on September 25, 2011
Face it... you either know this movie... or you wouldn't be on this page! Nobody just looks or comes upon Surf Ninjas without having seen it during their youth! Nobody just looks throught "movies starring Leslie Nielsen as a bad dictator"...
This is a perfect example of a nostalgic flick... admit it, you watched it as a kid on an old VHS! You laughed at red-headed Rob Schneider's goofy, dumb and no-clue character that always wants to eat! You kinda recognized the bad guy as being Frank Drebin in another of your favorites... You loved the "Barbara Ann" sequence and the weird fight scenes, the 90's music and THE, oh-so-cool-it's-retarded-and-doesn't-make-any-sense Sega "Game Gear"! And who can forget the MOTOSURF?!
Admit it, if you are on this movie's page, it's because you might not actually own a DVD copy of Surf Ninjas... so what are you waiting for? Replace that old VHS of yours, buy that good-priced DVD, which is presented in a dual format (wide and full) with a good transfer, and get nostalgic as you sit back and rewatch for the first time in what you think might be... 10 years... "Surf Ninjas"!! Think you're too old? Watch it with your kids!
on June 26, 2001
First impressions are deceptive. You might think this movie, at best, a diversion suitable for a bored 13-year old on a Saturday afternoon. You are in for a shock. Surf Ninjas is one of the funniest flicks to come out of Hollywood in the past decade. Johnny (Ernie Reyes, Jr.) and Adam (Nicolas Cowan) are two Asian-American surfer dudes growing up with foster dad Mac (John Karlen), literally on the beach in southern California. School is a bore (Director Neal Israel does an amusing cameo as their hopelessly out-of-it principal). All that matters to them is riding the next wave, until a gang of camouflage-clad killer ninjas shows up to assassinate them. Of course, the ninjas were sent by Colonel Chi (Leslie Nielsen), so although they look like Delta Force, they fight more like Keystone Kops. The squad of ninjas bumbling around southern California stick out like so many sore thumbs. "Gee, those camouflage uniforms sure give them an uncanny ability to blend chameleon-like into their surroundings," observes Rob Schneider, in an hilarious turn as Iggy, Johnny and Adam's surfing-challenged classmate.
Chi overthrew Johnny and Adam's biological father, the king of Patusan, many years earlier, and now seeks to murder the two princes. Upon learning of their destiny from the mysterious, one-eyed Zatch (Ernie Reyes, Sr.), the boys return to Patusan to overthrow Chi and claim their throne. Johnny discovers love and his warrior heritage. Adam learns he is a seer, who can fortell the future (by peering into the screen of his Sega Game Gear.)
Reyes, Jr., is more than just an accomplished martial artist and owner of some of the best upper-body musculature ever captured on film. He also gives a performance full of charm, romance, innocence, youthful exuberance, and a delightful gift for physical comedy. He does many of the kung fu scenes in a state of bewilderment, as his moves are directed by his warrior ancestors. (This is surely a lot harder than it looks.) Cowan's comic timing is impeccable. (When Zatch informs him that a certain remote jungle village is the home of a great holy man, Adam deadpans, "Wow, then I gotta get a T-shirt.")
Schneider is memorable as Iggy, the comic sidekick, commenting drolly on the proceedings ("The Mee Grob Hilton, serving strange things in shells since 1207.") and insisting, hilariously, that it is acutally he, and not Johnny, who is the deposed prince imbued with supernatural powers. It is refreshing to see a film where the Asian guy is the romantic lead and the white guy is the sidekick. (This was years before Shanghai Noon, remember.)
Tone Loc adds another comic dimension as Lieutenant Spence, an LAPD detective who follows the boys to Patusan. When knocked to the ground and surrounded by Patusani soldiers wielding automatic weapons, the unarmed Loc gamely displays his badge and says, "LAPD! Freeze, punks!!" It gets him nowhere, but give him 10 out of 10 for chutzpah. Reyes, Sr., as Zatch, the one-eyed, deadly serious Patusani royalist, evokes laughter by his stony-faced refusal to be amused by the absurdity of the proceedings. (The Zatch-eye view through a pair of binoculars is one of the film's best visual jokes.)
The main players are not only amusing as individuals, but play off against each other with some hilarious ensemble work, such as the bit where our heroes are captured by and escape from Chi's soldiers, and the unforgettable "Money can't buy knives" sequence.
Unfortunately, the one sour comic note is the miscasting of Nielsen as Colonel Chi. Nielsen does his best Frank Drebben, but he's just too darn lovable to accept as a ruthless Third World dictator.
