REVIEW: Ninja the Protector (1986)

ninjatheprotector

Hong-kong-icon

1986, IFD Films and Arts Limited

Director:
Godfrey Ho
Producers:
Joseph Lai
Betty Chan
Writer:
Godfrey Ho
Cinematography:
Cheung Hoi
Editing:
Vincent Leung

Cast:
Richard Harrison (Jason Hart)
David Bowles (Bruce)
Wa Lun (Warren Lee)
Mike Tien (David Lee)
Clifford Allen (Clifford)
Andy Chworowsky (Andy)
Chiang Tao (Ninja)
Philip Ko (Ninja)
John Ladalski (Thug)

This cut-and-paste film from the gang at IFD seems like a very jumbled mess that takes footage of Richard Harrison and combines it with some Taiwanese flick about brothers who are in a deadly love triangle.

Jason Hart is the head of a special task force that operates out of Hong Kong. They have heard news of forged U.S. bank notes making their way out of Hong Kong. To ensure that they have a chance to nail the criminals, they hire Warren Lee to act as an undercover agent. Warren infiltrates the gang but learns that his brother David is also in the gang and he is quite the hothead.

While the brothers vie against each other for the love of Julie, Jason, who is a master Ninja, hides his identity from his team members as he tracks down each member of the forgery gang using his skills and then anonymously calls members Clifford and Andy to arrest the group. When David and Warren find themselves set up by the boss, they ultimately must unite to take on the boss and his men while Jason must eventually face the leader of the forgers, Bruce.

Richard Harrison has mentioned how much he can’t stand his career with these cut-and-paste Ninja films and while some are better than others, this is by far, one of the reasons why you can have sympathy for the former actor. Ultimately, this is a seriously jumbled mess that sadly, doesn’t make any sense. It is as if Godfrey Ho seriously had a case of “Writer’s block” because the sad part comes in the original Taiwanese footage of the film.

It seems like there was maybe only half the original film used in this and it just doesn’t make sense. The plot involves two brothers in a love triangle, one guy feeling different about what he’s doing, while the other brother is set up by the boss to kill the girl both brothers love only to learn it was because the boss has some sort of beef against the conscience-filled brother. By the time the double-cross ensues, this reviewer was all worn out at trying to figure out what was going on.

Kung fu star Chiang Tao, credited as Donald Kong, is credited as the film’s action choreographer. However, it pertains to the Ninja fight scenes with Harrison. Chiang and Philip Ko, another kung fu star turned action director in these films, appear as two of the ninja forgers Jason must take on. The finale however, was a big letdown, pitting Harrison and David Bowles. At first, it looks like they were going to joust on motorcycles but no instead, they end up in the always watchable swordfight that just has a truly ridiculous ending.

Ninja the Protector is truly one of the very very bad cut-and-paste ninja films. The film is so jumbled and a “hot mess” that even one has to sympathize as to why Richard Harrison got angry with this. Only if you are a curious party or a hardcore IFD ninja film fan should you see this. Otherwise, don’t even bother.

WFG RATING: D

DVD

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