If ever there was a badass film title, this was it. It promises excitement, adventure and really wild things; it promises ninjas, apparently delivered as some form of bullet (“Full Metal” is traditionally a reference to bullets, I believe) and you would be a damned fool to not want to watch it.
Well, let me tell you all, be a damned fool. This is the ISCFC’s third tussle with the films of Godfrey Ho, following on from “9 Deaths Of The Ninja” and “Ninja Terminator”, and while those films were at least sort of entertaining, this is a joyless slog. To be honest, you could stop the review there. I’ve been working on making them shorter, and the title and “joyless slog” tells you pretty much everything you’ll need to know. But I don’t get paid the big bucks to provide one paragraph reviews, so here goes.
Almost as a directorial fetish by this point, “Full Metal Ninja” appears to be at least two different films spliced together. First up, there are a couple of ninjas relaxing in the forest – you can tell they’re ninjas by the fact they’re wearing headbands that say “Ninja” on them, I kid you not – in complimentary outfits. One is wearing pink with purple trim, the other purple with pink trim. You’d expect them to be friends, right? Well, apparently not, as one of them gets chased off by a couple of baddies in black while the other, who is one of our heroes, just sits there and smiles. He’s a soldier of some sort who’s come to Japan to kill some guy, or maybe he’s just there and some big evil fella wants to kill him. Who cares? His secret ninja power is owning a gun, and that iconic scene from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” gets played out a few times.
The second film, which is really most of the film, is a man in a fancy hat, known as The Eagle (the man, not the hat) trying to avenge the death of his family. He’s after the same person, so the badly dubbed dialogue tells us, and encounters all sorts of people, mostly killing them. He’s Asian, and the first guy is white, and they “meet” at one point, while not sharing the screen at any time, or being there at the same time of day, or any of that inconvenient stuff. Our introduction to the Eagle features him walking on top of a series of posts, but with the added difficulty of their being an egg on top of each post – yes, he walks on eggs.
This, for me, was really tough to get through. The unintentional humour of the previous two Ho films I watched was absent here, and in its place was a badly dubbed film with tension-free fight scenes. Not good enough to be worth watching, and nowhere near bad enough to be worth laughing at. Just remember, when reading bad film sites, some of them just love piling on the cinematic unfortunates, and this is worth neither laughter nor pity, just ignoring.