In spite of this one shortcoming, Surf Ninjas maintains a deft comic balance as it rides wave after wave of comic invention. And you will never again hear the Beach Boys' classic "Barbara Ann" in the same way. Okay, so you don't have to tell the whole world you bought a movie called Surf Ninjas. Just get it, watch it in private, but make sure no one's close enough to hear you laughing. And when you're finished, lock it away in a strongbox labeled "Guilty Pleasures."
on June 7, 2001
"Oh, there's something money can't buy...knives." Brilliant! Neil Israel has outdone himself this time. Sure, Bachelor Party was good, and sure, you can't really compete with the Wonder Years, but man oh man oh man. This movie tops them all. Starting out with the expertly done car surfing scene, to the subtle, ironic brilliance of Rob Schneider's surfing skills this movie packs it in like no other. I believe that this movie will go down in history like such cult classics as Howard the Duck, and Hudson Hawk. Truly this cinematic masterpiece has not gotten the recognition it deserves. John Karlen excells as Mac, the lovable but strict father, and the return of Zatch sends a chill up my spine every time I see it. Adam's continual jokes with the game gear keep me rolling in the aisles, and the chop sticks literally sent Pepsi through my nose. Tone Loc brings a spark of soul to the screen with his new-age, sophisticated humor, and keeps the action alive on the lull of the boat scene with his hilarious delivery of the unforgettable line "I swallow it every Tuesday." Leslie Nielson proves once again why we have all so graciously let him into our homes and our hearts, with his honest portrayal of Colonol Chi, truly a statement torwards the attitude of international terrorists everywhere. The only thing this movie is lacking might possibly be a bit more surfing, although I did enjoy the homemade, Patu Sani surfboards, inspired once again by another one of Adam's incredibly realistic, and somewhat chilling visions through the screen of his game gear. And he keeps his sense of humor throughout. "I see you...leading us all into a great battle... what's this? You're wearing a dress!" "What?" "Psych! What a bonehead." I do not believe the writers were given the credit they deserve on this film. The enitire thing was so realistic, I thought I was actually in Patu San, and was disappointed when I found out the country was fictional. As a closing I would like to say that Ernie Reyes Jr. will astound you, not only with his amazing skills as a thesbian, but with his suberb singing voice in his clever, modified rendition of "Baba Ram." Truly an amazing specticle from first to last, one of the best movies of the 20th century. Move over Jackie Chan, he comes Ernie Reyes Jr!
on January 17, 2002
I went to see 'Surf Ninjas' on a free pass when it first came out on the big screen. For a free movie, it wasn't half-bad! I found it to be one of those kinda-dumb-yet-funny popcorn flicks. The many silly '3 Ninjas meet 3 Stooges'-style martial arts scenes, and corny one-liners & banter had me both laughing and groaning throughout the movie's run! Seeing Rob Schneider outside of his 'Rich-meister making copies' gig on SNL was... well... not that big a deal, really (I'm sure he was happy to get away from that character for a while). And Ernie Reyes, Jr's skills had improved quite a bit since I last saw him in 'Red Sonja' and the short-lived 'SideKicks' TV show. And where would a silly comedy flick be without the deadpan demeanor of Leslie Nielsen as the evil head honcho? Put 'em all together, and-- well, you'll just have to see it for yourself. All I'll say is, if you liked '3 Ninjas' or any of their sequels, I believe you'll find 'Surf Ninjas' even more fun to watch!
on February 25, 2001
If I had to sum up this movie in 2 words they would be...Rob, Schneider. Rob Schneider is at the top of his comedy peak in this hang ten flick. Sure there are some of you who are saying, "What are you crazy? It's Ernie Reyes Jr. that makes this movie enjoyable!" And then there are those of you who insist that, "Leslie Nielson hasn't been this funny since...well... He's never been this funny!" Before you rally yourselves into a rioting frenzy, let me explain. The inner struggle of Rob Schneider's character compells the audience to care about wether or not his goals are accomplished in this movie. His constant use of method acting, (Which was finely polished on SNL.) suspends our disbelief as we root for him to come home alive. However, it was the Producers insistence on casting Leslie Nielson that earned this movie 4 stars instead of 5.
on September 5, 2000
This movie, geared toward a younger teenage audience, (but can be enjoyed by the open-minded of all ages) is hillarious and witty. Everytime I watch it I can't stop laughing at the quick puns and clever plot in this parody of ninja movies. Unlike other ninja movies coming out at the same time, meant for the younger audiences, Surf Ninjas comes back at it with a joke for everything that may be found rediculous in a Jackie Chan movie, or worse! The script writers aren't given enough credit for this low-budget flick, and I would like to say this is one of the best. If you are a fan of the karate/ninja film, and a little comedy, you have to see this great movie!!
on January 28, 2000
Surf Ninjas is the kind of fun that brightens your day. It's one of those timeless movies that you can turn to when you're tired of the same old slop and routine of life. The dialouge, the story, it's all corny, but that's what makes it awesome! The little funny stuff that is written in the movie is lame, but hilarious. I don't know, I guess you have to be a kid, or someone who is tired of the same old stuff to like it.