I am honestly shaking my head as I look at the poster for today’s movie because all it does is remind me of a different movie. See, when my little brothers were still kids, one of their favorite movies to watch was 3 Ninjas, and since I was usually the one babysitting them, I have lost track of the number of times I saw that movie. So looking at the poster and reading the short synopsis for this movie, the two thoughts that went through my mind were, “Oh God, it’s an early version of 3 Ninjas.” followed by “I wonder if Chase and Blake will like this one?”. Guess I will see how similar Karate Kids, USA is.
The plot: After attending their karate class, Zack and Woody are going on a weekend fishing trip with their grandfather, J.J. As they are driving down the highway, they are passed by an RV containing the Forbinger family, Dick, Ruth, and their daughter Carol. When Dick gets lost and accidentally gets his RV stuck off the road, Carol decides to go exploring with her dog, Rufus, but when she sees a strange man in the woods, she runs back to the RV. The man, Yancey, goes running back to his house, and after telling his mom, Angel, about the girl, Angel sends Yancey and his brother, Carl, back to investigate. When the two men get to the RV, Dick talks to them and, after they tell him how to get to the nearby lake, they offer to help get the RV back on the road, for which Dick offers to pay them $50. After they get the RV back on the road, Dick lets the two brothers take a look inside the RV before they are able to get back on their way. Meanwhile, Zack, Woody, and J.J. arrive at the lake and Zack and Woody are collecting some firewood when they come across a motorcycle gang that knocks them down. Later, as they are practicing karate, Woody attempts a jump kick but accidentally falls into the lake next to Carol. Carol talks with Zack, Woody, and J.J. until her mom shows up and takes her back to the RV but, as her parents begin to argue, Carol sneaks out and goes to the nearby hootenanny with Zack and Woody. At the hootenanny, Carol winds up getting brought up on stage to sing but afterwards, she goes looking for her dog with Zack and Woody. While Zack and Woody look in the woods, Carol goes to check by her family’s RV but when she gets there, she finds Rufus as well as Carl and Yancey, who grab her. Hearing Rufus barking, Zack sends Woody to the RV to get Carol and a flashlight while he keeps looking. When Woody gets to the RV, he goes inside but doesn’t see Carol so he goes to leave with the flashlight, and a radio he had picked up outside, when he runs into Carol’s parents. Woody explains to J.J. and Carol’s parents what had happened and then he leads them to where he last saw Zack. Meanwhile, Zack finds Carol tied up but when he goes to untie her, Yancey knocks him out then grabs Carol and leaves while Carl stays to deal with Zack. When Carl is distracted by Woody’s yelling out for Zack, Zack manages to trip Carl and escape. Zack follows Carl and Yancey as they carry Carol inside a mine and leave her their before going back to their mom. Angel is upset with her two sons but when Carl mentions how much money Dick paid for the RV, he figures that he would be willing to pay a lot more for his daughter. Meanwhile, Zack continues watching the mine but when the two men never leave, he figures there is another way out and goes inside to investigate. Meanwhile, Angel makes a ransom note and attaches it to Rufus’ collar, then has Carl and Yancey return the dog to Carol’s parents. Zack goes back to the camp and, not seeing anyone but Woody, gets Woody to go with him to find Carol. They manage to find her but when they attempt to rescue her, the board breaks. Zack goes to get help, leaving Woody to keep Carol company, but while he is gone, Carl and Yancey return, capture Woody, then take the two kids with them. When Zack brings the FBI and sheriff to where Carol and Woody were, and finds them missing, the FBI and sheriff believe Zack was playing a joke and head back to the camp, but J.J. believes his grandson and the two continue looking. They eventually find Carol’s shoe, leading them to a secret way out where they see Angel’s house in the distance. After seeing Carl and Yancey drive off to collect the ransom, J.J. keeps watch the house while Zack brings Carol’s shoe to the authorities. Unable to find anyone, Zack decides to drive J.J.’s van, but he winds up running into the biker gang from earlier and though the pick on him at first, when Zack stands up to them, they decide to help him. Meanwhile, Carl and Yancey manage to grab the ransom and trick the police into arresting two people carrying drugs. Zack arrives at a demonstration that his karate class is attending and manages to get his class to go with him to save Carol. As Carl and Yancey arrive back at their home with the ransom, Zack arrives with the rest of his class. As Angel and her kids prepare to get rid of Carol and Woody, the karate class, along with J.J. manages to stop them and rescue Carol. Sometime later, Carol is now a student of the karate class and, along with her parents and J.J., watch as Zack and Woody, along with some other kids, get promoted to their next belt.
For a movie called Karate Kids, USA, there wasn’t a whole lot of karate. In fact, aside from the scenes in the class at the beginning and end of the movie, I think there was maybe 5 minutes of karate in the rest of the movie, and most of it was at the demonstration. As for the movie itself, this was honestly pretty boring. The acting was very bland, although there were times where Yancey and Carl were somewhat funny. The story was a total cliche and honestly, about as unoriginal as…..you know, I actually can’t come up with an ending to that sentence but yeh, it was unoriginal. There wasn’t a whole lot of action but the little bit there was was rather funny. Still, this didn’t make the movie any better to watch and there are better movies out there.
Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5