97. American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1990)


*The Warlock opens the door to his lair, he’s dressed as Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat*

Warlock: Welcome to my lair………welcome I don’t think so, but enter. Enter my lair if you dare. I’m your host The Warlock.

*The Warlock goes to shoot an ice ball but stops himself. Walks into the lair*

Warlock: Tonight’s film is the last of the American Ninja series. We say goodbye to Steve James but welcome back Michael Dudikoff. The two ninjas will team up to kick some ass.

*Neyzor Blades is in the recliner wearing standard attire*

Neyz: Oh I’m on the edge of my seat *rolls eyes*

*Warlock takes his seat*

Warlock: Nobody asked you. Also at the end of the movie will be a live chat via satellite with the Grand Master of Martial Arts, Jon Blaze.

Neyz: Don’t you have anyone else to talk to?

Warlock: So without any further delay, its time for American Ninja 4.


*Warlock reads the tag-line*

Warlock: “The two American Ninjas, Joe Armstrong and Sean Davidson, team up to do battle against a terrorist and his band of Ninjas.”

Neyz: Wonderful, more ninjas.


*Movie opens with a group  soldiers on the run, shooting into the air and running.*

Warlock: Least we’re jumping right into it.


*The delta force team (Deon Stewardson, David Rees, Craig Ginsburg, Brian Mabelane, Bob Necols) is on the run from Ninjas. One is dispatched by a ninja easily. Two soldiers spot a group of ninjas standing on a cliff a mile away and open fire…hitting nothing*

Warlock: Hahaha what was that?


*The ninjas attack and the Delta team does manage to take out a few of them but are ultimately wiped out. In between are unusually long death drops*

Warlock: Ughhhhhh *slow motion death*

Neyz: Cut it out.


*Ninjas attack in the woods and drag a few soldiers, they continue to run away.”

Warlock: So much for no man left behind.


*The 4 remaining soldiers make it to an inflatable canoe and try to paddle away*

Warlock: They were better off swimming for it.


*A whole gaggle of ninjas pop out of the water and surround the canoe, the team is captured. The dastardly Colonel Mulgrew (James Booth) looks on*

Warlock: Uh-huh….just chilling in the water for god knows how long, they can breathe underwater apparently.


*Next scene is a wedding between Carl Brackston (Dwayne Alexandre) and Tilly (Nakidi Ribane). Sean Davidson (David Bradley) is best man. Her father (Tim Harris) gives her away. The Vicar (Clement Mullenger) asks if there are any objections.*

Warlock: I protest!

Neyz: You shut up.

Warlock: No seriously, this should have been Curtis Jackson. For whatever reason Steve James isn’t here so they wrote in a new character.


*Davidson gets a call on his walkie talkie saying he and Carl are needed NOW. Davidson tries to say they’re at the altar but no avail. Its an Interpol red alert. Sean pulls Carl away before he could say I do.*

Neyz: Couldn’t have waited 30 more seconds?

Warlock: I blame the Vicar for babbling instead of just saying “Kiss the bride.”


*Carl runs off as her father protests. They hop in the Just Married limo and take off*

Warlock: Daaa da da da da.


*At HQ, Brackston says Colonel Mulgrew is a sadist who hates the British and Americans. He murdered prisoners while under interrogation. He’s been helping known terrorist Maksood (Ron Smerczak) train his ninja assassins.  Davidson says the four survivors will be killed unless they pay a 50,000 dollar ransom*

Warlock: 50 grand? The president wipes his ass with 50 grand.


*Sean and Carl are to parachute in and save the day. Sean tells Carl to buzz off for a second. Sean yells at Gavin (David Sherwood) for bringing Carl in since he’s not a field agent. Sean says they’re gonna need more help against a ninja. Gavin argues he’s the best they got left, Sean asks about Joe Armstrong (Michael Dudikoff) and Gavin scoffs. He says he’s with the peace corps and doesn’t want anything to do with this*

Warlock: Well so much for Joe.

Neyz: That can’t be. There would be no movie.


*Gavin tells Sean good luck and Sean says they’re gonna need it. Sean and Carl parachute in*

Warlock: A whole team gets wiped out and now they’re gonna send in two guys?

Neyz: Very unrealistic.


*Carl asks who their contact is. Sean doesn’t answer but stops something. Carl “That could be him”

Warlock: 20 bucks its a girl.

