Beverly Hills Ninja
Beverly Hills Ninja is a surprisingly boring comedy. Chris Farley
stars as Haru, an orphan who is discovered by a secret ninja clan
after washing up as a babe on the coast of Japan. The clan
adopts Haru and trains him as one of their own, thinking he is the fabled "Great
White Ninja". Unfortunately, he grows up into the bumbling fool
that Chris Farley has made his specialty. When a mysterious
woman from Beverly Hills (Nicollette Sheridan) requires the assistance
of a ninja to uncover an international counterfeiting scam.
Haru volunteers, and begins a quest which takes him to America,
and which will test all his non-existant arts. To protect him,
and others, Haru's sensei (without Haru's knowledge), sends
a proper ninja, Gobei (Robin Shou), along to assist Haru from
the shadows. The plot itself is very thin, and doesn't do much
to bolster this essentially one-joke movie. The acting, as can be
expected, isn't terribly subtle...but it doesn't need to be.
Slapstick comedies, when done well, can be carried by their jokes alone.
Beverly Hills Ninja does not lack laughs (there are a couple of
very funny scenes in the airport and a strip club), but they are
few and far between. The film takes its stock jokes (Farley is
fat, he's a klutz, he thinks he's a ninja) and milks them for much, much
more than they're worth. Chris Farley can do some humorous stuff
(see his better skits on Saturday Night Live), but has yet to find
a movie that effectively showcases his talents. Beverly Hills Ninja
will please Farley's legions of teenage fans who don't know better...
but few else will enjoy this monotonous comedy.
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