Terribly Awesome!: 3 Ninjas Kick Back

Just another Manic Monday? Wish it was Sunday? Nothing beats a case of the Mondays like a camp-out. And we ain't talkin' s'mores, sing-a-longs and psycho killers. We're talking about getting in touch with your guilty pleasure zone. That's right, every Monday we'll be bringing you the best of the worst. It's gonna be awesome - and terrible! - all at the same time.

Photo: impaawards.com

Wasn't there a time when we all wanted to be a ninja? Remember tying a headband around your head and running around the house throwing punches at your cousins pretending to kick bad-guy butt? Just me? Hope not. In 3 Ninjas Kick Back, Rocky (Sean Fox), Colt (Max Elliott Slade) and Tum Tum (J. Evan Bonifant) break rules every little kid wishes he could: eating candy 24/7, taking a spontaneous trip to Japan without parents and having permission to go ninja on anyone who steps in their way. Too cool.

It's the second film in the 3 Ninjas series of four, the odd one between the first and third with different actors cast as Rocky and Tum Tum before going back to the original actors for the third. In this film, the trio follows Grandpa (Victor Wong) to Japan, where he's supposed to be handing down a sacred dagger to the winner of a martial arts tournament. He'd won the dagger years ago in a fight against a boy named Koga. Years later, Koga still hasn't gotten over it and has sent his nephew Glam and his two goofy friends to steal the dagger. It's up to the 3 Ninjas to protect the dagger and their grandpa.

With three young boys in charge of saving lives from the evil Koga, his three clowns and his black belt ninja crew, it's a cheesy, silly tornado of high kicks and quick jabs.

Why it's terrible:

The acting
Clearly, it's terrible. But Haley Joel Osment and Dakota Fanning aside, what else did you expect from kids?

Three kids (plus their new Japanese friend) take on an army of ninjas with ease. It's the magical world of movies but way too unbelievable. Now if their opponents too had been ninjas-in-training, maybe.

The umpire
Why does he yell like that? Why does he make those faces? I would not let my children play baseball with him. Too angry, too mean, too scary.

Fifty years ago... blah blah... dagger... enemies... blah blah. It's a typical, boring backstory about a rivalry that has lasted decades apart and is refueled by the dagger's return to Japan. It's kept simple for the kids, which is fine; it's just cliche.

Change of heart
After the bad guy is taken town, he turns into a good guy, and all it takes is a few words chiming something about material things not being important in life. In the end, everyone is friends and skips off to la la land.
Why it's awesome:

Rocky's girl troubles
First, it's Lisa DiMarino keeping Rocky off his baseball game as she watched from the fence. Then, it's Miyo in Japan stealing his heart. Aww, young love is so unpredictable.

The phone call
Wouldn't it be cool if pre-recorded convos on playback actually worked to buy plane tickets on credit in someone else's name? Imagine the tricks you could play.

Nurse Hino
If Nurse Hino's expressions alone aren't funny enough, her torturing of Mori definately are. But hey, Mori had it coming, assuming she didn't know English then calling her a witch and vampire.

The trade-off
The boys taught her baseball and Miyo taught them martial arts. In montage, the boys eat like sumo wrestlers and learn to kick-butt while being graceful. Miyo learns to pitch and catch. Don't see how it makes sense to play catch with eggs but I want to do it.

The 3 bozos
To compliment our 3 ninjas are these three bozos: Glam, Slam and Vinnie. They're complete idiots. Glam steals the show by far, with his scraggly blond hair and incessant high-pitching singing. Sounds annoying but his idiocy is hilarious.

Girl power
In the end, Miyo kicks all butt. She is undefeated and even takes down the baseball bullies at the end. Don't mess with her.

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