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||IMDB Rating: 4.8/10 from R votes
||Release: 25 Mar 1997 /
||Director: Rick Bennett,
||Synopsis: A martial arts expert who runs a dojo for under-privileged kids from a dilapidated warehouse is shaken down by gangsters demanding protection money. Then when one of his students is gunned ...
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Watch Balance of Power - Alternative Versions.
Billy Blanks is a lousy actor, but the Tae-Bo superstar can sure kick
major butt. In Hidden Tiger he stars as Niko, a martial arts teacher
who runs a dojo for kids in the local ghetto. When the boss of the
Asian mafioso threatens his school, he must enter the underworld fight
circuit in order to save those he loves and destroy the enemy for good.
Hidden Tiger isn't a great action movie by a long shot, but at least it
avoids committing the sin of being boring. For although the acting is
bad, the plot unbelievable and the script poorly written, the movie
does succeed in being entertaining, albeit in a thoroughly cheesy
manner. Action movie stereotypes abound: Billy Blanks's character is
the all round good guy whose only interest is in keeping his kids on
the straight and narrow, Mako is the wise mentor Matsumoto who teaches
Niko the secrets of internal balance and control, Lisa Boynton plays
Matsumoto's spunky daughter Jasmine, and James Lew is all-round bad guy
fighter Takamura who will stop at nothing to win.
Director Rick Bennett ensures that all of the expected clichés are
present and rarely injects proceedings with any originality, preferring
to take the road most travelled. Hence, we get the obligatory training
scenes, the tragic killing of Niko's student by bad guy Takamura, the
kidnapping of the Master's daughter and the final showdown between our
hero and main villain; predictable, yes, but kinda fun too! A classic
Martial Arts movie this is not, but enough enjoyment can be had to make
this one worth a viewing.
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