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The Forgotten Chris Farley Flop Getting A Second Chance On Netflix

If you're ranking the all-time greatest Saturday Night Live cast members, it would be hard not to put Chris Farley in the top ten. Performing alongside comedic heavyweights like Phil Hartman, Dana Carvey, and Mike Myers, Farley was easily one of the funniest and most physically-gifted stars on the show, amassing myriad memorable sketches including "Chippendales," "Gap Girls," "The Chris Farley Show," and of course "Matt Foley," the motivational speaker. But, like fellow his SNL cast members of the early '90s — including Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and David Spade — the late comic actor wasn't always a critical darling when it came to his films. If you browse his starring roles on Rotten Tomatoes, Farley's movies all fall below a critic's score of 50%, even going as low as 8%.

Luckily, Netflix is giving one of Farley's flops a second chance to shine. The streaming platform has been able to revive numerous flops over the years and now it's giving that same opportunity to the forgotten Beverly Hills Ninja. The action comedy centers around Farley playing Haru, an American boy raised by Japanese warriors. The ninjas anticipate Haru will fulfill the prophecy of the Great White Ninja. But Haru instead becomes a disappointment, unable to keep up with intense training required to become a ninja.

Critics were not fond of Beverly Hills Ninja

Released in 1997, the Beverly Hills Ninja provided a perfect platform for Farley to showcase his comedic skills, both physical (as a bumbling warrior-wannabe who can't quite handle ninja weaponry correctly) and character work (impersonating a Hibachi chef and a loudmouth businessman). And other comedic talents appeared in the film: Rock played bellboy and aspiring ninja Joey Washington and MADtv's Will Sasso was the fast-talking Chet Walters. Despite the film's talented cast, most critics didn't find the movie brought out the best in Farley. Stephen Holden of the New York Times wrote you should only watch the movie "If you're nostalgic for the third grade and all those little wads of wet paper bouncing off the back of your neck." Mike D'Angelo of Entertainment Weekly gave the movie an "F," criticizing is for basing all of its humor around Farley's weight: "...he's obese, see, and yet he's this ninja, this very large, clumsy ninja, and...and...well, that's why it's funny. See?"

But, over 20 years later, Farley's films are getting second lives. Tommy Boy, which was awarded only one star by Roger Ebert upon its release, is now considered a classic comedy and, like Beverly Hills Ninja, is getting a revival on Netflix. Tragically, Farley died in 1997 and never got a chance to see how his fanbase would grow throughout the years.