By Jarno Jäppinen (Kotka, Finland)


For a while now, I’ve reminisced about my childhood and have examined certain movies from a new angle.

Back then these movies didn’t have much meaning to me, but now I think differently about them.

Of course, some of them may get more nostalgia points than they actually deserve.

As an example about this I can mention Cannon Films and their movies which I’m currently re-watching.

I decided to choose American Ninja for this review. I could’ve chosen something by Charles Bronson or Chuck Norris, but somehow ninjas are nowadays close to my heart.

Can you honestly say that you don’t like ninjas by putting a hand on your heart?

American Ninja was a small budget movie and thus it has been made with a big heart. It’s a traditional 80s B movie, which did well.

Its success can be based on its cult status, which was born during the VHS age.

Now I’m taking a bit different point of view to the review than normally, because everyone knows that American Ninja isn’t a large-than-life movie and can’t even make it to the top of 80s action film group.

It is what it is and that’s why it is liked. It’s a shameless B action movie that takes itself seriously.

I think that MGM would do well by remaking old Cannon movies.

I think that Ninja movies could be remade. Their remakes could be justified by the super hero enthusiasm, because super hero movies are not more respected and more successful than ever before.

I gather that MGM doesn’t have any super hero brands, unless one takes James Bond into consideration, but it isn’t actually their own brand, because they only distribute it.

Deadpool and Daredevil are very much ninja-like super heroes. The 2nd season of Daredevil features ninjas and Punisher also made a believable appearance in it.

MGM would easily find its way into the super hero boom by making ninja movies; for example by remaking American Ninja. Of course, one would have to have a good budget and an excellent script.

There are many remakes, which can’t get anywhere near to the excellence and style of the original movie. The remakes of Robocop and Ghostbusters are prime examples of this.

But Cannon’s movies could do well, because they were filmed with small budget.

Of course one shouldn’t re-film First Blood, Basic Instinct and especially Terminator 2, because they were already good movies.

The remake of Total Recall already proves that one doesn’t succeed in remaking a cult classic. Robocop and Ghostbusters are also cautionary examples of this.

American Ninja and other Cannon’s movies never made it into the larger audience’s taste and thus a remake would be justified.

It’s possible that American Ninja’s remake would restart the ninja boom.

It would be refreshing to see a rise of ninja movies, because it would offer counterbalance for super hero movies, because they’re being made too often. It’s not bad that they’re being made, but people easily get constipated by them.


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