Plot: What’s it about?
Colt (Max Elliot Slade), Rocky (Sean Fox), and Tum Tum (J. Evan Bonifant) are doing their usual summer routine, which includes martial arts training and of course, playing some baseball. As their Grandpa (Victor Wong) teaches them the finer points of martial arts, he also shows them how to use the lessons in real life, even within a baseball game. He tells them to work as a unit and not as three individuals, otherwise they could fall apart. And when the big game starts, the three can’t seem to focus and work together, which results in a very poor performance. The game ends in a big fight after some hijinks from the other team, which means the game will replayed the next week, if the kids can grow up a little before then. This means the three ninjas have to choose between playing in the game and going with Grandpa to Japan, to further their martial arts skills. The kids decide to remain behind, but when they learn Grandpa is in trouble, they decide to work together and help him out, no matter what it takes. These three young ninjas have had some tough battles before, but they will have to be in top form to win this time, to be sure.
I’ve never known just why, but I’ve watched the 3 Ninjas movies on cable countless times, never able to muster the strength to turn the channel. I owned a couple of them on laserdisc, one of which was this film, 3 Ninjas Kick Back. The second installment in the series, 3 Ninjas Kick Back is much like the original, although a couple of cast changes have been made. These films were aimed at a young audience and it shows, with cornball humor and mediocre writing, but on the usual kids movie scale, this one isn’t so bad. I don’t think it holds much appeal with the older crowd on the whole, but it has some funny moments and even some decent, though basic martial arts sequences. But I think the kids will like this one and if they’ve enjoyed any other volumes in the series, then 3 Ninjas Kick Back is bound to be a hit. Victor Wong (The Golden Child, Big Trouble in Little China) leads a cast that is filled with mostly unknowns, but the characters still seem to be in fine form. I give this film a solid recommendation to those interested, although Columbia/Tristar has put little effort into this release, so I think a rental will suffice.
Video: How does it look?
3 Ninjas Kick Back is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame edition included on the disc’s flip side. This is a very good visual effort indeed, much better than I had counted on, to be sure. The image looks very sharp and clean, with no serious print flaws or other errors to speak of. The film’s vivid color scheme is intact and looks excellent, with bold hues that never bleed or smear. No issues in terms of contrast either, as black levels seem on the mark and detail is high at all times. This is a terrific treatment here from Columbia/Tristar, who’ve issued yet another superb catalog title transfer.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included 2.0 surround option is more than adequate here, given the nature of the material and all. The rock soundtrack flows from the speakers and sounds great, much more immersive than I had expected. The sound effects range from simple kicks and chops to more impact driven stuff, but it all sounds terrific here, with no issues to discuss. I heard no errors in terms of dialogue either, as vocals were clean and crisp from start to finish. This track might not have the power of some others, but it more than handles this material, which is what counts. This disc also includes language options in Spanish, French, and Portuguese, as well as subtitles in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, and Chinese.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some bonus trailers, but no extras specific to this film can be found.