3 Ninjas (1992)

dir. Jon Turteltaub

The first of the 3 Ninjas franchise, preceding 3 Ninjas Kick Back, 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up, and 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain. Quite how 3 Ninjas became a series can only be guessed at, because there is nothing in this first instalment that anyone would want to see again. Three annoying little boys are trained to be ninjas by their mystical Japanese grandpa. Of course, the boys’ “ninja” moves basically consist of them flailing their limbs and squeaking “Hi-yah!”, but you’re supposed to buy that they’re ninjas. The boys’ father is an FBI agent, opening the gateway to generic hijinks involving Bad Guys. It’s basically a shoddy Home Alone knock-off with added ninjas – the boys use their wits and their wiles and their amazing ninja skills to subdue the Bad Guys and win the day. Whimsical little musical cues play whenever something goes their way. Of course it’s a kids’ film, but honestly, any vaguely discerning kid would grow pretty impatient pretty fast.

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