Showdown



Oddly enough, this movie found me. I didn't decide one day "Hmm...I wanna see a bad "Karate Kid" rip off starring the Tae-Bo guy!", no this movie hunted me down, pointed a gun at my head, and said "WATCH ME OR YOU WILL DIE!!" So I did, with tears streaming down my face.

Ok, not exactly. I was in Indianapolis one October day and my girlfriend fell asleep, so I started switching channels and I stumbled upon HBO and they were showing this movie. At first I thought Billy Blanks was MC Hammer and I was like "MC Hammer made a movie?" So I watch the whole thing and tried to convince myself it was a spoof movie of "The Karate Kid" meets "Stand and Deliver" or something. But I'm sad to say the makers of this movie intended for us to take this seriously and that made me sad. So the tears streaming down my face is accurate.

We don't suspect anything when we open on two cops talking. They're eating some donuts and the white cop gives the black cop a chocolate donut. This is the first of many hidden racist moments in this movie. While the black cop tries not to kill Whitey, they get a disturbance call over the radio.

At a party, two horrible excuses for bikers crash a "90210" party. One of the bikers more or less molested Donna (No I didn't just know that, I had to look it up. Honestly.) and when Steve attempts to break them up (I SWEAR I'VE NEVER SEEN 90210 IN MY LIFE), one of the laughable bikers attempts to kick his ass. Then Dylan butts in...I mean...nothing.


Anyway, the black and white cops arrive and the black dude goes into the party to break up the fight and while doing a simple "Get over here" move, the biker falls down and hits his head. I guess his head was made of mashed potatoes or something cause this simple bump kills him. The other biker is all like "I'ma gonna kick yer ass!" until the white man barges in and arrests him. The black cop looks at numbskull on the floor and goes "...no..."

Then we get a totally unnecessary nude shot of the white cop talking to the black cop saying "These things happen" while the black dude is like "...no..." and he leaves. And I guess I can stop saying "black cop" cause we now see it's Billy Blanks! Who looks like MC Hammer at certain angles. Whatever!


Cue the credits and then let's go to seven years later. (What's with movies featuring credits and then going to seven years later?) And we are at some high school. Judging by the way we are introduced to this school, we get the feeling this is the same setting as "Dangerous Minds", "Stand and Deliver", or even going old school on your ass "To Sir, With Love". Basically every kid in this school is carrying a weapon, smokes, and does horrible things to each other.

We then meet Daniel Laru-er...Ken. He and his mom just moved here from the Midwest and this is Ken's first day at school. Yep, totally original material here. Ken is immediately swallowed whole by the drug dealing, knife wielding, father-raping kids of this school. He even meets Vice-Principal Kowalski, who just roam around the school shouting "HEY!" and "STOP THAT", throughout the whole movie. Since he doesn't do anything useful in this movie like help Ken, this is the only mention he'll get. Even though the actor is one of those "OHH! I know that guy!" and you spend the whole movie trying to recall who he is. I'll help you out. His name is Brion James and here his is list of credits.


Anyway, he's tossed into class (There's some joke about Potatoes that is never explained) and he immediately locks eyes on Julie. He takes his seat next to Mike, who tells him that Julie is "hands off". We soon learn why. We meet Tom, who is chillin' in the hallway. And because the script calls for him to be a major asshole, he picks on a random nerd and tells him he's gonna kill his family. Ladies and gentlemen, our villain.


To show that life at this school isn't gonna be easy, Ken opens his locker and finds it's trashed with eggs, rotten bananas, and even an old sweat sock. Cause you know...that happens all the time. Mike takes Ken to the school library (Holy shit! The main librarian dude is the old dude from the "Kryptonite" video!!), and shows him all the cliques in the school. One of them include a live action version of playpen! He even has dirt on his face! Man, this movie is painful.



Ken and Mike spot Julie and despite Mike's warning, Ken talks to her. Not even 5 seconds later, Tom and his "gang" arrive and Tom is all like "She's my girl! I rule this school! I'm a total douchebag!! RAAH!!!" and Ken is like "Uh...ok?" and immediately gets his ass kicked.

Soon a black janitor appears and helps Ken up. And we learn that the janitor is also Billy Blanks! Billy learns of Ken's backstory and Billy is all like "Isn't that the same story as that Daniel Laruso kid?" And before Ken can go "Huh?" Billy is like "Get yo' cracker ass outta here!"


