ASIAN FILM - Review
14:03 - 8th April 2016, by NEO Staff

Rage Of Honour

After his partner Ray is killed by a drug cartel, Shiro Tanaka (Sho Kosugi) quits the Drugs Investigation Bureau and heads to South America to bring the drug lords to justice – ninja-style! This mid-career outing from Sho Kosugi, first released in 1987, ticks all the boxes for a mid-‘80s, low budget action movie. There’s the synthesiser-laden soundtrack, exotic but cheap to film in locations, and a script full of clichés. Tanaka’s boss is a stickler for doing things by the book, forcing the agent to go solo in his quest for vengeance, while the ninja’s girlfriend Jenny (Robin Evans) is strictly a damsel in distress in need of regular rescues.

At the helm is Gordon Hessler, whose credits include everything from the Kung Fu TV series to KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park. Sho Kosugi was never the most charismatic performer and many dialogue scenes are stiff, but the ninja angle is the obvious attraction. Kosugi is credited as choreographer and does his own kicking and punching, although he’s clearly doubled for the acrobatics.

The fight scenes can’t compete with what Hong Kong filmmakers were doing at the time in films like Armour Of God and Eastern Condors, but then the ninja craze hadn’t yet run out of steam in the US. Kosugi would do better work after this with Black Eagle and his excellent villainous turn opposite Rutger Hauer in Blind Fury.

Not the finest from America’s first ninja star, but Rage Of Honour offers some retro action.
SCORE: 2.5/5
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