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R: ARCHIVE, S: REVIEWS, D: 01/23/1997,

Beverly Hills Ninja

Take it from someone who enjoyed Ace Ventura, thought Tommy Boy had its moments, and has laughed at least once at Chris Farley jiggling his big belly -- Beverly Hills Ninja is a very bad film even by Saturday Night Live alumni movie standards. Too bad, because you'd think a movie that combined America's obsessions with wealth, karate flicks, and fat people would have struck fools' gold. Throw in tight-skirt-wearing blonde bimbo Nicollette Sheridan and director Dennis Dugan (Happy Gilmore) should have had 13-year-old boys across the land creaming in their shorts. But Dugan's left out all the jokes, and not even the most pimpled adolescent will be in the mood for a poorly acted, plotless drama about the mishaps of the Great White Ninja.

One odd thing about Beverly Hills Ninja is that Farley hardly gets into any karate fights. But the biggest disappointment is watching the talented Chris Rock embarrass himself as a bellboy who wallows in black stereotypes. Where's Farley's buddy David Spade when you need him to ask sarcastically, "And this movie is funny because?"

-- Mark Bazer