What do you get when you mix Karate Kid with a Chuck Norris movie? Sidekicks. The movie stars Jonathan Brandis as Barry, an asthmatic day dreamer who wants to be a karate action master, yet does nothing to make that happen. It's such a preposterous movie that you actually have to watch it, if you've never seen it, to appreciate the debacle that is this movie.
Much like Karate Kid, this movie is about the underdog kid who learns karate to beat up the bullies that continue to cause him problems in life. Before that happens though, we are introduced to Brandis, Norris and Julia Nickson-Soul (you may remember her from Rambo II) in the opening scene of the movie that starts off with a no-name bad guy that has captured a pretty girl and is about to sacrifice her when a lone ninja appears and starts to kick all the bad guys asses. I didn't mention that all the bad guys are ninjas as well? They are. When the bad guys start to pile on the good guy (dressed in white), another good guy (in white) appears and helps to defeat all of the bad ninjas and the no-name bad guy and save the girl, then Barry wakes up from a day dream in the middle of class vowing to help Chuck Norris whenever he can.
This movie is anything but good. It's a movie about Barry being nothing but a door mat for everyone, including the girl he likes, Lauren (Danica McKeller), who sees him as nothing more than a pitiful excuse for a human and only likes him as a friend and not a boyfriend. At least until the end, when he's all macho and karate'd up.
This movie is dreadful. From the beginning action scene, to the end, every day dream sequence is taken from a Chuck Norris movie and in between, we have a love story between Barry's dad (Beau Bridges) and his teacher (Soul) and his training sequence with Mako, who plays Soul's uncle.
It's such a bad rip off of Karate Kid, that Joe Piscopo even looks like Martin Kove (the leader of the Cobra Kai dojo) and almost tries to sound like him, except it's Joe Piscopo and it comes off as a lame parody. These movies, these 80's movies, that are nothing more than bad rip offs of good movies, have continually made Hollywood a laughing stock. It's continued through TV shows, TV movies and Saturday Morning Cartoons.
What's even worse is that Chuck Norris, even though most of his movies are dreadful, continued to make these movies. I don't know why. Other than his debut, fighting Bruce Lee, which basically made him an action star and that's what's carried him and his career, but, as I said in an earlier review, he's never really had a good movie and moving in to the 90's, his choices got worse (except Walker, Texas Ranger). I dreaded writing this because I like bad movies. No, I love bad movies, let's get that straight. Bad movies are what made Hollywood what it is, just look at any old Sci-Fi movie and you'll see a lot of terrible plots, but the way they were made, the love that was put into them, it's amazing work. Not so with Chuck Norris movies and that's Cannon Film Groups fault. They didn't care about anything but the bottom line and they made Chuck Norris the poor mans Arnold or Stallone.
Just one more thing. This movie was directed by Aaron Norris, so now it all makes sense. Bad film acting beget's bad film directing. I have a problem with Chuck Norris “In ‘Expendables 2,’ there was a lot of vulgar dialogue in the screenplay. Fot this reason, many young people wouldn’t be able to watch this. But I don’t play in movies like this,” Norris explained. “Due to that I said I won’t be a part of that if the hardcore language is not erased. Producers accepted my conditions and the movie will be classified in the category of PG-13.”
It's ok to be in super violent, racist, films where it's you can rip peoples heads off, do bad chinese impressions (Sidekicks) beat people to death, set them on fire, pop out of the water and machine gun entire villages, throw knives into people, and roundhouse kick them to death, but hey, no bad words!
PG | 1h 41min | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 30 April 1993 (USA)
A bullied teen who fantasizes about being Chuck Norris' sidekick trains in martial arts to fulfill his dreams.
Director: Aaron Norris
Writers: Lou Illar (story), Galen Thompson (screenplay) (as Donald G. Thompson)
Stars: Chuck Norris, Beau Bridges, Jonathan Brandis