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This review appears direct to the web courtesy of THE CINEMA LASER.


BEVERLY HILLS NINJA ($35) is an amusing spoof of martial arts films starring Chris Farley, who hopes to be the "great white Ninja" of legend. Unfortunately, Farley’s character is a lot closer to being a great white whale, than he is a Ninja. Farley’s character was shipwrecked as an infant, and adopted by the Ninjas with hopes of raising him to fulfill a prophecy. As an adult, he vows to help a beautiful woman involved with criminals and prove himself a true Ninja. Of course, he is immediately accused of a murder he didn’t commit. Farley’s character then has to leave the Orient and travel to Beverly Hills to prove his innocence. Most of the film’s laughs are generated by Farley’s ineptitude at the various martial arts, as well as his complete naiveté. BEVERLY HILLS NINJA lacks the sophistication of a Jackie Chan movie, which has turned the blending of martial arts and comedy into an art form. The best analogy I can make is that BEVERLY HILLS NINJA resembles what one would get by the mixing of a PINK PANTHER movie with a martial arts film. The cast of BEVERLY HILLS NINJA also features Nicollette Sheridan, Nathaniel Parker, Chris Rock, Soon-Tek Oh and Robin Shou.

Columbia TriStar Home Video has given BEVERLY HILLS NINJA a very good looking Letterboxed transfer. The transfer restores the film to it’s proper 1.85:1 aspect ratio, which gives the image a proper sense of balance. Colors appear natural and the image is nicely detailed. The digitally encoded Dolby Surround soundtrack had a relatively good mix, but was a bit thin towards the end of the film. The Sony pressing had a few speckles and was just a bit noisy.


Laserdisc reviews are Copyright © 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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