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Film / Surf Ninjas

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Kwansu, dudes!
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Johnny and Adam were perfectly ordinary brothers. Surfing afternoons and weekends, and attending school during the day. Then comes a mysterious stranger with an Eyepatch of Power and news of an unbelievable heritage. Adventure ensues as the brothers journey to obtain their birthright.

Surf Ninjas is a family film with martial arts starring Ernie Reyes Jr., Rob Schneider, Nicolas Cowan, and Leslie Nielsen. It's...not terrible by any means, though it's not all that great either, though it's hard to say whether, like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the So Bad, It's Good-ness was on purpose.


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This film provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Long Stairway: There's one on Colonel Chi's island and one mook is repeatedly pushed down those stairs. He manages to return after the bad guys have lost. He throws himself back down them in defeat upon this news.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Taken to the point of lampshading in the final assault.
    Mac: You can't go after [Colonel Chi] alone, Johnny.
    Adam and Iggy: [in unison] He can if it's his destiny.
  • Big Bad: Colonel Chi has been a warlord for a long time and is the one keeping Johnny from reclaiming the throne and freeing his country.
  • Binocular Shot: Spoofed with Zatch, who only has one eye and his POV shot is half obscured.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: When the one-eyed Zatch notes he wants to quit smoking, Iggy suggests "you get the patch." He then looks to the camera to note who he's talking to.
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  • Brick Joke: "Baba Ram" returns just before the ending credits after Johnny gives him an embarrassing concert at the beginning of the movie. The Baba Ram finds it Actually Pretty Funny.
  • Cool Crown: Johnny, Adam, and Ro-May all wear one at Johnny's coronation/abdication though Johnny does admit that he likes the crown before he resigns
  • Crazy-Prepared: Spence surprises everyone by showing up after being handcuffed below.
    Spence: I had a key.
    Johnny: Where? We searched you.
    Spence: I swallowed it last Tuesday.
    Johnny: How'd you know you were going to need it?
    Spence: I swallow it every Tuesday.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Iggy, particularly in the scene where Johnny's future bride is introduced, wearing a veil. Johnny and Adam both make snarky comments hinting about why she might be wearing a veil. Iggy says it flat out because he can't find a rhyme.
  • Dramatic Slip: Colonel Chi is knocked down and stepped on by an elephant, necessitating cybernetic replacements for much of his body. However, he has a good three seconds of hammily screaming to the camera during which he easily could have avoided the elephant's foot.
  • Extreme Sport Excuse Plot: Colonel Chi's island does not have an easy assault method. Adam realizes they could quickly construct surfboards to attack by sea.
  • Exact Words: Just before the infiltration of Colonel Chi's island by surfboards, Iggy reveals to Johnny and Adam that he has never surfed a day in his life. Which they already knew anyway. But then Johnny says "But what if you could? The ability is within you." Obviously he wasn't talking about Iggy's non-existent "What If" power.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Zatch has an eye patch after receiving a wound from Colonel Chi. This does not slow him down.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Threatened by an Irish "very distant" relative. To whit: Don't make me come down there and beat yew wi' tha leg o' mine tha' no longer works, cause AH'LL DO IT!
  • Groin Attack: Adam uses his Game Gear to control Colonel Chi's mechanical arm and make him squeeze his balls painfully.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Most of Colonel Chi's forces, which elicits a sarcastic remark from Iggy.
  • Instant Expert: Seems to be one of Adam's powers.
  • Kiai: Everybody. Even the elephant.
  • Literal-Minded: Iggy finds a crate of dynamite sticks. Johnny tells him to throw one at a truck that's chasing them. Iggy throws one at them without lighting it and hits the driver's head, causing the bad guys to crash.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Zatch is Johnny and Adam's uncle. He tells them after he got injured.
  • Martial Arts Headband: Johnny, Adam, and Iggy all get one, though Iggy's receipt is played for laughs.
