Friday, 14 March 2014

IMDb Bottom 100 review – Number 93 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain

What do three ninjas in training do, when an evil woman and her evil ninja henchmen take over funtime, in order to make oddles of cash? Why, they unite with the local neighborhood 9 year old hacker, and take down scores of seasoned criminals. Just like in real life!
About the look I had through all 93 minutes of this movie. 

Well, after a two week hiatus, that was mainly due to nothing special but me being a dork, the B100 reviews are back. I guess you guys hoped they wouldn't be, but I'm running this god damn outfit, so if you don't like it, not only won't I ever know. But if I did know, I wouldn't care. That's just the kind of guy I am. The kind that doesn't care about you. Ok, I shouldn't have said that. I mean, it's true, but I suppose there is no need to rub it in. Speaking of rubbing it in, or not really but whatever, today I am reviewing a movie that will carry with it, a few surprises. For you. The movie didn't surprise. But this review might. Not necessarily surprise in a good way, but rather the kind of surprise you get, when that really annoying friend you don't like turns up at your sweet 32 birthday party uninvited.

This look isn't ok now, and it wasn't ok then. 

Surprise #1: This movie is the best of the bunch so far. Yes, I said it. It features a few B100 A listers-to-be and ninjas. You can't really go wrong with ninjas, can you? Surprise #2: You actually can, it turns out. So far we've been through horror (Troll 2 was an effective horror movie in as much as it made me fear for my sanity), thriller, spoof, Bollywood, monstermovie and teen comedy. Now it's time to add family film to that line-up. I didn't grow up in the United States, but I imagine 3 Ninjas to be the kind of movie that airs 3-4 times a week in the early afternoon. The kind the kids revert to watching, when there really isn't anything on. And of course I watched it too. So that's that. Again, not growing up in the states, I think I might've been too old to really appreciate the Ernest movies, I never really felt the love for Hulk Hogan, and Loni Anderson is just right out to left field for me. So the presence of this triumvirate didn't boost this movie's watchability for me. In fact, looking at Hulk Hogan's stupid mustache made me a little annoyed. More than a little, actually.
As with most movies featuring kids, watching this without prejudice was really hard. Kids in movies are a gamble – most often it doesn't pay off. High Noon at Mega Mountain is, apparently, the fourth 3 Ninjas movie, and the only one of them I have watched. And it will remain comfortably so. I mentioned this was the best of the movies so far. It is. Granted, the competition isn't fierce, but still. It's an accomplishment. Doesn't mean it was enjoyable, but at least I didn't feel uncontrollable rage while watching it. Just mild puzzlement. And a runny nose.
I can only imagine the shame of a black actor, when this stupid hat and dreds are brought out. 

High Noon at Mega Mountain has the brothers Rocky, Colt and TumTum (not a good start) coming home from Ninja summer camp. That's a pretty normal thing, obviously, around Mega Mountain. It's sad, because Rocky is totally a teenager now, and it's apparent, that he considers himself above ninja summer camp now that he has enough pubes to interest the ladies. TumTum in particular takes this hard. Coupled with the fact, that Dave Dragon (Hogan in an outfit more stupid and lame than every word he's ever spoken combined), a beloved TV ninja hero dude is having his show cancelled. Even Dave Dragon's Final Epic Awesome Show, that just so happens to be held at the Mega Mountain amusement park near where the boys live, can't chear him up. TumTum's little life is coming tumbling down upon him, and just as things seem at their bleakest, TumTum's trademark luck sets in: Loni Anderson's Medusa and her gang of Ninja henchmen decide to take over the amusement park, and hold it for ransom. I'll let that concept sink in with you.
Of course TumTum and his brothers, together with their 14 year old neighbor hacker girl, decide to utilize all this ninja summer camp training, and save the fucking day. Yeah! They storm off to Mega Mountain, hook up with Dave Dragon, who is totally bummed about money grubbing executives cancelling his show, and starts battling ninja henchmen by the truckload. It's a race against time, involving a bomb, 9 year old TumTum beating several fully grown, and apparently martial art savvy, men, Jim Varney playing a character named fucking Lothar Zogg, and the usual bunch of family movie shenanigans we know and dislike from only too many movies resembling this one.
Hacking is, if nothing else, colorful and snazzy!

