Balance of Power aka Hidden Tiger (1996)

Posted: 19/11/2015 in Trash movies
Tags: , , , , ,

Billy Blanks is more famous as a successful Martial Artist, Thai Bo founder and Fitness Guru but he is also most importantly (for us) the BAD MOVIE MAKING MACHINE! His inability to act (probably tied to his inability to read- he actually learned to read at 40 and depended on his then wife for most of his life) coupled with his over the top facial expressions  and badly used athleticism, most often spent on ridiculous kickboxing production that could only get green lighted in the ’90.

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Here Blanks is a humble Karate teacher working with at risks kids in the ghetto. Unfortunately his dojo gets targeted by Yakuza- like organization and their champion Takamura and he barely menages to fend them off. That’s also not the last of his worries because one of his oldest student is starting to spend time in dangerous neighborhoods all in hope of scoring with some random stupid girl. He tries to set him straight but unfortunately the kid is just too much of a dork to ever listen to him. He goes out searching for the slutty girlfriend but Takamura and his men find him first and decide to use “drive by shooting” style rather than Traditional martial art moves.

Blanks arrives just in time to see it happening. And reacts as always- hilariously!

Blanks I’m not sure anyone hears you. YOU should be the one calling ambulance.

Completely out of his mind he gets beaten to a pulp but mysterious Martial Artist Matsumoto aka Mako finds him. As a former teacher for the dreaded clan he offers to train him to defeat James Lew (Takamura) and gets revenge for his student. Like any true Martial Art master in the 90’s Mako teaches him with a string of bizarre or downright stupid tasks like running with a mouth full of water or practicing his blocks while buried in sand.

The director managed to rip off both Rocky III and IV in one training montage!

Finally Blanks is all ready for some revenging. Unfortunately his incompetence again shines thru as Takamura’s men menage to steal Matsumoto’s granddaughter right before his eyes. Having no other choice he goes as planed and enters the corrupt fighting ring. And man does he look ridiculous doing so. He is so muscled up and oiled up that he looks like he will explode any minute now. Also his exaggerated “horse stance” doesn’t do him any favors either. And as much as I LOVE James Lew as a villain (he is only second to Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa in the film villainy) having a bad guy that’s much smaller then a hero is rarely a good strategy.

Now,after killing both Takamura and his boss  Hastishita and he finally returns to his ghetto dojo to find- his student alive and well after all. So- the kid actually survived and the whole ordeal was about nothing. Great work Billy, for real! He introduces Matsumoto to his students and I think we can expect him exploiting the kids for some other death tournament in no time.

Verdict: Now lets rewind- he didn’t even check if his freaking student had any pulse, he just ran to get some revenge and left him there to die,  and you know what- he managed to fail at that too. If the kid had really died blood would have been on his hands, not just Takamura’s- and all because he is a goddamn idiot!

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