  • Mondegreen: The "Baba Ram" receives a ceremonial concert from Johnny at his high school. The ceremony is the song "Barbara Ann" by the Beach Boys.
  • Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: Colonel Chi uses a machine gun against Johnny in their fight. Needless to say, it proves ineffective against Johnny, who parries several bullets with his sword.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: Colonel Chi invokes this after losing his machine gun, saying that now that because Johnny still has his sword but he doesn't have his gun, it's no longer a fair fight. Amazingly enough, in what can only be a strange combination of Genre Savvy and Honor Before Reason, Johnny actually agrees with this self-serving argument and puts away his sword. The two of them finish the battle unarmed, allowing for a resolution that doesn't involve someone's skin getting punctured.
  • Power Overhaul: Both the brothers.
    • Johnny becomes a more competent martial artist through the movie with one such revelation being accompanied by Beethoven's 9th taking over the soundtrack.
    • Adam's predictive powers transcend his Game Gear when its batteries run out.
  • Precision F-Strike: At least a "F" as a PG movie will allow.
    Johnny: Adam, you're driving!
    Adam: Ain't it bitchin'?
  • Product Placement:
    • Adam uses a Game Gear to predict the future and control people. And he does this by playing a game called "Surf Ninjas". That's right, he predicts the future by playing the video game adaptation of the movie he's a character in. (And there really was a "Surf Ninjas" game for the Game Gear.)
    • While the boys get ready for school at the start of the film, a box of Kellogg's Froot Loops cereal sits in plain sight on the kitchen table.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: What kicks off the plot. Johnny and Adam discover that they are the long lost crown princes of a remote island called Patu San.
  • Red Right Hand: Colonel Chi's mechanical arm.
  • Rule of Funny: In the restaurant fight, Adam is 'playing' the fight on his Game Gear, and selecting how things will go. When the time comes to choose weapons to fight off ninjas, he selects the funniest ones, and gets more points for it.
  • Ruling Family Massacre: It's mentioned that when Colonel Chi took over he murdered the entire royal family except for the two young princes and their uncle Zatch.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Johnny, the first time he uses a blade, refers to Zorro.
    • Zatch mentions a man named Gum-Bey. Johnny quips that it must be Po-Key's friend.
  • So Nineties, It Hurts: Surfing, Game Gear, gratuitous ninja. It dates the movie permanently in the 90's.
  • Surfer Dude: Both Johnny and Adam take surfing really seriously. Iggy's pretends he is and it's played for laughs.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: Both the brothers are told they have tremendous skill. They don't believe this until push comes to shove and they suddenly do have tremendous skill.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • A stuntman assures Miss Hu that he could take her kicking him in the nuts. He can't.
    • Iggy reminds the others that the gas in their house was left on, and says "What if our house blows up?" It immediately does. Iggy then proceeds to blame himself for having caused the explosion by Tempting Fate, and concludes that he must have Tempting Fate as a superpower:
      Iggy: Something happened, I don't know what it is, but now every time I say WHAT IF about something it comes true, and back there I said "What if the the house blows up", and it blew up!
      [beat]
      Iggy: Wow, I have this tremendous responsibility! What if I lose this power?
      [beat]
      Iggy: Oh my gosh... I just said "What if I lose this power?" Damn it, I had it, then I lost it!
  • The Good Kingdom: Patu San was described as being such for thousands of years before Colonel Chi overthrew the royal family.
  • Thousand-Year Reign: It is mentioned that Patu Sans royal family has ruled the island for four thousand years. note 
  • Token Minority: Lieutenant Spence, played by Tone Loc, is the sole black person in the movie.
    Spence: Brothers don't surf!
  • Two-Faced: Colonel Chi's face was repaired with cybernetics after being partially crushed.
  • Waif Prophet: Adam predicts the future and sees solutions to problems without having any downsides to this trope.
  • Warrior Prince: Johnny is expressly called this and given a headband meant for Patu Sani Warrior Princes to mark him as such. They also mention Patu San has been ruled by these for four-thousand years
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Because of his cybernetics Colonel Chi can't touch water.

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