3 Ninjas Knuckle Up

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1

This latest in the 3 NINJA movie series follows the same pattern as in the previous two Ninja movies. As in the past, three adolescent boys who are skilled in karate fighting come to the rescue of a threatened individual or group. Also, the principal entertainment feature of the movie is the almost continuous karate fighting and related confrontations. The boys, Rocky, Colt and Tum Tum (Michael Treanor, Max Slade and Chad Power) are on a vacation with their grandpa, played by Victor Wong, who is also their martial arts mentor. They come across an Indian tribe whose land is being polluted by a greedy, waste management company dumping toxic materials on it. Before you know it, the ninja boys are out looking for one of the Indian leaders who has been kidnapped because he has information proving the company is polluting the land. Some ruthless thugs hired by the nefarious company take off after the boys, which leads to an endless string of confrontations. All this may appeal to youngsters under twelve, but even they may become a little bored with the unimaginative plot.

Since this sequel features three boys who are older than those in the previous 3 NINJA films, the director has turned up the amount of violence. The boys spend at least one third of the film time fighting the thugs, and it seems more like half. Using all the martial art tricks they know, they kick, strike, beat and generally maul the attacking thugs. At times, they are pursued by men in trucks and motorcycles with plenty of accidents and accompanying injuries. They also retaliate by shooting wire barbs at their foes, banging them on the head with metal objects and pushing them onto cactus plants. All the while, grandpa is admonishing them to fight only when attacked and not to seek notoriety as heroes. Their motives are admirable, but this film simply exploits violence to entertain. The excessive violence, along with a few moderately crude words, could very well encourage youngsters to become more aggressive and mimic the ninja fighters.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Tri Star Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (5) times - Mild 2, Moderate 3

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Many times - Moderate and Severe (frequent karate fighting, kicking, striking, beating; shooting wire barbs, striking in face and groin, rough treatment of young girl, knock heads together; fire, explosion and dog threats, injury by cactus plant, truck and motorcycle collisions and injuries, genitals injured on ladder)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Several times (whiskey and beer drinking)

Other: Boy prays in comical fashion; boys befriend and help Indians

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Children under 12 years of age.

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