Film Scouts Reviews

"Beverly Hills Ninja"

by Leslie Rigoulot

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"Beverly Hills Ninja", directed by the man who brought us "Problem Child" and "Happy Gilmore", is an American entry with oriental overtones. As a Ninja, Chris Farley is the clumsy naif who is duped into helping the sexy Nicollette Sheridan in a counterfeiting plot. He uses his ample weight in an attempt to be the next John Candy-John Belushi. Sorry, but it doesn't work. But we do get to see Nicollette Sheridan's in numerous short skirts. The real stand-out is civil-engineer-turned-martial-artist-turned-actor Robin Shou.

When Farley turned up at Planet Hollywood to answer some questions, he was very funny. A high school kid asked Farley, "Since you did all that Ninja work, can you kick Jackie Chan's butt?" "Jackie can kick mine but I can sure kick yours," Farley rejoined. Then he gave the poor kid a bear hug that almost toppled the two of them into the crowd. But giving a comedian an open mike is just asking for ....comedy. "Did you ever sniff paint chips as a kid?" "Who didn't?" "Are you in pretty good health considering your size?" "I'm gonna pop! Is that tingling in your left arm and chest a good thing?" "In the press kit it says you studied Ninjitsu, is that true? "Ninjitsu? No, I just did it in my pants." "What is your favorite film that you've done so far?" "I liked the part that I had in 'My Left Foot'."

Maybe I'm not the best judge of a movie aimed at adolescent boys, so I asked my thirteen year old what he thought: "It is has some funny stuff and it was OK. Liked the girl." Not overwhelming praise but at least he didn't trash it. And I too "liked the girl" when I met her. Nicollette Sheridan has spent seven years on TV's "Knots Landing" and has worked in some diverse films. But I couldn't resist asking her what it felt like to be a sex symbol. "I don't actually regard myself as a sex symbol. But I suppose that in this movie I am playing a sex symbol. But usually the characters I play are strong, powerful women and in this I'm the Beverly Hills Barbie doll. I wear a lot of short skirts and Chris lotioned my legs a lot." "That must have been fun for Chris" I blurted. "My make-up artist was putting lotion on my legs and I was talking to somebody, and I hear this little tune. I look down and it's Chris! 'What are you doing; get outta here!' 'No, I'm lotion-boy now, she can't do it anymore' So from then on he did lotion!" Sheridan has moved between TV and the big screen and between drama and comedy very easily, but she'd like to do a romantic comedy and a period piece. "You have to fight for the parts that you want and there is a lot of competition out there. I'm starting my own production company." Nicollette explained. "My favorite film that I've made was "Noises Off"; I've never had more fun making a film. It was a great cast. There was no pecking order. It was too bad the studio didn't get behind it and push it. People still come up to me and tell me how much they enjoyed it. But some people didn't think it translated well from the Broadway play. Maybe it should have stayed there. But we put it on as a play for the executives. And it was Peter Bogdanovich's comeback movie and I loved it." Maybe renting "Noises Off" is a nice alternative to "Beverly Hills Ninja".

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