3 Ninjas is a series you definitely identify with in the 90s if you were a kid around that time. Of course, there was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and other films that catered toward a younger audience, but nothing could quite compare the essence of a kid than these 3 ninjas who were also kids. You have Rocky (the strong and resilient one), Colt (the wild and spirited one), and Tum-Tum (the youthful one that gets energy from food he eats. I mean, what’s cooler than three hip young dudes handling themselves against ninjas and crooks? The main movies came out in 1992, 1994, and 1995.
The crazy thing that a lot of people don’t know is 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up was actually filmed 6 months after 3 Ninjas. However, it was not released until 1995. That’s why it seems a bit odd to see Max Elliot Slade (Colt) look much older in 3 Ninjas Kickback (1994) than 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up. The last movie was 3 Ninjas High Noon At Mega Mountain in 1998. This featured an entirely new set of ninja brothers. Also, Hulk Hogan appears as the TV star, Dave Dragon. Here are some moments from the 3 Ninjas saga:
1. Grandpa’s Still Got It
Grandpa Mori Tanaka/Shintaro (changed his last name in Kickback) shows why he’s the original bad man. A dealer and former student of Tanaka named Snider goes to visit him in hopes his crew will get a brand new teacher. Snider tries to make a deal with his former teacher in hopes his law enforcing stepson (Rocky, Colt, and Tum Tum’s father) will leave him alone. Tanaka faces a hard decision, but not without a good demonstration to show why he’s still got it! This is a great scene from 3 Ninjas.
2. Surprise Attack
This is a nice scene where the boys are on Snider’s ship. They are being help captive for ransom, but not for too long due to their street smarts and “ninja-nuity”. This is actually a deleted scene from the final cut of 3 Ninjas. The boys find a nice spot to hide as the ninjas try to chase them down. As soon as the ninjas are close, the boys kick out of barrels and create a great ambush. They kick some serious butt with this great surprise tactic.
3. Colt Got Beat By A Girl
The boys go to Japan to return their Grandpa’s dagger after some thieves mistakenly take the wrong bag. They meet up with their Grandpa in the hospital as he directs the boys to a tournament in Koga. They are in for a big surprise. There’s a ninja in white that’s taking out the competition with each fight. On the way to the finals, a fighter in blue wins a bout but cannot continue due to a bad fall. Colt finds the ninja outfit and takes his place. Rocky and Tum Tum said the guy in blue was not bad but a bit wild. They realized it was Colt fighting. This is where Colt gets a huge piece of humble pie with a nasty kick combo to his face. Before the match is over, the white ninja unveils and everyone finds out she’s a girl. A cool scene from 3 Ninjas Kickback, indeed.
4. Show Off
This is a bit funny and brutal for a kid’s movie. Earlier in the movie, some bullies snatch Emily’s bike. They try to win it back during a basketball game but the bullies cheat and take the match. In the end of the movie, the bullies find the boys again. Rocky attempts to solve things peacefully but is provoked to the point where he has to defend himself. One of the bullies got a solid dose of his own medicine. Rocky took his time and made sure the rest of the bullies saw exactly what would happen to them. They took off without their bikes as the credits start. This is a nice scene from 3 Ninjas.
5. Tango Time
This is a funny little fight where Rocky and Tum Tum end up in a bar fight. There’s a dusty old jukebox that plays Latin music. It switches between fast paced music and a bit of Tango. It’s funny because they do a Tango section where they dance together and do a tag team maneuver. The music changes again and they go back to more wild fighting. You can tell they had a lot of fun shooting this scene on 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up.
6. Sword Fight
First off, RIP Jim Varney. I think we were all fans of his Ernest movies. This time he’s duking it out with Rocky. He does some decent stunt work with the sword wielding. Also, Rocky holds his own with some nice evades, stunts, and fighting. Not a bad scene from 3 Ninjas High Noon At Mega Mountain.
Grandpa comes lurking from the shadows as he engages in a mean tussle with some mercenaries who were part of the land fill dump. There’s great fighting, stunts, and a bit of mystique in the fight. The boys also hold their own as well. The funny thing is that Grandpa Tanaka had to be soaked in warm water because he’s getting too old for these fights :). Good fight from 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up.
8. Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan is a TV star in this film. He’s Dave Dragon, a guy Tum Tum looks up to as a superhero. This is a pretty cool action packed scene with tons of stunts and special effects. Hogan shows why he still is a great physical actor and applies that in the movie. Later in the film we see how important Dave Dragon is to many kids. His show was slated to be canceled due to low ratings. However, he showed that even if his show is make believe, the message is real. Good scene from 3 Ninjas High Noon At Mega Mountain.
3 Ninjas brings back great memories for kids back in the 90s. It was a fun filled movie with a lot of great stunts and martial arts to keep your attention. It was not too overbearing with violence, it was wholesome yet not too cheesy, but still great for the whole family to watch. What were some of your favorite scenes from this series?