Ninjas were supposed to be silent assassins, masters of stealth, and all that malarkey. In the likes of Ninja III: The Domination, or American Ninja, for example, they are neither stealthy nor silent.
Cannon’s ninjas always preceded an attack by yelling a “Yaaaaarrrrgggghhhhh!” giving the victim more than enough time to be ready.
They also have the decidedly un-stealthy habit of wearing their black ninja suits in broad daylight, in green forests, on city streets – generally anywhere that will easily make them stand out to all and sundry.
And then there are the pauses, the interminable waits while our ninja reaches inside his costume to find a shuriken, smoke bomb or other ninja-device. Again, anyone faced with a black-clad killer rummaging through his apparel would be gone way before a throwing star struck him right between the eyes.
Of course, I am being a sour-puss about all of this, but one can only watch so many (too many, in my case) Cannon ninja films before you start wondering why we were so tolerant 30 years ago and how these dreadful films made so much money.
It’s 35 years after the original film, and the surviving members of the original 50-strong force gather together for… one last job.
When an untapped gold mine is discovered somewhere in Africa, financier Sir Charles Matheson (Bill Nighy) – brother of Stewart Grainger’s Sir Edward in the original – hires a crack team of mercenaries to secure it from unfriendly natives who want to claim it for themselves.
While Fynn gathers together all the still-alive actors from the original film regardless of whether their characters died or even played soldiers – Hardy Kruger (83), Frank Finlay (85), Ian Yule (70-something), John Kani (70), Winston Ntshona (71), and Roslynd Lloyd (60-something) – Emile Janders follows in his father’s footsteps and begins planning the operation.
But when the team parachute in and secure the mine, their pick-up plane fails to stop – just as his brother did all those years ago, Sir Charles Matheson has made his own deal with the natives and double-crossed the team.
Kicking himself for not realising that history repeats itself, Roger Moore’s Fynn has little choice but to lead his men out of the bush and back to civilisation. But the Simbas are closing in…
Willd Geese III – The Return