The Little Dragons (1979)

Posted in Reviews by - October 29, 2012
The Little Dragons (1979)

Light family film which hits the snooze button quite early on in terms of action and suspense, with the only real excitement arriving 10 minutes from the end. The central slapstick premise of a group of prepubescent karate kids on a rescue mission predates the 3 Ninjas films by some considerable margin, although this film is Ritalin by comparison. The strengths rest in a few good gags and a woozy, knockabout abandon which suits the film well. Veteran character actor Charles Lane plays the detached but doting grandfather to foulmouthed karate kids Woody and Zac (played by real-life brothers Chris and Pat Petersen). The family attend a martial arts seminar with cameo guest host Bong Soo-han at a campsite hootenanny, only to lead the young students in a rescue mission when a bumbling duo of lunatic hillbillies kidnap one of the posher girls, dump her in an abandoned mine shaft and hold her at ransom. Curiously director Hanson would go to direct films like 8 Mile and LA Confidential, not that this innocuous film displays any particular promise.

AKA: Karate Kids U.S.A.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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