Forget the Big Lebowski. Our Dude is Dudikoff.
The deadliest art of the Orient is now in the hands of an American! Lucky us.
This is a piece of Cannon Camembert, in which as an alternative to sentencing, a judge decrees that juvenile delinquent Joe Armstrong (Michael Dudikoff) must join the Armed Forces. It’s a plot that’s almost Seinfeldian (“cause he’s MY butler!”).
Anyway, he’s stationed in the Philippines where he demonstrates his heroism saving the colonel’s daughter from attacking ninjas. Along the way, his mettle is tested by the chiseled force that is B-legend Steve James as the sarge. Also, there’s a subplot involving arms sales to a nefarious group that hires deadly ninjas as a self defense force.
The juiciest part is that he’s an amnesiac, not remembering his difficult childhood or background, but luckily, muscle memory isn’t effected: he recalls all his martial arts training.
For a movie entitled American Ninja, the American isn’t much of a fighter, nor does he don the typical black pajamas that a ninja is known for (OK . . . he does, but ever so briefly.)
The film rocks. It has everything going for it that made Cannon great. The Dude abides!
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