It took almost 20 years to Phillip Rhee to return to cinema, and he did it directing, starring and even writing the script of this low budget Karate Kid exploitation, that brings back the uplifting spirit of the first “Best of the Best”, turning the same formula into a movie mostly oriented for kids. Here, we have a bunch of no good for nothing kids that trains martial arts in a community center, that with the help of “Phillip Rhee” as new coach, will find the way to overcome themselves. There’s also a cheap version of the “Cobra Kais”, called “The Scorpions” (nothing to do with the legendary rock band) that play their part as bad guys of the story, but their presence is not that important to the plot, which is focused in the development of the kids in order to get better through the practice of martial arts, while they learn the real meaning of being a martial artist.
I was a bit disappointed with the fight choreographies, there’s so much abuse of acrobatic flying techniques but there’s an important lack of fast and powerful techniques. Phillip Rhee only has one fight in the whole movie and he used stunts alI the time. I can’t understand it since he has aged gracely and seems to be in good shape.
I also hated the ending because was very anti climatic. This movie has the same issue that another similar movie that I love, “Sidekicks “ with Chuck Norris, and that issue is that you can’t reach the climax of a martial arts movie with a kata contest, nobody watches a martial arts movie to watch katas. People watch martial arts movies to see fights, so that was a big let down, but it was fun to see in that scene some legends of martial arts as Richard Norton, Benny Urquidez or Dan Inosanto in that scene, playing themselves and looking like they don’t have idea what the heck are they doing there.
Another let down on this flick was the lame comedy and the scatological humor, that was really out of place. However, is undeniable that is an innocent charming little movie that could make little kids feel interested in martial arts.