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Farley falters as 'great white ninja'


January 21, 1997
Web posted at: 3:15 p.m. EST

From Movie Reviewer Paul Chambers

(CNN) -- Chris Farley of "Saturday Night Live" fame gets another shot at comedy on the big screen in "Beverly Hills Ninja." Farley plays Haru, an Anglo orphan who washes up on the beach near a Japanese martial arts studio. movie icon (1.5 M/28 sec. QuickTime movie)

Legend has it that a child from another country would show up some day, train at the dojo and become a great white ninja warrior.

Of course, legends can be wrong. Farley grows up to become a bumbling ninja dork.


While the other students are out on a mission, he speaks with the beautiful Nicolette Sheridan, who solicits his help. Farley's assignment eventually takes him to California where he mixes with a British villain and dozens of kung fu nasties. icon (272K/25 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)

The big problem with "Beverly Hills Ninja" is Farley himself. He's funny for about five minutes, about the length of a "Saturday Night Live" skit. After that he just starts to annoy.

Chris Rock

Also irritating is the very unoriginal story, which borrows heavily from "Lethal Weapon" and "Beverly Hills Cop." There's one extremely annoying scene in which Farley poses as a chef at a Japanese restaurant. It's a blatant rip-off of the late John Belushi's SNL samurai character.

And poor Chris Rock, also a "Saturday Night Live" alumnus, plays a Stepin Fetchit-like sidekick to Farley's fat ninja. Haru even calls him "boy" at one point. On the Chambers scale of one to 10, "Beverly Hills Ninja" rates a "one." icon (174K/16 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)


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