the
first time...oh my. It's like three straight minutes of laughing.
Okay, plain and simple.
"Irish American Ninja" is one of the funniest things I've
seen in a long time. It's packed to the gills with parody, clever
scripting, excellent acting, and all kinds of surprises. It encompasses
so much more than any simple ninja movie has a right to--"Irish
American Ninja" is really like "Enter the Dragon"
on crack, and without all the stylistic overtones. The sheer ambition
of "Irish American Ninja" is what gives it a lot of its
There's not a whole lot
in the way of actual story here. And at the same time, you don't
miss it much. You don't watch "Irish American Ninja" for
the compelling plot! No, you watch it for the incredible comedy.
You watch it for the masterful parody. You watch it for a ninja...getting...hit
by a car? You watch it for a lot of reasons.
The ending is a hoot
and a half. Watch the fun as George McGoogle, Damn Good Irish American
Ninja, tries to establish a link between "Barney" and
a homosexual agenda. Not even Jerry Falwell could go that far! And
George's burnout tantrum is beyond anything you've ever seen before.
But there is still a little hope as George finally, FINALLY, faces
off against Gertrude, his long-lost-but-recently-found-and-then-lost-again-kinda-for-a-while-until-just-now
The special features
include audio commentary, a behind the scenes featurette, deleted
scenes, and trailers for "Irish American Ninja," "Portal:
The Movie", "Midlothia", and "Zombie Campout".
All in all, "Irish
American Ninja" may be short on plot, but what it lacks there
it more than makes up for in innovation and pure, raw comedy. If
you can find it, it's worth it!
GRADE: 4 stars ****