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The Power Within (1995)

PG-13  |  Video  |   |  Action  |  24 October 1995 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 237 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

Stan Dryer, a teen, afraid to even ask a girl to the prom, finds courage and extreme martial arts skill when he is given a ring by an old man he tried to save from a group of attackers. The... See full summary »

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(screenplay) (as Jacobsen Hart) , (story) (as Jacobsen Hart) , 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Stan Dryer
...
Clyda Dryer
...
Eric Graves
...
Lt. Cabrell
...
Raymond Vonn
...
Yung
...
Sandy Applegate
...
Mrs. Applegate
...
Mosh
...
Dr. Richman
Karen Kim ...
Hin-See
...
Deriva
Jacob Parker ...
Deke Dryer
Marc Riffon ...
Rocky
...
Leon
Edit

Storyline

Stan Dryer, a teen, afraid to even ask a girl to the prom, finds courage and extreme martial arts skill when he is given a ring by an old man he tried to save from a group of attackers. The ring is a mate to a ring stolen by a double dealing art thief who had been hired to steal it by a criminal mastermind who wanted it for its mystical powers. Written by Jim Brawn <jim_brawn@amuc.mtroyal.ab.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The karate master gave him the ring and the desire... Now he must find the power!

Genres:

Action

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for martial arts violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

24 October 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Power Man  »

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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Stan, played by Ted Jan Roberts, returns from the beach, Deke and their mother are watching _Magic Kid (1993) (V)_, which Ted Jan Roberts also appeared in. See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to "HE WHO DESTINES ALL THINGS" See more »

Connections

References A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

IN MY WORLD
Written by Jim Halfpenny
Performed by Vicky and the Virgins
Strong Domino Music BMI
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Heaven is different for everyone. For me, it is fishing"
10 May 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This here's the first film adolescent karate star Ted Jan Roberts starred in after beginning his MASKED RIDER TV show, and his first feature following the same year's superior A DANGEROUS PLACE. THE POWER WITHIN isn't a bad movie but it's far from great - more of a middle-of-the-road thing, mixing magic and martial arts on a B-movie's budget with unsteady results. There's an interesting cast here and some decent fight scenes, but for all this one's potential, it still sort of comes up short.

The story: When one of two ancient, magic rings comes into the possession of a timid high schooler (Roberts), he acquires not only impressive new abilities but also an adversary in a dangerous thief seeking the ring (William Zabka).

The screenplay by PM Entertainment regular Joe Hart is a bit problematic. I don't think it's very effective in getting its point across. The lesson it imparts is that you ought to fulfill your potential, something which Ted's character eventually learns he can do even without magic jewelry, but the setups used to illustrate this are unrealistic and unfair. Prior to acquiring the ring, Ted gets chastised by everyone from his martial arts instructor (Michael DePasquale) to his little brother (the kid from EVENING SHADE) for getting beaten up by no less than five bullies, and after he gets the ring, a teacher challenges him with ridiculously complex history questions as though purposely trying to make him fail. Later he's arrested for beating up a load of goons in self-defense. Lighten up, folks!

Gerald Okamura, the wise old man Ted receives his ring from, plays a pretty strange character who introduces the inexplicable magical feats seen in the movie (e.g. teleporting, projecting visions, shooting explosive lightning), but I don't mind him since he delivers what might be the best fight scene of the movie, using smooth kung fu to take on a group of thugs. This is one of the few fights unmarred by unnecessary editing, which hurts the remaining six brawls to varying degrees. They're still watchable, especially the one wherein Ted gets back at the aforementioned bullies, but disappointingly, the worst fight is also the most important one: the final showdown between Ted and William Zabka. Zabka's fun to watch throughout the movie, with his crazy sunglasses and English accent, and by all means it should be intriguing to see him antagonize another karate kid, but it's all for naught when their only battle is a short, one-sided little thing that takes place in front of an unconvincing backdrop. I've definitely seen better.

Not unlike Roberts' previous MAGIC KID, a good portion of the film takes place in and acts as a pseudo-advertisement for the Universal Studios theme park, which is fun in a campy and corny way. Karen Valentine is interesting as Ted's on screen mother, and there's a lot of enjoyable weirdness throughout the film, like the unexplained presence of a chimpanzee in Gerald Okamura's house and Ted's inexplicable ninja dream. However, it's not crazy enough to be great on that leg alone, and as a fantasy/martial arts flick it doesn't deliver entirely either. If this sounds like your kind of thing, go for it, but I've seen better from the boy action hero.


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