Neyz: I believe you.


*Its a boy who speaks with a New Zealand accent. Sean says they’re the big blue wrecking crew. The boy says “Why didn’t you say so? I’m Pango (Jody Abrahams) your contact.”

Warlock: Eh, close enough.


*They hop in a car but the engine won’t turn over*

Warlock: Happens every movie.


*On a commuter bus, Pango and Carl hold a movie debate with Sean in the middle looking ready to jump out a window*

Neyz: That’s me right now.


*Pango leads Sean and Carl to a seedy bar. A reggae band plays as they make their entrance*

Warlock: Reminds me of Marked For Death only that ain’t Jimmy Cliff.


*Seedy bar patrons give Carl the evil eye*

Neyz: I have a feeling there’s gonna be a fight.


*Fat guy laughs at Sean and Carl and tells Igor (Philip Van der Byl) to throw them out. Carl smashes a bottle over his head but it has no effect. Igor throws Carl out of the way but Sean fights him off. Igor smashes through the pool table. A pier six brawl takes place with Sean wiping out everyone*

Warlock: Good call.


*Fat guy apologizes and says come with him. He leads the trio to his apartment upstairs. He’s gonna fill everyone in….until the cops show up. Fat guy goes over the building blueprints and say the bomb making facility isn’t totally protected. Mulgrew shows up outside with O’Reilly (Frantz Dobrowsky) in tow. Fat guy freaks out*

Warlock: Everybody panic!


*Fat guy says if anything happens, ask for Dr. Tamba (Ken Gampu). Sean and Carl run for it as Pango and fat guy are caught. The guy’s name is Freddie (Anthony Fridjhon) and O’Reilly shoots him in the head*

Warlock: So much for the fat man.


*O’Reilly grills Pango and Pango fights back as Sean and Carl jump out of the closet and attack.  Mulgrew goes to shoot them but O’Reilly says he wants them alive*

Warlock: Yeah, shoot to miss.


*Police search for Pango, Sean and Carl but they disguise themselves and run for the local mission*

Warlock: Always a church.


*Sarah (Robin Stille) brings Pango, Sean and Carl inside. The police show up and Sarah leads them to a mortuary. Sean “Is this what you do for a living?”

Warlock: Yeah really.


*Sarah makes everyone lie on slabs and cover themselves to look dead. Mulgrew goes to kick the door in and Sarah opens. She says they’re there to pick up the diseased bodies and Mulgrew goes inside alone. He walks around but doesn’t lift any sheets*

Warlock: Idiot should have lifted a few sheets.

Neyz: Yeah, what a dope.


*Mulgrew and the troops run off as Sarah introduces herself to Carl and Sean. Sean doesn’t want to involve Sarah and she says she already is. He volunteers to take her to Sulfer Springs and that’s it*

Warlock: That’s too easy.


*Mulgrew is torturing the bar patrons and he kills both of them before setting is sights on Igor. Igor tells him to fuck off before Mulgrew hangs him*

Warlock: Great for heel heat.


*O’Reilly tells Mulgew that the Americans have gotten away and Mulgrew says he should have killed Sarah like he killed her father. They put out an APB on them. Meanwhile Sean meditates by himself and puts together his weapons*

Warlock: Where the hell is Joe? We’re already 30 minutes into the movie.


*A whole gaggle of ninjas have Sean surrounded and he starts fighting them off, taking them all out singlehandedly despite being outnumbered 25 to 1. Carl tries shooting them but they dodge the bullets. Pango runs off as the others are captured*

Warlock: Now they need to be rescued too. Perfect time for Joe.


*A secret ninja training facility is shown with dozens of ninjas training. One person overlooks them. Maksood is with Mulgrew an Mulgrew says to execute the prisoners, Maksood says patience. Meanwhile the ninja leader runs around the obstacle course better than everyone else. Other ninjas fall to their deaths but the leader looks unbeatable*

Warlock: Establishing him as a badass early.


*Carl, Sean and Sarah are led in front of Maksood. Sean is kicked around without fighting back for a minute before he starts cleaning house. Maksood looks on concerned as Sean wipes out the competition. A tranquilizer dart stops Sean cold and Mulgrew taunts him*

Warlock: Oh yeah, big tough guy.


