“Beverly Hills Ninja” was directed by Dennis Dugan in 1997, who had previously done “Happy Gilmore” & “Problem Child”. The film stars Chris Farley, Nicolette Sheridan, Nathaniel Parker, Robin Shou, Chris Rock & Keith Cooke Hirabayashi.
In Japan, a young white baby is found along the shores of a sacred ninja temple. The baby is taken in and raised along with his adopted brother & both grow into ninja warriors. Gobi (Shou) is awarded the golden medal of honor while Haru (Farley) is having difficulties adjusting to the ninja way. One night, a woman, Sally Jones, is search of ninja and hires Haru to find out about her sister’s murder. Haru accepts the job and travels to Beverly Hills, California. There, he meets Sally who is revealed to be Allison Page (Sheridan) and her boyfriend, Martin Tanely (Parker). Haru finds out about the Tanely is into money laundering & counterfeiting and is also wanted for murder in Japan. Now, Haru must bring Tanely down, save Allison when she is later kidnapped & prove that he is the Great White Ninja.
Chris Farley was a comedic heavyweight in the 90s & this film was no different. It has everything an action comedy needs from laughs, to action & even some martial arts clichés. While this a far fetched film compared to his other films, Farley is firing on all cylinders & brings his slapstick comedy in this martial arts setting & it worked. This film proved he still had the tools to keep his comedic genius. The film has a bit parodies of martial art film but keeps its own merit.
This film was another one of Chris Farley’s masterpieces that sadly ended after this film’s release. Farley would appear in a 2 films in 1998 but would tragically pass away in December 1997. Dennis Dugan would go on to collaborate with Farley’s friend & SNL co-star, Adam Sandler and direct a slew of his films including “Big Daddy”, “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry”, “Grown Ups” and “Jack & Jill”. A sequel was planned for this film in early 2000 but following Farley’s passing & Dugan dropping out of the project, it became a straight to video project called “Ninja Dancer” starring David Hasselhoff and came out in 2010.