The Black Ninja

  • 2003
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Action, Comedy, Martial Arts

This retro diversion modernizes the Zorro legend while paying campy tribute to Blaxploitation classics of the 1970s. Maliq Ali (Clayton Prince) was once an idealistic attorney, but now earns big bucks defending Philadelphia's low-lifes. Years ago, he indulged in fee-gouging with the wrong client, murderous ninja Shinji Hagiwara (Yuki Matsuzaki). Hagiwara...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This retro diversion modernizes the Zorro legend while paying campy tribute to Blaxploitation classics of the 1970s. Maliq Ali (Clayton Prince) was once an idealistic attorney, but now earns big bucks defending Philadelphia's low-lifes. Years ago, he indulged in fee-gouging with the wrong client, murderous ninja Shinji Hagiwara (Yuki Matsuzaki). Hagiwara retaliated by killing Maliq’s wife and children. Apparently without a moral compass, Maliq will now defend any crook who comes his way. But Maliq lives a double life: By day he’s a shyster, by night he’s a vigilante nicknamed the Black Ninja. His dual existence is put to a severe test when Maliq falls for psychiatrist Dr. Tracey Allen (Carla Brothers). His underworld clients have put out a hit on her because she witnessed a cold-blooded shooting by made-man Tony Fanelli (Nick DeMatteo). As the Black Ninja, Maliq does his darndest to protect Tracey from Tony’s hired assassin, Shinji Hagiwara! To prevent Tracey from testifying, Hagiwara — now known as the Red Ninja — kidnaps her. With Tracey in the clutches of his nemesis, the Black Ninja complies with his enemy's requests, even helping commit a jewel heist. After immobilizing Tony with acupuncture, the Black Ninja faces a rematch with Hagiwara. Although this urban action picture seems to exist in a pop-cultural time warp, the cast keeps its collective tongue firmly in cheek. Writer-director Clayton Prince's film doesn't resurrect the glory days of

SHAFT, but it does spoof super heroics with considerable verve.

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  • Released: 2003
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This retro diversion modernizes the Zorro legend while paying campy tribute to Blaxploitation classics of the 1970s. Maliq Ali (Clayton Prince) was once an idealistic attorney, but now earns big bucks defending Philadelphia's low-lifes. Years ago, he indul… (more)

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