I’m Jealous of His Vietnamese Ninja Training – Blind Fury (1989)

PatchesBlind Fury is one of those movies I can watch over and over. I’ve only seen it twice now, but I know it’ll never get old for me. I mean, what’s not to like about a movie centered on a guy blinded in Vietnam only to be taught the ways of the ninja by some Vietnamese villagers? And his cane is a sword!

First things first: I had to set the mood before firing up Blind Fury:

SakeTo be fair, hot sake compliments just about every movie I watch, but even more so in this case.

The opening training montage is an interesting one for two reasons: 1) It seems the only thing he’s taught is how to distinguish the sound of flying fruit and subsequently slice it to shit, and 2) The entire village stands around him in a circle and laughs at him every time he fails. To be honest, I’m not entirely sold on that ninja training method, but I guess I can’t argue with the results.

Directed by Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, Salt), Blind Fury follows Nick Parker (Rutger Hauer) as he goes from an MIA soldier presumed dead to the protector of a small boy whose mother is killed and father forced to work as a chemist for a Reno casino mogul. The father – also Nick’s friend during Vietnam – is played by Terry O’Quinn, better known as John Locke on Lost. He has hair in this movie, though, which throws me off. I can’t tell if that makes his appearance better or worse. He’s always bald in my mind.

Hair = blasphemy

Hair = blasphemy

I love Hauer in this. Whether he’s pretending to bumble around like the poor blind man everyone thinks he is, or bonding with his ‘nam buddy’s totally ’80s model 10-year-old kid, he kicks ass. He’s also not afraid to use the oldest trick in the book during a fight in a cornfield. Ever since the advent of gun powder, I’m pretty sure the old ploy of yelling “Shoot!” at two bad guys while their backs are toward each other always ends in at least one of them turning around and shooting his comrade. You should try it next time you’re on the run from hillbillies in the middle of Kansas.

Mentoring Mullet Boy

Mentoring Mullet Boy

Sticking it to hapless hillbillies

Sticking it to hapless hillbillies

Needless to say, nobody can stop the unbridled rage, or blind fury as the case may be, of Hauer’s Nick Parker. Henchmen and corrupt cops alike are simply no match for his keen and cunning ways, and the end result of every fight is someone getting royally screwed over by Nick’s cane-sword. While it’s pretty obvious that Rutger Hauer isn’t really a blind ninja, the fights usually have good payoffs, and he does inject just the right amount of humor into his character.

Nick Parker knows when you're about to shoot.

Nick Parker knows when you’re about to shoot.

Well, that is unfortunate.

He also knows where your balls are located.

Not all of the humor hits, especially when we’re talking about the two ignoramuses who initially kidnap Nick and the kid in a van. Their comic relief is supposed to come in the form of total ineptitude when it comes to doing anything, ever. It really just comes off as forced and lame, but there are two scenes that somehow got it right. One is when they’re chasing Nick inside a casino, and they get stuck in an elevator going the wrong direction. It’s the only part in the movie that doesn’t feature me cringing at their herp-derp dialogue.

The other scene is toward the end as Nick is in the middle of taking down the casino mogul responsible for hunting him and Terry O’Quinn down. They’re so bad at being henchmen that they can’t even kill him while surrounding him in a tiny hallway. In fact, they end up shooting each other while Nick just stands there, dumbfounded. Unlike the rest of their schtick, it’s genuinely funny.

Derp.

Derp.

There’s also a sweet fight between Hauer and Shô Kosugi at the end, which reminds me that I think I’ll be watching Enter the Ninja sometime soon after this. Kosugi is great in his cameo, even if it is a little random. I’ll gladly take him popping out of the woodwork to do ninja battle with a blind man any day.

Blind Fury ends on a kind of bizarre note, but even so, Hauer nails the role, and the good cheese outweighs the bad. It’s a purely ’80s ridiculous action romp, and that’s okay in my book.

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About Sir Phobos

Male, 30-something, hates stupid things and likes non-stupid things
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8 Responses to I’m Jealous of His Vietnamese Ninja Training – Blind Fury (1989)

  1. Blind Fury is a fun movie. Good cheese is an accurate description.

  2. Balls give off a hum that’s undetectable to the normal human ear but is deafening to a blind ninja.

  3. mikeyb185 says:

    Hahaha this sums up everything I love about blind fury! I remember thinking it was the coolest film ever when I was a kid

  4. theipc says:

    Great post!! Hilarious!!

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