The Dragon, The Young Master
Now how many times do I have to beat it into your thick skulls? One time? Three times? Or what about the duration it takes to watch thirty minutes of this movie? So once again, you bunch of idiots, listen up, and listen good. I am not the Silver Ninja and I didn't steal any of your boss's money.
OK? You got that? Good. So leave me the f*ck alone, will you? I've got better things to do with my time than pounding on your ugly looking mugs. For instance, I'd rather have a spot of tea with that blind man I saved earlier in the day. Or then again, maybe I'll just flirt with his very agile daughter, Su-Wah (Qiu Yuen).
Huh? What's that you say, blind man? Your lovely daughter has suddenly been kidnapped by Master Mai's men? Ah! Don't worry about it! I'm sure she'll be able to handle herself. And if not, once we eventually have something to eat I'll zip on over there and lead her back to safety again.
Well, after all, I am the martial artist named Po-Wo-Lam (Dragon Lee). And that's most probably why what next transpires hits the skids when I start talk about avenging my father's death. As a town is slowly bled dry - a couple of overlords begin to fry - a blind man takes one hell of a whack - and at the end of the day, two Silver Ninjas get ready to fight back.
At face value 'The Deadly Silver Ninja' looks, sounds, and seems like most other martial arts movies made during this era. For a start, it kicked off with a fairly predictable opening sequence where you see someone getting murdered, only for this plot-threat to eventually resolve itself further down the line. Then you've got all of that dodgy dubbing, funny facial hair, plus your atypical bog standard camera work that leaves little to be desired. And to top it all off, finally you have a story-line that comes across so naive in its execution, you can't help but wonder if it was written by a five year old with abusive parents.
You see, in essence, this film is a rather loose kung-fu comedy. Not a laugh out loud kung-fu comedy, of course. Yet on occasion there are times when Dragon -- and every so often Qui -- were allowed to play to the camera with their own style of bold and crass humor. Sometimes this was nothing more than a jovial karate move at their opponent's expense. Other times this was more brazen with a funny face or a cheeky smile. But by in large when we see they're having fun, we end up having fun too.
However, when this cheerful tone turns -- which it does in places, with the emphasis being more on intensity and less on fun -- somehow this strange blend doesn't sit quite right within the confines of this tale. Making it feel kind of bi-polar somehow. Confusing even.
Now a good example of this would be in its final fifteen minute fight scene, where Dragon and Qui kick crap out of its main villains. Nearing the end of it you'll be able to hear these inane video-game sound-effects coinciding with the action. And this -- for a very dramatic scene -- felt off, silly, and very misguided to what is meant to be a very heated battle.
Overall I'd say 'The Deadly Silver Ninja' was a fairly so-so flimflam film. When it was good it was good. When it was bad it was bad. And even though I did enjoy Dragon's and Qui's performances, here and there this was let down by a number of needless pitfalls, and silly sounds.
Nuff said. BBbbbbpppppttt!
THE RATING: B-