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The Power Within
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Power Within (V) More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Is Ted Jan Roberts "The man of your dreams"?

6/10
Author: Comeuppance Reviews from United States Minor Outlying Islands
12 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In this entertaining PM effort, Ted Jan Roberts, or, "TJ" as we like to call him, plays Stan Dryer, a shy 16-year-old kid who wants nothing more than to go to the prom with Sandy, but is too meek to ask. When an old man, Master Yung (Okamura), gives him half of a powerful ring that gives him confidence and excellent martial arts ability, his life changes for the better. The only problem is, the other half of the ring belongs to the dastardly Raymond Vonn (Zabka). Vonn desperately wants the other half of the ring so he can control the world. Will Stan defeat Vonn and make it to the prom? Find out today! TJ has formidable martial arts ability. He does impressive kicks and can knock out many baddies at once. Before Stan gets the Power Within, he is failing all his classes in school. After he gets it, he begins to ace his classes and is quite knowledgeable about the cold war, easily discussing "Gorby" with style and aplomb. At the prom, in the vein of Corey Feldman, with whom he co-starred in A Dangerous Place (1995), Stan strikes a Michael Jackson-like pose. Maybe The Power Within isn't ALL good.

Zabka as Vonn puts in a fun, over-the-top performance. He adds a lot of life and energy. He wears a blue kimono numerous times and chops cinderblocks with his hands. He has some memorable quotes, such as "If you keep pestering me, I'll send for your soul!", "Obey me or die!", and the strangely homoerotic "Remember me, Stan? The man of your dreams!" (Stan has weird dreams that feature Vonn, usually laughing maniacally). Also, one of Vonn's henchmen resembles Gene Simmons sans makeup. That is pretty intimidating.

Stan's brother Deke is the obnoxious little brat who likes to play his Game Boy and yell "Yeah!" He also admonishes his brother that he's "missing Magic Kid!" For those who don't know, Magic Kid (1993) and Magic Kid II (1994) both feature Ted Jan Roberts. How meta.

There is an inexplicable cameo by Don "The Dragon" Wilson. He is introduced, as himself, to a martial arts class. He gives Stan some life lessons. It's always nice to see the fan favorite, even if there is basically no reason to. He must have been on break from filming the PM vehicle CyberTracker (1994).

In all, "The Power Within" is a fun action/martial arts romp meant for teens. If you can find it, see it! For more insanity, please visit: comeuppancereviews.com

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"Heaven is different for everyone. For me, it is fishing"

5/10
Author: The_Phantom_Projectionist from United States
10 May 2015

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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"The Power Within"

6/10
Author: dee.reid from United States
8 January 2015

Art Camacho's 1995 martial arts fantasy flick "The Power Within" is good at what it wants to be - a martial arts fantasy flick with a good message about believing in yourself and your own abilities, and fulfilling your own potential.

Stan Dryer (Ted Jan Roberts) is an average teenager who's having trouble making the grade in school, gets beaten up by the bullies on the school's football team (despite the fact that Stan is taking lessons in Karate and is not very good at it), and is being urged by his best friend Eric Graves (Keith Coogan) to ask pretty popular girl Sandy Applegate (Tracy Melchoir) out to prom - but he's too scared to do so. In other words, he lacks any sense of self-confidence.

To top it off, one day, Stan manages to save the elderly martial arts master, Master Yung (Gerald Okamura), from thugs. Master Yung dies not long after the struggle, but not before having passed the mysterious and mystical Ring of Power onto Stan, who now finds himself in possession of incredible strength and martial arts skills. It turns out that the Ring of Power is actually the SECOND of two Rings of Power, the other belonging to Raymond Vonn (William Zabka, of "The Karate Kid"), an art thief and master criminal, who now wants both rings for himself.

"The Power Within" is very much a "B" movie for teenagers with some after-school special trappings, though it's not one without a good message about believing in yourself and your abilities. The acting is a mixed bag; Ted Jan Roberts, a kiddie actor known for his martial arts skills in Tae Kwon Do, is easily identifiable as the Everyman that the audience can latch onto, even if his performance is a little bit hammy at times. William Zabka is by far the film's strongest performer, even if he comes off as nothing more than just a standard movie bad guy (which is not too far removed from the violent teenage black belt he played in "The Karate Kid").

6/10

P.S.: International Kickboxing legend Don "The Dragon" Wilson makes an inspiring walk-on cameo as himself...

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The Karate Kid meets The Lord of the Rings

5/10
Author: wes-connors from Los Angeles
18 January 2010

Attractive sixteen-year-old Ted Jan "T.J." Roberts (as Stanley "Stan" Dryer) is urged to hook up with older pretty woman Tracy Melchior (as Sandy Applegate) after the senior prom, by chubby pal Keith Coogan (as Eric). Although Ms. Melchior seems ripe and willing, Mr. Roberts is too shy to get up the nerve. Meanwhile, martial arts badass William Zabka (as Raymond Vonn) is looking to acquire, by any violent means, an ancient Chinese ring to match the one he wears - the wearer of both rings is promised incalculable power.

Roberts' mother, actress Karen Valentine (as Clyda) worries that her son might be a wimp, but worries more when he is given the other ring of power, which is formerly worn by his mystical guardian angel, Gerald Okamura (as Yung). Wearing the ring, Roberts becomes a martial arts master, and gets his girl. But, he must also battle Mr. Zabka, who wants both rings of power. Nice to see "Griffith Observatory", Roberts as a smaller guy with a killer kick, and Ms. Valentine aka "Pigtail Peggy" - or was it "Alice Johnson"?

***** The Power Within (10/24/95) Art Camacho ~ Ted Jan Roberts, William Zabka , Karen Valentine, Keith Coogan

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

As a Martial Arts Movie...

10/10
Author: LoneWolf-39 (loneeagle1975@icqmail.com) from Australia
24 November 2000

As a Martial Arts Movie The Power Within is not a badly put together display of moves. It gives you a sense of self awareness you didn't know you had.

It teaches you not to think of yourself a failure all the time but to put in what you've got. To be able to show others I CAN DO IT.

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9 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

A story about finding the Power within yourself.

10/10
Author: Flmcrtic from Los Angeles, California USA
29 May 2001

This film shows what you can do with little money and lots of imagination. The story is simple and well told. The action is not high tech or computer animation driven. It is exciting never-the- less. The martial arts choreography is very strong without being too campy or gimmicky. TJ Roberts is the real McCoy in his martial arts. I think the title says it all. It's a fun adventure into discovering your true potential.

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