There’s a new The Karate Kid movie. It’s not actually part of the The Karate Kid series. That’s why the new film is called The Martial Arts Kid. The title is different (kinda), but the story is essentially the same: a high schooler is bullied, but he deals with his situation by learning karate. Sounds familiar, right? Don’t worry. Even though the story isn’t original, the film is still interesting and enjoyable to watch. BTW, The Martial Arts Kid is a Dove Foundation Family Approved film. The Martial Arts Kid (Traditionz Entertainment) is available now on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download.
The movie starts off with a teenager (Robbie) getting in trouble with the law again. His grandmother is tired of of this, so she kicks him out. Robbie’s parents are dead, so he moves in with his aunt’s family. Right off the bat, Robbie runs into trouble with a boy who beats him up. Robbie thinks his new life is doomed, but then he finds hope in martial arts. By studying the martial arts, Robbie becomes a better person. He’s more helpful around the house and his self esteem improves. And he even falls in love [too bad his love interest is the girlfriend of the bully (Bo) that beats him up].
Good vs Evil
With a movie like this, you know there will eventually be a battle between good and evil. Robbie is good and tries to do the right thing. Bo is a bully and he trains at a bad ass dojo. Even though Robbie should know better, he seeks out Bo to fight him. In fact, both dojo’s end up fighting each other at the end.
Karate Masters Cameos
The Martial Arts Kid featured cameos by a who’s who of Karate masters and grandmasters from across the country, including Gerry Blanck, Pete “Sugarfoot” Cunningham, Jeff Smith, Olando Rivera, Christine Bannon-Rodrigues, Dewey “Black Kobra” Cooper, Glenn Wilson, Barry Broughton, Sergio Barriga, Sayed Qubadi, Jody Nolan, Ewart Chin, Dr. Richard Hill and Kevin Bergquist.
The DVD includes the 104-minute movie. In addition, it includes the following special features:
- Commentary with Filmmakers and Cast Members
- Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailer
- Other Bonus Materials
Jansen Panettiere is the star of the movie. He played the part of Robbie, the troubled kid who moves in with his aunt’s family. Other cast members include Don Wilson (Glen), Cynthia Rothrock (Cindy), Kathryn Newton (Rina), Matthew Ziff (Bo), T.J. Storm (Coach Laurent Kaine), Chuck Zito (Frank), Brandon Tyler Russell (Lenny), Kayley Stallings (Katie), Lorraine Ziff (Peggy), Natasha Blasick (Nika), Robert Peters (Horace), Billy Smith (Derek), Victoria Vodar (Miss Criss), and Danny Rawley (Kevin). The Martial Arts Kid was directed by Michael Baumgarten.
The Martial Arts Kid Synopsis
When Robbie (Jansen Panettiere), runs into trouble once again in his Ohio hometown, his beleaguered grandmother sends him to spend the summer with his aunt (Cynthia Rothrock) and uncle (Don Wilson), who owns a martial arts school in a sleepy, Florida beach community. The defiant teen is less than pleased with the “tough love” arrangement… until he encounters a local girl named Rina (Kathryn Newton). However, her boyfriend, Bo (Matthew Ziff), is the town bully and, backed by a posse of tough pals, seems to run things. Making matters even worse… Bo is a student at Dojo Extreme, a mixed martial arts gym run by a fierce coach (T.J. Storm), who — unlike Robbie’s well-regarded uncle — flouts the traditional martial art principles and philosophies of honor, teaching his students that might makes right. With things spiraling out of control and desperately wanting to prove himself to his family and Rina, Robbie reluctantly turns to his uncle for help.
[Disclosure: I received a movie for review on my dad blog. As always, the opinions expressed are mine and I am not obligated to write a positive review.]