The next day, Ken doesn't learn his lesson and continues to talk to Julie. I guess Tom has some psychic abilities cause anytime anyone talks to Julie, he just suddenly appears. This time, Ken makes a run for it (Way to be macho in front of Julie, Ken) and he finds himself in the school gym. Tom and one of his comrades arrive and is just about to kick his ass again when Billy appears out of nowhere and hands Tom's ass to him. Billy vanishes just in time for the entire school to find Ken standing over Tom and his friend rolling around on the floor in agony. When Tom returns to the dojo, Lee isn't too happy that Tom lost and tells him to do better, leave Ken alone, blah blah blah. Then Lee gives the stupid ass line: "You know where the door is. Leave through it." Oh, is that how that works? Thanks SENSEI!


So now Ken is the school hero, even though Ken is like "NO! It was that Tae-Bo guy!!" but no one believes him cause they haven't heard of Tae-Bo yet. Tom wants to prove that Ken didn't kick his ass by kicking Ken's ass in front of the entire school. Ken limps to Billy's office and says "Train me!" and Billy is like, "Ok...if you buy these Tae-Bo tapes at $19.99 for three months!" Ken agrees and we get the first of many, many, MANY training montages.

Because this movie is fresh and original, Billy has Ken do mundane things like mop the floor and clean toilets, which is suppose to teach him something. And the dude playing Ken actually stops in the middle of the movie and goes "Hey! This all was done before! You know...wax on! Wax off!" and Billy just goes "Hey, this is my big acting break!" and makes his pick up some more poop.



Meanwhile, we visit "the evil dojo" that has a snake for a logo (fresh and original) and the sensei Lee is telling his students to shout stuff. It's no "mercy is for the weak", that's for sure. To prove that Lee is Evil with a capital E, he picks a student that was tardy in a deleted scene and kicks his ass. When he's done, Lee turns and gives a stupid ass smile while saying in a sing-song voice "I wooon!" Just shoot me now, someone. Please?


While that happens, Tom is called by Kate, Lee's girlfriend/wife/daughter... who knows. They talk in the back about Ken and she is all like "I own you!" so we now know where he gets that from. Then Tom and Kate make out!! Whoa...Lee's gonna be pissed. Well, if this was a good movie with good writing.

Onto Training montage number 2, this time with music! Ken and Billy are just punching and kicking and more punching and kicking, with other shots of Ken studying to show one of two things: he hasn't forgotten his studies during all of this or that he's busy as fuck.


After that montage, Bill offers Ken a soda which is near Billy's Backstory Locker. There, Ken finds Billy's badge. Normally when you stop being a cop, you're suppose to return that. But considering the badge simply said "POLICEMAN POLICE", I'm sure it's just suppose to REPRESENT the fact Billy was a cop once.


Ken leaves Billy's place when Tom appears out of nowhere and says "I know what you're doing! Trying to unseat me! I'm the KING OF THIS SCHOOL!!" Now, honestly, who says that? Who wants to be the king of ANY school? Jeez... Anyway, Tom wants to see what Ken has learned so they fight but Ken kicks Tom in the nuts. Instead of "FINISHING HIM", Ken runs away and runs into Kate.

To show you how stupid this movie is, I'm gonna go into extreme detail here. Kate pulls up in her car and goes "KEN! Get in." Ken goes "Ok, let's just get out of here." Stupid thing number 1: just cause you kicked your mortal enemy in the nuts doesn't mean you should get into a stranger's car, even if that stranger is a decent looking blonde chick.


Then the car just sits still while Kate pretends to drive and lights fly by the car to indicate they're driving, but considering there's no scenery out the windows, this is stupid thing number 2. And the final stupid thing is this:
Kate: So what's your name?
Ken: Ken.

...

...

YOU FUCKIN CALLED HIM KEN NOT EVEN 10 SECONDS AGO!!!!! ARRRRGH!!!!

So anyway, Kate tells Ken he's good and he should fight for a living. Ken is confused so Kate show him what she means. At the "Evil Dojo" there is a nightly underground fighting competition where people place bets on who's gonna win. It's kinda like "Thunderdome" meets cock fighting. Ken sits in the audience and we see Lee fight. He totally kicks this one dude's ass and the audience is like "woo" or whatever. Ken is horrified and leaves.

