Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Years and years ago, on our quest for the ultimate bad movie, my friends and I rented this movie called "Seven Lucky Ninja Kids". It was a badly dubbed Chinese kids movie, rushed into an American video release to cash in on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle craze of the late 1980's. It started out wacky, with the kids each named after their personalities, (you know, Leader, Fat Kid, Smart Kid, etc.), and a dumb henchman character who dresses in drag at one point to trick them or something. But what floored us was the climax, when the kids started just brutally taking out the bad guys. There was no prior indication that the movie was going to take the turn. Our jaws dropped in shock and joy.
Well, Power Kids is like Seven Lucky Ninja Kids, minus the goofy humor. It's well made, for what it is, which is pretty much Die Hard in a hospital with kids. I think it was made as a kids movie in Thailand, but over here it would probably be comfortably nestled somewhere within the R Rating.
It follows these four kids training at a Muay Thai martial arts school. They all look after the youngest, an innocent little kid who needs a heart transplant. He is on a waiting list, but his condition debilitates when he is forced to run from some bullies who ruined his radio controlled car. Now, he needs that heart immediately. One became available at another hospital but, get this....
The American Ambassador just happens to be going to that hospital to get his heart checked up. And apparently that's national news in Thailand, because a group of terrorists take that opportunity to hold the hospital hostage to let their demands be heard. Also, the terrorists are apparently led or something by a little girl?
So, now it's up to our kids to sneak into the hospital across town and get the donor heart for the little one, and kick some terrorist ass with Thai boxing while they're at it.
Yeah, I know, the plot is completely ludicrous. It's really just a flimsy excuse to watch these kids be awesome. The Muay Thai is crazy brutal, they appear to really be landing a lot of these kicks. Although they sure do kick guys in the back a lot, as if there might be some strategically placed padding under their shirts.
Early on, we get a taste of awesome as they fight a drunk American guy who swears a lot, and they kick the living crap out of him for long, long after he stops fighting back. It seemed like he was kind of out of the fight once he kicked the pile of barbell weights, but they just keep jump kicking him in the face, one after the other until he falls, and then I think a few more times after. I forget if that really happened, but it seems totally feasible to me.
That final showdown with the terrorists is totally insane. And the triple team against the adult leader with the burn scars on his cheek is kind of endless. He's more unstoppable than the drunk American guy.
I should probably add that the kids all actually seem like pretty good actors too, and their characters are quite likeable. But that's not really why we're watching Power Kids, is it?
So, Power Kids is a pretty brutal movie, but I would think a ten-or-eleven-year-old kid raised on a healthy diet of Jackie Chan and Schwarzeneggar could handle it. Lots of people get shot and kicked, but it's not gory or anything.
Asian kids action movies have come a long way since Seven Lucky Ninja Kids. I didn't get the sense that the Ninja Kids really knew martial arts all that well (or maybe at all, it's been years). Some of these Power Kids, on the other hand, might even wind up being the next generation of Thai action stars.