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Parents' Guide to

Beverly Hills Ninja

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Pratfall violence, crude humor in silly Farley movie.

Movie PG-13 1997 88 minutes
Beverly Hills Ninja Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Kids say (4 ):

Some comedies cannot be saved, no matter the talents of those involved, and Beverly Hills Ninja is such a movie. It was the last movie starring Chris Farley to be released during his lifetime, and while no one would expect a "Chris Farley Movie" to be anything but pure silliness mixed with pratfall after endless pratfall, his talents alone couldn't save what amounts to a dumb and very thin story. The over reliance on Farley's talent gets old within the first 30 minutes, as each scene essentially amounts to a set up and excuse for Farley to knock things over, fall down, and engage in the antics that made him one of the true luminaries of 1990s comedy, on Saturday Night Live and beyond.

It's not without some genuine funny moments that go beyond "big guy fall down go boom" humor. When Farley channels his inner Midwesterner to go in disguise as the annoyingly garrulous Chet Walters, his voice and mannerisms are as funny as his Matt "Van Down by the River" Foley character on Saturday Night Live, or his cameo as the bus driver in Billy Madison. Unfortunately, Farley didn't get enough moments like these to break out beyond increasingly-tiresome clumsiness and stale sexual euphemisms. The result is a ridiculous premise maintained by a formulaic storyline that loses steam at least 30 minutes before the movie actually ends.

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