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"Haru" is a white man raised by a Ninja clan in Japan, after he was found as a baby on a shipwreck. They believed he might be the "White Ninja" prophesied by their legends, a foreigner who would grow up to become their greatest member.
However, Haru grows up to become both clumsy and clueless. Although disappointed in him, his clan still loves him like one of their own. In turn Haru idolizes Gobei, his "older brother" and the best Ninja of the clan.
One night, while the rest of the Clan is away, their Dojo is visited by a beautiful woman named Sally (Nicolette Sheridan) who wants to hire a Ninja to spy on her businessman boyfriend, whom she suspects is involved in shady deals. Haru, taken in by her beauty, tells her he is a full Ninja (he hasn't actually graduated yet) and goes on the mission.
It turns out that her lover is indeed a criminal, involved with the Yakuza in an international counterfeiting scheme- and a cold-blooded killer to boot. Obsessed with protecting Sally, he decides to go to Beverly Hills to find her. Unknown to him, Gobei is following him, and keeping him out of danger without his noticing.
In Beverly Hills, Haru meets Joey Washington (Rock) a hotel employee who, realizing that Haru is a ninja, begs him to be trained as one and helps him get around. Eventually Haru meets Sally again and, after several madcap events, finally confronts the criminals. When he finds out Gobei is in danger, he spontaneously develops full Ninja powers and rescues him and defeats the bad guys.
In the end, Haru, now declared a full Ninja by his clan, decides to stay in Beverly Hills (with Sally) though he proves to still be an accidental threat to people around him.
Tropes in Beverly Hills Ninja:
- Astral Projection: Apparently a standard Ninja power, though Haru isn't very good at it.
- Berserk Button:
Haru: I may not be a great ninja; I may not be one with the universe; but I will say this: NO ONE MESSES WITH MY BROTHER!
- Big Brother Instinct: Well repaid by Haru.
- The Chew Toy: Haru
- Clear My Name; Haru ends up suspected of a murder he didn't commit- twice.
- Counterfeit Cash: The villains' plans revolve around stolen printing plates.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: Haru seems to have gotten by mostly on luck throughout the film (and secret assistance). But when Gobei is besieged by enemy fighters, all that training must've clicked, because he wiped them all out to the appropriate soundtrack of "Kung Fu Fighting". Even more awesome when you consider that Chris Farley was pretty atheletic, and performed some of those stunts himself.
- Deus Ex Machina: Possibly justified if Haru really is the 'White Ninja'. Even he isn't sure afterwards.
- The Ditz: Haru again.
- The Dulcinea Effect
- Earn Your Happy Ending: You gotta give it Haru, he keeps trying.
- Everybody Must Get Stoned / Truth Serums: After Haru tries to use a "truth dust" on a prisoner.
- Everythings Better With Ninjas
- Hilarity Ensues
- It Came From Beverly Hills
- The Jinx: and again
- The Klutz: guess who.
- Master of Disguise: Gobei (and to an extent, Haru.)
- Mysterious Protector: Gobei
- Mighty Whitey: Averted. Haru is the most incompetent ninja in the entire movie, although this says less about his race than his character.
- Mistaken for Badass: Almost the entire plot hinges on Haru being consistently mistaken for a badass ninja.
- Old Shame: Chris Farley hated this movie.
- Sidekick: Joey
- Time Bomb: Used because.... it's funny.
- What Might Have Been: The lead role was originally written with Dana Carvey in mind.