Film: Beverly Hills Ninja

Beverly Hills Ninja is a 1997 comedy film starring the (late) comedian Chris Farley and Chris Rock. It is a parody of the American Ninja film series.

Haru is a white man raised by a Ninja clan in Japan, after he was found as a baby on a shipwreck. They believed he might be the "White Ninja" prophesied by their legends, a foreigner who would grow up to become their greatest member. However, Haru grows up to become both clumsy and clueless. Although disappointed in him, his clan still loves him like one of their own. In turn Haru idolizes Gobei, his "older brother" and the best Ninja of the clan.

One night, while the rest of the Clan is away, their Dojo is visited by a beautiful woman named Sally (Nicolette Sheridan) who wants to hire a Ninja to spy on her businessman boyfriend, whom she suspects is involved in shady deals. Haru, taken in by her beauty, tells her he is a full Ninja (he hasn't actually graduated yet) and goes on the mission. It turns out that her lover is indeed a criminal, involved with the Yakuza in an international counterfeiting scheme- and a cold-blooded killer to boot. Obsessed with protecting Sally, he decides to go to Beverly Hills to find her. Unknown to him, Gobei is following him, and keeping him out of danger without his noticing.

In Beverly Hills, Haru meets Joey Washington (Rock) a hotel employee who, realizing that Haru is a ninja, begs him to be trained as one and helps him get around. Eventually Haru meets Sally again and, after several madcap events, finally confronts the criminals. When he finds out Gobei is in danger, he spontaneously develops full Ninja powers and rescues him and defeats the bad guys. In the end, Haru, now declared a full Ninja by his clan, decides to stay in Beverly Hills (with Sally) though he proves to still be an accidental threat to people around him.


Tropes in Beverly Hills Ninja:

  • Astral Projection: Apparently a standard Ninja power, though Haru isn't very good at it.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Well repaid by Haru.
  • Big "NO!": Whenever Haru enters and exits the Plane of Enlightment.
  • Blindfolded Trip: Parodied. Haru is blindfolded when he is first taken to the Tanley's warehouse. Later, he blindfolds himself and tries to use his "ninja skills" to remember the route. He is completely clueless, of course. Luckily, Gobei knows the route well and takes the wheel without Haru knowing.
  • Gobei. He endures so much punishment in this movie you come to think that the world hates him.
  • Clear My Name: Haru ends up suspected of a murder he didn't commit. Twice.
  • Deus ex Machina: Possibly justified if Haru really is the 'White Ninja'. Even he isn't sure afterwards.
  • Disguised in Drag: Gobei at one point disguises himself as a woman to blend in and watch Haru without giving himself away.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Played straight with Haru, who at one point goes so far as to charge into enemy territory wearing black with a sword on his back through the front gate in broad daylight. Averted with Gobei, who's very good at staying hidden or blending in.
  • Karma Houdini: The honored elder at the Little Tokyo Temple. Lampshaded when one of the Kobudosai gang members, after the elder favors Tanley with the plates instead of the Kobudosai, says, "You won't get away with this!" the elder replies, "Yes, I will!" while the elder and Tanley's men point their guns at the Kobudosai.
  • Mighty Whitey: Averted. Haru is the most incompetent ninja in the entire movie, although this says less about his race than his character.
  • Mistaken for Badass: Almost the entire plot hinges on Haru being consistently mistaken for a badass ninja.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Every scene where Haru is framed. Martin Tanley kills someone, the body lands near Haru, a witness or a cop sees it and thinks Haru did it.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Haru's disguises frequently include fake mustaches.
  • Shamu Fu: Haru at one point beats up a thug with a pair of giant fish. It actually works pretty well.
  • Time Bomb: Used because.... it's funny.
  • Took a Level in Badass: For most of the film Haru is hopelessly inept at being a ninja. But during the final battle he suddenly becomes a badass, surprising the hell out of Gobei.