Tuesday, 2 February 2016



Sometimes you see a film and can't stop wondering what the script meetings were like. Maybe you can envisage the writer toiling endlessly at Microsoft Word, agonising over every comma, while surrounded by piles of research notes and dramatic flowcharts. Or you can imagine them roaring with hysterical laughter at every zinger they've crafted for Adam Sandler or Seth Rogen to kill stone dead. Maybe you can even hear their carefully tailored Spotify playlist, especially crafted to inspire their creativity even further.

I can't help feeling that in the case of Beverly Hills Ninja the meeting took less time than you'd need to soft boil an egg. "Here's the pitch: he's a fat, incompetent ninja and he falls over a lot," most likely with assorted cover versions of Kung Fu Fighting burbling away in the background. That's all there is to it: the late Chris Farley plays an imbecile ninja who, absurdly, cracks an international counterfeiting racket and, even more absurdly, cops off with the hot blonde at the end.

It's rubbish, obviously: a witless Ow My Balls parade of falling over, stupidity, silly voices, walking into walls, falling over, breaking things, setting things on fire, falling over, fighting and falling over for those who find Mr Bean too intellectually daunting. Sure, some of the falling over is funny (a couple of times, anyway), but aside from bonehead slapstick the film doesn't have much in its comedic armoury. No-one goes into a film called Beverly Hills Ninja expecting a Noel Coward script of glittering witticisms, but surely there should be room for something a little more sophisticated than an overweight bloke repeatedly hurting himself and behaving like an idiot while Kung Fu Fighting plays on the soundtrack. According to the IMDb, Chris Farley wept at the first screening.


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