With the Fourth of the July around the corner, we here at Nerdist thought we’d offer our readers some all-American movie options to go along with their fireworks and delicious, grilled meats. Sure, you could be outside or at the beach, but if you want to beat the heat, there’s nothing better than a little badass American action.
There’s literally nothing more American than the Japanese art of ninjitsu. You could wrap the corpse of George Washington in a Flag and launch him 300 feet into the air set to the music of Kenny Chesney and that would just barely qualify as Canadian when stacked against Asian dudes in black murder pajamas, flipping out and killing other dudes.
And if one of those ninjas happens to be blue-eyed, blond-haired white guy Michael Dudikoff, it would take infinite soaring American eagles to equal the all-Americanness of said ninja.
Enter: 1985’s American Ninja, the first entry in the long-running but often short on quality series from schlock house Canon.
Dudikoff stars as a soldier with a mysterious past who is the only one capable of stopping the equally mysterious ninjas of the Black Star Army from hijacking U.S. arms and equipment. Because the only thing more deadly than a ninja is a ninja with a rocket launcher. This is just science.
The first American Ninja was, believe it or not, a pretty solid action movie out of Canon, offering the charisma-light but fight-ready Dudikoff plenty of scenes of martial mayhem. Even if later entries would take a nosedive quality (somehow sidestepping the need for really any Japanese people, save the late Pat Morita), the first film still works.
I give it 14 eagles soaring to freedom out of 10.