Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media

American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987)
Cannon Films | Review by Dan Taylor

What can I say about this flick?

First, it stars Michael Dudikoff and Steve James, the stars of such classics as AVENGING FORCE, AMERICAN NINJA, BACHELOR PARTY (Dudikoff) and THE EXTERMINATOR (James). Second, director Sam Firstenberg is the same man that brought us NINJA 3: THE DOMINATION, AVENGING FORCE and the original AMERICAN NINJA.

Third, and perhaps most important, the flick features 10 audible bone breaks! That's right, ten solid bone breaks that you can hear as clear as a bell. Personally, I think this is a pretty unheralded action film statistic and it gives you a fair idea of the fight-to-dialogue ratio this baby is packin'!

The story concerns a drug kingpin known only as "The Lion" who has set up shop on an island in the Caribbean. Under his power is a scientist who has come up with a way of creating genetic patterns that turn ordinary men into "Super Ninjas." It should come as no surprise that "The Lion" plans on using the "Super Ninjas" to enforce his drug empire.

Turns out that on paper this is a good idea but the execution leaves something to be desired as the US Marines call in experts when four of their men are kidnapped... and who do you think the experts are?
That's right, Curtis Jackson (James) and Joe Armstrong (Dudikoff) come on in, find out about the ninjas and decide to kick some major ass.

AN2 exists for no other reason than for the stars to show off their talents and for Firstenberg to stage some incredibly entertaining action sequences. Dudikoff and James have great chemistry (which is what made AMERICAN NINJA and AVENGING FORCE so much fun) and Firstenberg shows a steadier hand than in previous efforts.

This was pretty much the height of Dudikoff's work for 80s action kings Cannon Group and makes a fine double feature with the equally entertaining AVENGING FORCE.


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