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Balance of Power (1996)

 -  Action  -  25 March 1997 (USA)
4.6
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Ratings: 4.6/10 from 233 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 5 critic

A martial arts expert who runs a dojo for under-privileged kids from a dilapidated warehouse is shaken down by gangsters demanding protection money. Then when one of his students is gunned ... See full summary »

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Title: Balance of Power (1996)

Balance of Power (1996) on IMDb 4.6/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Niko
...
Todo Matsumoto
...
Jasmine Matsumoto (as Lisa Boynton)
Denis Akiyama ...
Hastishita
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Shinji Takamura
...
Slater
Lawrence Nakamura ...
Monk #1
Peter Schindelhauer ...
Monk #2
Adam Bonneau ...
Billy Scott
Simon Kim ...
Tabata
...
Bodyguard #1 (as Christopher Clements)
Phil Chiu ...
Bodyguard #2
Scott Hogarth ...
Swordsman #1
Dave Geneau ...
Swordsman #2
Sasha St. George ...
Leo
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Storyline

A martial arts expert who runs a dojo for under-privileged kids from a dilapidated warehouse is shaken down by gangsters demanding protection money. Then when one of his students is gunned down in the street by the gang, he swears revenge. Meanwhile the gang leader is setting up a death match between the best fighters and is forcing a former trainer to find a new champion by threatening his granddaughter. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

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Action

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and some language | See all certifications »
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25 March 1997 (USA)  »

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Balance of Power  »

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User Reviews

 
Badly acted, poorly written, yet still entertaining fight flick!
12 April 2006 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

Billy Blanks is a lousy actor, but the Tae-Bo superstar can sure kick major butt. In Hidden Tiger he stars as Niko, a martial arts teacher who runs a dojo for kids in the local ghetto. When the boss of the Asian mafioso threatens his school, he must enter the underworld fight circuit in order to save those he loves and destroy the enemy for good.

Hidden Tiger isn't a great action movie by a long shot, but at least it avoids committing the sin of being boring. For although the acting is bad, the plot unbelievable and the script poorly written, the movie does succeed in being entertaining, albeit in a thoroughly cheesy manner. Action movie stereotypes abound: Billy Blanks's character is the all round good guy whose only interest is in keeping his kids on the straight and narrow, Mako is the wise mentor Matsumoto who teaches Niko the secrets of internal balance and control, Lisa Boynton plays Matsumoto's spunky daughter Jasmine, and James Lew is all-round bad guy fighter Takamura who will stop at nothing to win.

Director Rick Bennett ensures that all of the expected clichés are present and rarely injects proceedings with any originality, preferring to take the road most travelled. Hence, we get the obligatory training scenes, the tragic killing of Niko's student by bad guy Takamura, the kidnapping of the Master's daughter and the final showdown between our hero and main villain; predictable, yes, but kinda fun too! A classic Martial Arts movie this is not, but enough enjoyment can be had to make this one worth a viewing.


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