*Sean is brought to a dungeon. Maksood tells Mulgrew that they will be executed the next morning. Mulgrew forces one of the Delta Force survivors to lick his shoe or he gets whipped*

Neyz: Blerghhhh


*Carl is whipped by Mulgrew and Maksood says not to kill them yet. He wants Mulgrew to give Sarah a “stiff talking to”

Warlock: This autta be good.


*He goes to kiss up on her but she spits in his face*

Neyz: Hell yeah.


*Next frame shows Joe finally making his appearance inside a church of some kind. He wants to teach a bunch of kids about environment. A liason shows up and he sends the kids outside so they can talk. He says Sean and Carl have been captured and he wants Joe to help save them*

Warlock: Since when was Sean his friend?


*Montage of Joe doing menial tasks and thinking before he hops a plane. He lands in the country and runs into Pango. He tells him to take him to Sulfur Springs. Pango tells of what happened and says Sarah is in trouble along with Sean and Carl. He wants to know about Sulfur Springs and President Bender (Seth Sehloho) wants Mulgrew and Maksood gone but failed to get rid of them. Tamba is the key to an overthrow and Pango says Joe must convince him to join the cause*

Warlock: You get all that?

Neyz: So far.


*Pango’s car is attacked by ninjas and Joe wipes them out by himself. Pango and Joe make it to Tamba’s fortress and the gatekeeper laughs at them with a shotgun. He lets them in and Pango runs for it*

Warlock: Its like Mad Max up here.


*Gatekeeper wants to fight Joe and he takes on 3 tough guys by himself…and whips them easy. Tamba himself looks on with a smile. Gatekeeper cocks a shotgun and Joe disarms him as Tamba says to stop fighting*

Warlock: They’re on the same side!


*The gatekeeper says “Welcome to Sulfur Springs!” and everyone claps. Joe wants Tamba’s help to storm Maksood’s fortress and rescue everyone. Tamba says they’re having a party and they should show up as uninvited guests*

Neyz: Party crashers.


*President Bender and the Ambassador calls Mulgrew and Maksood scum. Mulgrew asks him to step outside and tells O’Reilly to hold his drink. Maksood and Mulgrew tell him that they’re going to execute all the Americans. Joe shows up disguised as a priest and O’Reilly spots him*

Warlock: Uh oh.


*O’Reilly follows Joe and says he’s under arrest and Joe knocks him out with the Vulcan nerve pinch*

Warlock: Mr. Spock would be proud.


*Joe snoops around for clues. Maksood and Mulgrew finds O’Reilly on the ground and O’Reilly said the priest did it. Joe grabs a map and gets away in time. He makes it to the getaway car as Maksood, Mulgrew and O’Reilly are too late*

Warlock: Yeah, take that you bastards.


*Back in the prison, everyone loses hope. Back in Maksood’s office they go over what to do. Maksood goes to pray as Mulgrew tells him Mecca is the OTHER way*

Warlock: Hahahahahaha


*Joe makes a new sword and the next day goes to fight alone as Tamba rallies the troops. They charge as O’Reilly warns Mulgrew. Joe is taking a speedboat in the back way as Maksood is in front waiting for Tamba’s crew*

Warlock: Half hour left to go, too early for the final battle.


*Maksood and Mulgrew enter the dungeon and taunts the prisoners. Mulgrew slaps Sarah around and Sean yells at him. Joe hops in a hole and changes into ninja gear. Maksood has the place rigged to blow and Mulgrew shuts it off just before it goes. Maksood wants to meet Allah and of course Mulgrew objects*

Warlock: Even he’s like “what the holy hell?”


*Joe climbs the walls as Tamba’s crew makes it to the ninja fortress. O’Reilly tells them to turn back and they laugh at him. Tamba’s troops open fire and storms the palace Mad Max style*

Warlock: Wonder how they didn’t get sued for that.


*Joe infiltrates the back way. Maksood and Mulgrew wonder what all the noise is, Mulgrew figures out Joe is going for the ammunition supply since the map was stolen. Joe continues to fight as Maksood loads up a chopper with the bomb inside. Meanwhile Joe fights off a gaggle of ninjas by himself*

Neyz: One man wrecking crew.


*The prisoners are brought out for a public execution. Joe catches an arrow in his teeth and spits it at a ninja, killing him*

Warlock: HAHAHAA WHAT????


*Joe rescues someone who starts attacking him. Its one of the ninjas*

Warlock: What a set up.


