B-Movies of our Youth - American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987)
Movie Name: American Ninja 2: The Confrontation
Director: Sam Firstenberg
Actors: Michael Dudikoff, Steve James, Larry Poindexter and Gary Conway
Budget: $350,000 (estimated)
Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $4,000,000 (estimated)
Release Date: May 1st, 1987
Here we are again in the second movie in this cult franchise, American Ninja 2. I was able to find it on Prime Video. After the first one, I was wondering how they can out do themselves with the cheese in the sequel. Let us see!!
In this second instalment, we are reunited with Joe Armstrong (played by Michael Dudikoff) and Curtis Jackson (played by Steve James). This time they are US Army Rangers, brought in to investigate the disappearance of some Marines in the Caribbean.
The opening scene of the movie shows some marines being captured by what seems to be like ninja's. As with the first movie, a bad guy has hired some ninja's to do some of his dirty work. Of course, Joe and Curtis are one of the only ones that can find out what is happening and stop their plot.
After doing some snooping around they find out that there is a boss called The Lion. He has kidnapped a scientist and the missing marines. The scientist created a super serum that would make super ninja's. The initial goal was to do some good in the world, but The Lion had other plans once he saw the power this could give him.
American Ninja 2: The Confrontation Trailer
Like the first one, this movie is very cheesy. It has everything that you would want from a bad 80's flick, bad fighting, cheesy music and bad acting. The trifecta of a B-Movie.
Let us start with the main actors. They acted in a similar fashion to the first one. I think Steve James brings some charisma to the screen. However, the rest of the cast is very generic and look like they are cardboard. I will say though that the chemistry on the screen between Dudidoff and James is pretty good. It probably holds the movie together. Once again, Steve James is under utilized. He has very little screen time and it is a shame. It does seem like he does have a little more screen time than the first one but only by a very small margin.
The other characters once again are very forgettable. Let us be honest, even the main characters, many people would not remember their names, but remember them from bad movies. Having said that, this is a guilty pleasure. It is so bad that it is good. There are worse movies out there, but this is the type of movie that I would rent from the store on a Friday Night. Nowadays, people do not have that joy of going to rent a movie on a Friday Night. There was something about that experience that I never truly appreciated until recently.
Now onto the main attraction, the fighting. This is why everyone watches the movie right? Once again, they forgot to order the blood from the store. There is very little blood even though some guys are being stabbed and slashed with samourai's. LIke the previous movie, the fighting is very robotic and slow. I am starting to think that this is the style, but I guess I am used to newer movies where the action is faster paced or better choreographed. Then again, when I think of movies around this time, they were all choreographed in a similar fashion (Bloodsport, Missing in Action, Delta Force... etc). It only started to really change when Jackie Chan and Jet Li started in North America in the mid-90's.
The battle at the end, is not very epic. They try to make it climactic, but to me at least, it fell flat. So if you are watching this movie, it is more about the journey than the destination.
Also, the body physics are awesome. They look like 1990's PC game rag doll physics and it is fantastic. This is especially true when looking at the beach fight scene.
Would I recommend this movie? To the average person, probably not. They will question every move and action sequence as it is really bad. However, for those who thrive on watching bad martial arts B-Movies, you will love it. If you see it on streaming services, check it out and enjoy the falling flopping bodies.
What do you think? Let us know below.