In the process of saving the day (yeah I ruined the ending for you, you filthy bastard. Go write your own B100 blog, if you think you're so smart), TumTum also saves Dave Dragon's shitty career, teach his brother a valuable lesson about how you're never too old for the corniest ninja summer camp in existence and put 40-50 people in jail, while thwarting the stupidest heist in the history of human kind. And he did all this thanks to Grandpa Mori's persistently sublime ninja training. Grandpa Mori, by the way, must be grandpa in the loosest sense of the word, since he is distinctly Asian, and none of TumTum's parents and/or brothers bear even a hint of Asian characteristics on their features.
So there we are. This movie clocked in at a pretty standard 93 minutes. I did check my watch a few times during, because let's be honest here. I wasn't really entertained. The movie is very obviously just another tired installment in an already worn series of movies. The kids are not the kind of kids that make a movie watchable. TumTum was super annoying. His name alone made me shuffle uncomfortably in my seat. I imagine if I had a kid of 3, this movie could be worth my while. But if I did have a kid of 3, I would probably not be a douche, and make him watch this, when there are so many other awesome kid's movies out there. I mean, why be that parent? For fun? Yeah ok, perhaps just to do a number on my kid. But I might end up regretting it, when he's 30 and sets fire to Hulk Hogan's grave and is arrested and sent to jail.
What the fuck is going on on the left there? Black and white shorts? Seriously ninja henchman guy?

So why was this movie the best? Well because I said so, first of all. But it did have production value, and while the plot overall didn't really make sense, it was relatively consistent throughout. Stupid and silly, but consistent. And we do appreciate consistency when we're watching movies in this end of the scale. Jim Varney, who most of us love as Slinky the Dog in the Toy Story movies (1+2, he had died by the time the third one rolled around), was his usual obnoxiously stupid self, as head henchman. I never liked the Ernest movies, so he had red on his ledger from the word go. But he is sort of a big name. In these circles anyway, so I guess the fuckers who made this movie were happy he have him on board. Same goes for Loni Anderson, who probably used to be a hot name in show business, but now just seems like she should've called it quits a few years ago. I can't say I've ever seen anything else by her, not necessarily by design (I've been fortunate I guess), but I doubt I'll be scrambling too much to get a hold of her collective body of works.
Dave Dragon values these things. And his generic Power Ranger posse agrees!


All in all, this movie felt pretty wooden. It didn't try too hard to be something it wasn't, to its credit, but it certainly didn't have much in terms of relatable characters, strong dialogue or believing fight scenes. It did have a genuine Asian as Grandpa Mori, so we've got that to rejoice about, at least. The morale of the movie was a little fuzzy, but I think I was supposed to get up from my couch, thinking something along the lines of 'Those pesky ninjas, huh? Well I certainly learned a valuable lesson”. I can't say they accomplished even that, because watching 3 kids, a ridiculously unbelievable 14 year old hacker girl, and a camped out Hulk Hogan kick ninja hench men army ass (where the fuck do you even acquire a ninja army? I mean... wouldn't paying the salary for those guys be more expenssive than the ransom for the theme park?) didn't make me feel like I gained anything at all. Except the ability to produce this review. And perhaps eyeball herpes. Which should be a thing that spontaneously develop. I didn't learn anything from this movie, and the reason I didn't was, that the lesson was so lame and plain, that accepting it as a lesson is shitting on all the other actual lessons you can learn from other stuff. Loni Anderson, Hulk Hogan, Jim Varney and the 4 kids, whose name I can't be assed looking up right now, can stuff their 3 Ninjas right up their respective mega mountains, as far as I'm concerned. It was a movie malady that shouldn't have happened. But it did, and I'm writing about it. Well not for much longer. It ends here! 
Mega Mountain is renowned for many fun activities. 

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