80s ninja movies were all the rage when I was a kid, we would all come back from our martial art class and enjoy some sweet karate or kung fu moves performed by our silverscreen idols. As pre adolescent children we would dream of one day being as badass as them (spoilers: we never did).
This movie in particular brings fond memories: I first watched it on TV as a kid, and naïve as I was, I thought Michael Dudikoff was the most badass martial artist since Bruce Lee. Luckily years later, while studying abroad, a friend of mine brought his stash of crappy 80s movies, and there it was: American Ninja 2: The Confrontation.
Roses are red and ninjas wear black
This movie distills everything that it should: Cheapness, 80s music, a dressed-in-white-suit big bad, stunt doubles that look nothing like the actors, continuity errors, bad acting, and of course, plenty of clad in black ninjas.
With the wisdom that age has brought, I can now affirm that Mr. Dudikoff knows as much martial arts as the 6 year old white belt kid from my neighbour. It is hilarious to see the fight scene actors trying to lower their heads so that his kicks actually do seem to hit them. His companion, Jackson, is every bit as talented as he is, coupled with a bodybuilder torso and an unhealthy pulsion to take of his shirt.
Together they must solve a misterious kidnapping of some marines in a never named tropical island by some "men wearing black"... you guessed it, ninjas. Jackson and Armstrong get into fights, find the traitor in their midst and even have time for a love interest, all the neccesary elements for a by-the-book 80s B Action Movie. Special mention to Mr. Dudikoff's stunt double, that should've got credit as a proper actor: He loves to mug the camera every chance he gets.
Final showdown of final destiny
As we find out, a businessman in the island is creating an army of super soldiers, with the unwilling help of the father of Armstrong's love interest. Aided by his already pretty awesome army of ninjas he kidnaps marines to turn them into mindless drones for him. The dragon in this case is a mildly asian looking red ninja that among other superpowers has the capacity to hide a shotgun in his pants without showing a bulge during a whole fight sequence, only to get it out in a final moment of desperation showing us what an honorless dirty player he is.
The day is saved, all the bad guys killed, and Armstrong gets the lady. But fear not, our good friend Jackson also finds a love interest (black too, this was the 80s, no interracial nonsense allowed).
If you want to view this masterpiece I have good news, it's for you to cherish (all 90 minutes of it) on youtube, just a few clicks away. Make sure to let me know how much you enjoyed it in the comments.