Friday, 18 May 2018
Ninja Cheerleaders (2008)
Three beautiful, brainy college cheerleaders - who also happen to expertly-trained ninjas - moonlight as go-go dancers at the local strip club in order to raise sufficient money to attend an Ivy League school.
The strip club in question is owned by the trio's ninja master, and when he is kidnapped and their hard-earned nest egg stolen by a recently paroled mob boss, they swing into (poorly choreographed and performed) action.
Ninja Cheerleaders suffers from a number of issues. One of these is an identity crisis. 98% of the film is a goofy, PG-13 comedy. There's no blood, little bad language, and despite working in a strip club the main cast never lose their underwear. But then there are random scene breaks of a gyrating topless dancer. It's a bit like the film-makers made the movie and then decided it wouldn't work without some gratuitous skin. In actual fact, the gratuitous skin doesn't make it work any better.
The film's second issue - or actually issues - is its technical deficiencies. I've already mentioned that the action scenes are badly done, and so are the stripping scenes and the cheerleading scenes. Basically anything that requires physical activity is a bit rubbish. But that's okay, because the acting's not really very good either, so the non-physical scenes are also a bit rubbish, which at least keeps everything at the same level, I guess. Not that even great performances could have saved the script, which is badly structured, rarely funny when it wants to be, and fails to follow through on plot lines it introduces. Will one woman's adversarial relationship with her mom's boyfriend matter to the story? Nope. Will the cheerleading coach's crush on the same woman ever matter? Nope again! Will the theme of them being strong, independent women who don't need men to look after them at least be carried through to the climax of the film? Hell nope!
To be 100% honest, I could probably overlook all the many, many deficiencies of this film if it actually managed to be fun. There are many deeply flawed films I have thoroughly enjoyed. But Ninja Cheerleaders is not just a bad film, it's a boring one. And there's no coming back from that.