A retired boxer tries to help a new student, Matthew Miller, who is being targeted by bullies. While learning to box and stand up to his tormentors the young boxer must learn to overcome his tumultuous past.
Dan Barnes (Steve Austin) is a former pro boxer who retired after growing weary of his violent existence. Now a school janitor, Dan tries to help a new student, Matthew Miller (Daniel Magder), who is being targeted by bullies. While Matthew learns how to box and stand up to his tormentors, one of whom is the school boxing champ (Jaren Brandt Bartlett), Dan's new found role as a teacher helps him come to terms with his tumultuous past.Written by
First of all, I can tell you what this movie is in one sentence - The Karate Kid, with no swearing, no karate, and no one who really cared...with a little dash of Rocky.
Knockout is a low-budget, TV movie for the family channel knockoff of the karate kid, just with Boxing replacing Karate. And if you haven't seen The Karate Kid, i strongly suggest you watch it (The '84 edition and it's '86 sequel are great coming-of-age films.) before watching this. Trust me, you don't want to watch this first, then karate kid and call Karate kid "A good rip-off" of Knockout.
Matt Miller (Daniel Magder) is a 15-year old who is thrust out of his comfortable life to go to Aldergrove, a small, nowhere special type of town. (Actually, Aldergrove is a neighborhood in Langley, British Columbia, less than an hour's drive away from my hometown.) His mother has started a new life after her husband has left the family, and it's not clear whether he is dead or it was a divorce, but if it's a rip-off of TKK, most likely he has died. Upon entering school, Matt makes 2 friends and thanks to a dare from one of them, he makes an enemy of school jock, Hector, who also happens to be a boxing prodigy. As Hector repeatedly harrasses and bullies Matt, the school Janitor, Dan Barnes (Stone Cold Steve Austin) becomes aware of it, and winds up training Matt to fight to protect himself.
Yep, it's karate kid through and through. Matt Miller is Daniel LaRusso, Dan Barnes is Mr. Miyagi, Hector is Johnny, Ruby is Alie, and Coach Harward is Kreese.
First of all, the acting is really bad. While you may think since Stone Cold Steve Austin is a good actor, he might have carried the film? Sure. He's the best actor in the movie, and he was phoning it in pretty much the whole time. It's almost as if the director was scared to ask him to re-shoot his scenes in fear of Austin walking off the set thinking it was a waste of his time.
Or maybe he was scared of SCSA giving him a stone cold stunner and drinking a steveweiser over his fallen carcass.
The main star, Daniel Magder, has about as much skill in acting as a pornstar does. He's either overacting, or not acting well enough. He can't get that balanced throughout the movie. his banter with SCSA feels like he's reading it off the script and it doesn't come off natural. His arguements with his mother and father are hardly believable. I can see why this guy got roles with shows on the family channel.
But by far, the worst part is the script. It's one of the most skeletal, vanilla flavored, boring scripts I can think of. And when i say vanilla, i mean the supermarket-branded vanilla flavored ice cream. It's not as good as the breyer's or the chapman's brand. Every word, phrase is either cliche or laughable. (Seriously, How many high school kids call someone a birdbrain?) And remember how i said "family channel" film? How can you give a role to SCSA without him saying any H-E Double hockey sticks or those things beavers build?
So why did I buy this movie for 3 dollars at a Dollarama? Because Stone Cold Steve Austin was on the cover.
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