This was my undisputed favorite movie when I a child. How could it not be my favorite movie; it had ninjas, lots and lots of ninjas.
American Ninja is the story of generically named Joe Armstrong, a army recruit who just transferred to Hawaii. On a routine transport mission, the convey is beset by ninjas... because ninjas are common in Hawaii. Everyone dies but Joe and the colonel's daughter, of course, and Joe leads her to safety after unleashing some of his ninjas skills on a few of the attackers.
Unbeknownst to Joe, the ninja master was standing atop a nearby hill with his arms crossed, watching the entire event unfold. He swore vengence against Joe for disrupting the ninjas' attempt to steal military weaponry. I suppose the ninjas wanted the gun because they kept getting their asses handed to them when they tried to attack people with swords. Anyway, Joe teams up with fellow soldier, the stereotypically named Curtis Jackson; who fills the role of sidekick as well as token black guy.
Throughout the movie, Joe and Jackson are attacked by ninjas again and again until they get to the stoic boss ninja. Joe kills him and everyone lives happily ever after; but not before Jackson blows up a helicopter with a rocket launcher.
It's easy to see why American Ninja was my favorite movie as a child, with the ninjas, explosions, and more ninjas. Watching it again, though, I'm saddened by how bad some of the choreography for the fight scenes were. I mean seriously, who dies after a shoulder throw?
I have no idea what the ninja in the back right is so happy about.