Reviews, REVIEWS: Action & Thrillers — January 9, 2018 at 11:06 pm

REVIEW: The Martial Arts Kid (2015)

martial-arts-kid-2015

By Tim Tal

Robbie (Jansen Panettiere) is a troubled teen from Cleveland (Ohio), who cannot seem to have the guts to take his life under control. Having no parents, with constant police encounters, Robbie soon finds himself on his way to Florida, where his grandmother sends him off to.

Robbie is welcomed by his aunt Cindy (Cynthia Rothrock) and his uncle Glen (Don The Dragon Wilson). Robbie doesn’t really embrace the fresh start, as he quickly becomes a bullying victim in and out of school.

However, it doesn’t take long before his aunt and uncle, who happen to be martial artists, teach him not only the self-defense techniques he so desperately needs, but very important life lessons as well.

Yes, “The Martial Arts Kid” is a different take on the well-known “The Karate Kid”. So before rushing with judgement and labeling the film as a “poor man’s Karate Kid”, there are a few things to be said about this film.

First of all – “The Martial Arts Kid” scores big with its cast, which seems like a perfect fit. Robbie (Jansen Panettiere) looks and behaves exactly like someone you want to steal lunch from or punch him in the face. If he was to fight Daniel from “the Karate Kid”, I wouldn’t bet on Daniel for sure.

As for Cynthia Rothrock and Don the Dragon Wilson, the two legendary martial arts stars share the screen time and have great chemistry. They have previously appeared in such action films as “Sci-Fighter” and “Death Fighter”. Mr Miyagi wouldn’t stand a chance against this duo…

THINGS TO SEE:

– Don The Dragon Wilson fighting TJ Storm!
– Cynthia Rothrock does a “belly dance” at a party. And she looks just as good dancing, as when she’s fighting.
– Lots of cameos of well-known martial artists

The downside of “The Martial Arts Kid” is sloppy editing with some of the scenes. For example, the films boasts with cameos of accomplished, well-known martial artists, and the great Pete Cunningham’s cameo is so badly cut, he’s barely seen. Same is with some other non-fighting scenes.

To sum it all up – “The Martial Arts Kid” is a martial arts drama about a story that is familiar to a lot of youngsters around the globe. And, they also left some room to a sequel…

“The Martial Arts Kid” is your modern “Karate Kid” that didn’t win any Oscars, didn’t get nominated for one, but it delivers what it promises and sends a powerful message – bullying is not to be tolerated, and should be dealt with, with or without martial arts.

BZFILM SCALE: 5/10

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