MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1

Young teenager Barry Gabrewski (Jonathan Brandis) has a vivid imagination. To the dismay of his attractive Chinese school teacher and his father(Beau Bridges), he drifts into fantasies in which he and movie star Chuck Norris fight together as "sidekicks" against evil forces. They are shown waging intense karate or gun battles in an underground cult hideout, a remote Asian village, a western barroom, and a paint warehouse. Barry desperately wants to become a karate expert, but he's not muscular and has a severe case of asthma. Nevertheless, his teachers's Chinese uncle, Mr. Lee, agrees to train him in karate, and before long Barry is showing promise. Much of his training is to prepare him for an upcoming Open Karate Competition Championship. He enters the competition as part of a team including Chuck Norris in person, his school teacher and Mr. Lee. The competition is colorful and suspenseful, but rather predictable. SIDEKICKS is obviously aimed at teenagers and capitalizes on the current karate craze. It definitely lacks any real creativity, but may very well appeal to the youth audience.

The battles which Barry and Chuck fight together are intense, particularly a karate battle in an underground cult haven in which many opponents are kicked and beaten severely. In other fantasy battles, they destroy villages and other property with massive automatic weapons fire. When a group of tough bullies pick on Barry's father, Mr. Lee beats and batters them viciously. To a large extent, these battles are an exploitation of violence to excite and entertain, and not a valid portrayal of conflict in drama. At the same time, Mr. Lee admonishes Barry only to use karate to stop others from harming him, not just to injure them. He also comments that a man's greatest weapon is self control. He does not appear to convey the eastern religious concepts often associated with karate. Fortunately, the story contains no crude sexual content, nudity or obscenities. However, some mild and moderate crudities are spoken. SIDEKICKS would be more palatable if its fighting and destruction were more than just violence for violence's sake.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Triumph Releasing, 711 5th Ave., NY,NY 1002

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (9) Times; Mild 4, Moderate 5

Obscene Language: None (possibly 3 s-words virtually indistinguishable)

Profanity: Exclamatory - once

Violence: Many Times - Mostly moderate, sometimes severe (karate battles, knife threats, striking and kicking on head, face and genitals, massive property destruction by gunfire, torture in dungeon, many boxing/karate contests, explosions, rough treatment)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience:

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