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2 reviews, 2 user ratings



Power Kids
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by brianorndorf

"Well, it's certainly Thai"
3 stars

The Thai film industry is known for its many cinematic strengths, but overall storytelling lucidity is not one of their strongest assets. “Power Kids” is an attempt to fit the fury of Muay Thai martial arts into pre-teen pants -- a peculiar motion picture that endeavors to warm up the action genre by including the little ones in on the fun. Short, sweet, and eventually mindful of splendid action choreography, “Powers Kids” is too disjointed to truly rouse the senses, but what it does retain in the excitement department is more than enough to pass the time.

Raised in a martial arts academy, a group of youngsters spend their day cracking jokes, lusting after RC cars, and practicing their defensive moves. When the youngest of the group succumbs to a severe medical condition, it leaves four hours for a donor heart to arrive at the local hospital. Trouble arises when a terrorist group takes over the medical center, led by a war-weary commander who also happens to be a teenage girl. Fearing their youngest brother won’t be able to receive the vital organ due to the violent occupation, the “Power Kids” spring into action, setting out to retrieve the heart and save one of their own.

It’s not that “Power Kids” is confusing, it’s just simply too abrupt to make a remarkable impression. Running a scant 72 minutes, the film doesn’t have much time for characterization or suspense, preferring to stick to face-smashing basics to give the audience a basic show of child-sized force. I respect the minimalism, but the editing leaps from scene to scene with only marginal adhesion, speeding through needed time with the kids to get to the conflicts, thus taking the burden off the production to actually tell a story.

Take “Power Kids” as the grindhouse experience it’s meant to be, and the action retains a few thrills. The stuntwork is impressive, and certainly anything involving the kids is applause-worthy, displaying these tykes as flipping, smacking heroes who know a thing or two about combating bad guys. The child actors that make up the titular gang offer sensitive performances, able to call up the requisite emotions between fights. It’s amusing to watch the children in action, especially when everything slips into “Die Hard” mode, forcing our heroes to climb all over the hospital to retrieve the heart, achieving an unexpectedly compelling adventure tone.

Before any families gather around the home theater for an evening of “Power Kids,” let me remind potential viewers that the film is indeed R-rated, with salty language and some carnage to pepper the cutesy antics. The restrictive mark gives “Power Kids” free reign to raise a ruckus, and while enjoyable, the film never manages to snowball into something wonderfully psychotic. It feels like a missed opportunity.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=19328&reviewer=404
originally posted: 06/19/10 10:44:35
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2010 New York Asian Film Festival For more in the 2010 New York Asian Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/25/09 MARY JANE ARONG IDOL TIKAW 3 stars
11/23/09 Albert Valentin More like 3 Ninjas meets Die Hard...fights worth seeing. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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  DVD: 08-Jun-2010

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