Two kids with martial arts training and their black belt father rescue a female professor from gangsters, because they want a stone tablet that she has discovered which may lead to untold ...
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Two kids with martial arts training and their black belt father rescue a female professor from gangsters, because they want a stone tablet that she has discovered which may lead to untold riches. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"What would your mother say if she saw what you're doing now?!"
Despite having one of the shorter careers among the crop of early-90s action heroes, Dale Cook nonetheless found the time to try and make stars out of a couple of kids he might have chosen at random from the local karate school. The vehicle he co-stars them in would be his only PG-rated film to date, and also the only one of his which features established stars that the average American viewer would recognize. Seeing how disappointing this one turned out, it seems like a waste of resources...
The story: When Jimmy (Lorne Berfield) and Lisa (Crystal Summers) - the children of kickboxing champion Greg Matthews (Cook) - witness the kidnapping of an archaeologist (Linda Blair) by a gangster looking to find a lost treasure (Joe Estevez), they take it upon themselves to save her by employing their martial talents.
I have to admit, Lorne Berfield and Crystal Summers definitely look like they've had some legitimate martial arts training, and the script is so weak that they can't really be held accountable for their dramatic shortcomings, but honestly, I'm not surprised that these two didn't have much of a career in movies. They have little charisma, and their characters are a whiny duo whose physical competence is largely the result of the sheer incompetence of the goofy henchmen they beat up again, and again, and again. Even Joe Estevez's character is a pathetic goof who's easily foiled by slapstick antics. Surrounded by such buffoonery, Dale Cook himself manages to look like a decent actor, but the only standout dramatic parts are delivered by Linda Blair, in some weird-out scenes wherein she's hypnotized and some reverted back to childhood.
The film's heavy-handed comedy begs you to not take the movie seriously, but comedy itself isn't very funny if you're older than six or seven. The majority of the villains are so stupid and the majority of the physical comedy is so poorly set up that it's almost embarrassing to watch, like a college production gone awry. This bleeds over to the martial arts content, which - while ample - doesn't deliver what anyone who's already seen a couple of karate flicks could want. There are ten fights, but most of these gimmicky, one-sided encounters wherein the kids beat up Robert Z'dar and Chuck Williams. The vastly underrated Ron Hall shows up in the beginning and end of the movie to do some flips and throw some kicks, but while his fight with Dale Cook is the best of the picture, it's tarnished by speedy editing.
The muddy production values make the film visually indistinguishable from the rest of Cook's work, but even the Apollo of the kickboxing circuit has done better than this. If you're really interested in this for some reason, don't buy it for over a couple of bucks, and otherwise don't bother with it at all.
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