*Joe kills the ninja as Maksood delivers an epic speech*

Warlock: I’m convinced

Neyz: You are not.


*Maksood has one prisoner executed by lighting him on fire. Meanwhile Joe makes it outside in a yellow ninja suit*

Warlock: The inspiration for Scorpion?


*Joe uses smoke bombs to free Sean, who frees Carl. Sean frees Sarah and they attack the ninjas. Joe rescues a prisoner who rescues the other prisoners.  Maksood tells the Super Ninja (Kelly McClung) to take out Joe. They stare at each other before Joe’s crew backs away. Tamba’s troops storm the fortress and wipes out the ninjas*

Warlock: Charge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


*The Super Ninja wants Joe and the prisoners go to help fight the ninjas with Sarah staying behind. Maksood makes a run for the chopper and he goes to take off. Mulgrew runs for the chopper but it leaves before he can get on it. Mulgrew “You Arab prick!”

Warlock: Hahahahaha


*Carl uses a rocket launcher to blow Maksood’s chopper to smithereeens. Mulgrew takes Sarah prisoner and runs for it. Sean goes to rescue her. Meanwhile Joe and Super Ninja circle each other*

Warlock: About time.


*Joe and Super fight. Sean stalks Mulgrew and nearly gets wiped out with an axe. Sean kicks the shit out of him as Joe and Super are about equal. Sean spinkicks Mulgrew through a table as Joe spinkicks Super through onto a bunch of boxes. Joe tosses a small grenade on him….which blows Super Ninja to smithereens!*

Warlock: Light up the sky!


*Sarah and Sean hug and he says its over. Outside Joe hands the Scorpion outfit to Pango as Tamba smiles. Joe and Tamba shake hands as Sean and Sarah walk out.  Joe surveys the damage outside*

Warlock: Look at this mes! The saints preserve us!


*Joe “Sean….find me at school”  end credits*

Neyz: Thank god its over


Neyzor Blades Assessment: That was all kinds of boring, 4 out of 10

The Warlock’s Assessment: What a giant let down. I was hoping for a big team-up where Joe and Sean lay waste to terrorists but half the movie was Sean on his own and the other half was Joe trying to rescue him. The final 10 minutes didn’t make up for the previous 80. I give it a 4.5 out of 10

Final Grade: 4 out of 10 – Bad



*The Warlock rises from the couch*

Warlock: Well that wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen. Now it makes more sense not to have Curtis Jackson since David Bradley was more or less in that role. After all, can’t have too many protagonists in the movie right? Just kidding. Bottom line was they tried to put the two heroes together but they weren’t around each other long enough to really make it fun. Imagine a whole movie of them going back and forth, maybe even fighting each other and taking down Maksood at the end. Anyway that’s just mental masturbation. Now, joining us live via satelitte is the Grand Master of Martial Arts, Jon Blaze. Jon can you hear me?

*The dvd menu fades and Jon Blaxe appears on screen next to a tree wearing Joe’s yellow outfit from the movie*

Jon: Yes Warlock, thank you for having me. Its been a long time.

Warlock: Yes it has. We just got done watching American Ninja 4, only took us 6 months to do it. What can you tell us about the lack of usage of Joe and Sean together.

Jon: Anytime you have two main characters, sharing screen time us a problem. The producers felt to gie them justice was to have one dominate the first half and the other the second half.

Warlock: Which failed miserably.

Jon: I wouldn’t say that, it just didn’t work out that well.

Warlock: What did you think of the final battle?

Jon: Disappointing. Usually the ninja leader has a back story and a reason to get behind the character, not this time. That Super Ninja was not well developed at all.

Warlock: The writers got lazy.

Jon: That happens sometimes.

Warlock: Wasn’t there an American Ninja 5 planned?

Jon: Yes and no. What happened was they made a martial arts movie and slapped the American Ninja franchise tag on it for absolutely no reason. I suggest to stay away from it.

Warlock: For once I’ll take your advice.

Jon: Good man.

Warlock: Until next time.

Jon: Goodbye old friend.

*Blaze bows and the screen fades, the dvd menu returns*

Neyz: You are so full of shit. You’re going to find American Ninja 5 aren’t you?

Warlock: You betcha, but that’s not for a long while. I got other fish to fry right now.

Neyz: What do you mean?

Warlock: Have a pleasant evening.




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