Ken tells Billy about this and Billy's acting coach must've left mid-way cause Billy just goes "Aw gosh dang it...kids getting KILLED! Aww jeez..." in like a total Ned Flanders way. Ken asks Billy about his fake badge and says he knows he was a cop in the town of POLICE.

Back at the Evil Dojo, Lee had Kate follow Billy around to learn more about this guy who was training Ken. So Kate takes an awful picture which sets Lee in a rage and orders some random thugs nearby to kill Billy. But not before we get training montage number 3!


The point of this montage is that Ken can't learn to jump kick even though it's something I can do easily. In between this montage is scenes of Ken attempting to ask Julie out, even though she's dating Tom and that Tom could kill him at any given time. There's some pointless scenes of Ken and Julie arguing but they just make up the next scene.

Billy is alone at the school one night when the two random thugs appear to kill Billy. This whole thing is surreal cause they're on the stage at the auditorium which is set up for some play so they're fighting through this house setting, which looks like "All In The Family: The Stage Play". Billy handles himself but gets stabbed once. When the goons are knocked out, Billy runs away.


Also this night, Julie and Tom are out seeing some manly movie like Platoon or a Chuck Norris film when Julie complains about this. Tom gets all "I own you" again, which is totally getting old right now. Julie goes "Yeah well, tough shit!" and says she's finished with Tom and storms off. Julie calls Ken and he picks her up. They go into the desert for some reason and make a campfire. There they kiss and Julie is like "I'm yours now". Ken goes "woo".

The next day, Ken finds that Billy is missing and Tom didn't get the memo that Julie broke up with him, so he proves he's an even bigger dick by slapping Julie. Thankfully Ken is nearby and he punches Tom. They're about to go at it when the one girl who hangs around Tom goes "Fight like real men...IN THE RING!" so Tom goes "My dojo. Friday night." Be there or be square!!

When Ken can't find Billy again, we get our fourth montage of Ken training AGAIN! Man, the "Rocky" movies didn't have this many training montages. Thankfully, this leads to the final showdown....oh god! I just used the title in a sentence. Shoot me someone.

The whole intro thing happens and Ken and Tom meet in the ring. Mike tells Julie that he called the police and they'll arrive at the appropriate time. The fight starts and at first Tom is totally wailing on Ken and Ken is about to give up, fake his death, move to a cave, and be a hermit for the rest of his life. Then suddenly Billy appears!


Seeing Billy inspired Ken or whatever and Ken makes a comeback and totally kicks Tom's ass. With Ken named the winner, Lee gets upset and runs to the ring and continues to kick Tom's ass, calling him a loser and a disappointment. This shocks everyone to see Lee doing this and they immediately turn on him. The only person to stop Lee: BILLY!

Now, if this was a good movie they would mention this. But since I had to notice this all on my own after two viewing, I picked up on this. It turns out Lee is one of the horrible biker dudes from the beginning, and the dude with the soft skull was his brother. But you know, the movie doesn't make any mention of any of this even during this final showdo....nope. Not saying it.


So now it's Lee vs Billy and guess who wins? Mr. Tae-Bo himself. The entire time Ken is just standing there with his fist clenched saying "GO!" But Billy wins and the police show up right on cue. Kate is trying to leave but Mike knocks that bitch out, so she gets arrested, along with Lee and any remaining Evil person.

With Lee proven to be a world class asshole, the rest of the students come up to Billy and are like "Teach us" and Billy accepts. Then Billy's former partner tells him there's an opening that will teach people self defense. Billy also accepts this. Then to make this ending even more corny, Tom comes up to Ken and goes "I guess in this case the best man lost." Ahh, glad he's so humble. But they shake and Tom just kinda leaves. Julie of course stays with Ken and they, along with Mike, walk out towards the sunset.

The whole ripping off "The Karate Kid" aside, this movie is just so fuckin' awful. The acting is like watching homeless people attempt to act. In fact, that's probably what happened. Someone grabbed the script to The Karate Kid, gave it to some homeless people, and said "Go!" and this was the result! And I dunno why Billy Blanks thought he could be this movies answer to Mr. Miyagi, but there can be only one. So just stick with your little Tae-Bo crap and I'll be over here, waxing on and off.




-Jason

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