Beverly Hills Ninja

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2 1/2

Comedian Chris Farley stars in this slapstick comedy as a foreign white baby, Haru, who grows up in Japan as part of an ancient Ninja clan dedicated to a secret art of self-defense and survival. The clan thinks he is the Great White Ninja which legend says will become a Ninja master like none other. Instead he grows up to be a clumsy, inept warrior and is not given the title of Ninja. But an attractive American woman (Nicollette Sheridan) persuades him to help her out of a jam with her boyfriend, Martin Tanley (Nathaniel Parker), who heads up a ruthless counterfeit ring. Haru travels to Beverly Hills, Calif., and becomes involved in all sorts of violent but comical escapades to defeat Tanley. Haru is accompanied by a more accomplished Ninja cohort (Robin Shou) and together they wreak havoc not only on Tanley and his gang, but accidentally on themselves. The humor in Beverly Hills Ninja seems rather mediocre and often falls flat, but it just might appeal to preteens and teenagers.

In typical PG-13 style, the comedy and action is interspersed with several crude words, three obscenities, near nude night club dancers and a number of sexually suggestive innuendoes. The action includes very intense hand fighting with striking and kicking, accidental injuries and shooting threats. The violence is all done in a comical vein, but is used excessively just to entertain. Not surprising, the Hindu concept of the universality of the soul is presented and Haru keeps saying he is "one with the universe." Also, Haru can communicate with his Japanese mentor father by being transported magically to Japan through a "Plane of Enlightenment." However, these mystical phenomena seem more comical than serious. To their credit, Haru and his cohort battle heroically against evil. However, it's unfortunate that so many crudities are present in this comedy, since it will appeal primarily to younger viewers.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
TriStar Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA,10022

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 (6) times - Mild 1, Moderate 5

Obscene Language: Three times (s-words)

Profanity: None

Violence: Many times - Mostly Moderate, sometimes Severe (man burns own arm; man accidentally injuries himself and others; man bumps into post, truck, and other objects; man hit by tree limbs and falling objects; fierce gang fights with striking and kicking, man falls on large hot plate, shooting, ferocious dog threats, destruction of building interiors and other property)

Sex: None

Nudity: : Brief male rear nudity; near nudity several times (scantily clad women dancers in club, low-cut dresses)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: : Many times (comical innuendoes relating to sex and genitals; near nude women dance sensually, man dances suggestively, but comically; cleavage, woman's silhouette in underwear)

Drugs: None

Other: Hindu concept of universality of soul and oneness with the universe; mystical communication and body travel over long distances

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Preteens, teens and young adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.