WARNING: This liveblog contains strong language, some mild violence, and scenes you wish you'd unsee. Viewer discretion is advised.
Welcome to the liveblog of something that has yet to get a trope page. A something some Power Rangers fans should recognize.
And no, it doesn't strictly have to do with the series itself.
When I first heard about the movie via lurking the hell out of Power Rangers messageboards and the like years ago, I was actually curious. Even in sites that have nothing to do with the series itself (oh hai, IMDB), I saw that this movie had numerous bad reviews. "Bad" as in "this movie sucks!".
Aside from that, I should get started on explaining what this movie is.
Kickboxing Academy was made in 1997, likely created during a time period where every Three Ninjas knockoff were made when it comes to the genre of the action kiddie flicks. The plot is this: kids from one dojo fight against a rival team from another dojo.
...that's literally it. Well, except for the bits where they get help from a former kickboxer, who decided to quit after nearly killing an opponent.
Poorly-received, it remained in obscurity (well, except, again, for the die-hard Power Rangers fans—and fans of a certain actress that will be mentioned, oh...in about five seconds) until these two guys mentioned the film whilst discussing about the then-new Grey's Anatomy star Chyler Leigh.
You can see where this is going.
Ever since, it's getting somewhat better known—especially now that the damn movie's on YouTube. Not to mention that, approximately after that discovery, the film was said to be re-released as "Teen Boxer". The question is, is it really that bad? And what about it that has the notoriety?
...I'll briefly answer the second question. The film has since been infamous for one scene in particular: the bits where Chyler's character, Cindy, kissed her boyfriend, Danny. Who, for the record, was portrayed by Chyler's real-life brother, Christopher Khayman Lee.
Because now it begins.
The movie begins with the partial opening credits, with the fadeouts being oh-so-similar to a motion-sickness-inducing Shaking Cam. And yes, the opening credits actually do say, "a Richard Gabai dojo".
And we cut to a kid reading about "Captain Kickboxer", and as soon as he attempts to execute a Flying Dutchman kick, he falls on his bed while some toys fall. His older brother appears and berates the kid, telling him that he'll be late for class. Oh, and he didn't clean his room last night.
...okay, this is really irrelevant. NEXT!
We cut to the two brothers going into the car, and the older brother tells his younger bro not to step on the seats. Predictably, Little Bro mocks Big Bro, and they go on to talk about what will the kickboxing teacher be like and whatnot. Big Bro then tells Little Bro that if he works hard enough and learn, he'll be a real kickboxer, like Captain Kickboxer.
Once the two stop at the Kickboxing Academy (lol Title Drop), Big Bro says that he's the king, and he won't learn the basic stuff, so that's why he isn't going in with Little Bro. And he threatens, as soon as Little Bro says, "Kickboxing rocks! :D", "Don't let Master June kick your butt!" He drives off, and Little Bro enters the dojo. He's mesmerized by all the combat gear and the trophies, and he sees Master June, asking if she knows where she is.
Until we see some guy who looks old enough to be June's dad, but isn't. Ew. He starts talking about all the "private lessons" until he gets a phone call, saying, "aw, fudge". Seriously. He promises June after that that he'll see her tonight, only to change it to tomorrow night...for some reason.
We then see a party in progress with a DJ who...ugh, dear God, his raps suck. Who chose this guy again? Even Vanilla fucking Ice is a marginally better rapper than this...poser-guy. Thankfully, one of the characters wonders what the hell is up with the music, and another boy who resembles Arnold from Troll 2 (you know, "They're eating her! And they're gonna eat me! OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!1!") says that he likes the music.
Then the girl berates the DJ-wannabe, not for the sucky record work, but for scratching up her dad's records. Oh, yeah, and she calls him a "buttwipe".
Prepare to see a lot more Badbutt-type name callings in this movie, folks.
The girl, Melinda, talks to a blond-haired girl, asking if she's looking for Danny. Then three boys show up to the two girls, trying to flirt, but to no avail. And laughing about it. Ladies and gentlemen, the designated assholes.
So the two boys we saw walk away from the party, and they see a couple kissing. They discuss amongst themselves as to why they attend functions, since the girls are stuck-up. Uh...you sure that it wasn't just the girls, boys?
Then the gang of designated assholes show up, ready to beat the shit out of the duo. Actually, it's less of an asskicking and more of a weaksauce tackle. Then one of the bullies had to say, and I quote, "Hey, look, guys! Just like the Nature Channel: a beached whale!"
Wait, what the hell? It's pretty baffling that the boys don't defend themselves. It's even more baffling that the bullies...aren't making themselves more of a threat. Hell, even post-Wedding Lord Zedd made more of a credible threat than those three posers.
So we finally get to the asskicking, and...wow. How low can you be? The mocking bully kicks the first boy when he's down, and...well, let's just say that the two boys are outnumbered. Who can save them?
Suddenly, Wild Andros appeared! Actually, Danny shows up to save the day. Actually, you know what, here, he'll be Proto!Andros. You'll see why when we get to it. Oh, yeah, and he actually kicks a bully's...yeah. Groin.
AND I SO FUCKING LOVE HOW THE COUPLE DOESN'T GIVE A SHIT AND STILL CONTINUE TO SMOOCH. Because, you know, it would have been smarter to either leave or call the police during the fight. But no, apparentally the smooch is more important.
So after Proto!Andros throws the last bully off a bridge (no worries, he survives!), we go into the opening credits. Whoo-hoo! Shaky Cam!
We cut to another dojo, apparentally oh-so-cleverly-named "Fatal Combat". A teacher tries to motivate his students, who look like they're in their teens. Or young adults. Oh, and during his little speech, he imitates a machine gun. And all I'm thinking is, "what the hell is up with this guy?" Because he apparentally took lessons from William Shatner in the department...of...dramatic...pauses.
Oh, wait, he was bragging about himself? Okay, then, dude.
He then tells his students that it would be unrealistic of him to expect these, ahem, "yellow-bellied street gang rejects" to live up to his example, and in true military fashion, he wants them to do twenty push-ups.
...wait, did I just see a little girl amongst the, ahem, "yellow-bellied street gang rejects"? What is she doing here?
But anyway, as soon as they say, "sir, yes, sir!", he corrects them by calling him "captain". And then we possibly get one of the best lines in this movie...
- "Hit the mat, bitches!"
Now that...was actually hilarious. Probably in a narmy way, but still funny!
So they hit the mat, and the teacher looks at the dojo we first saw, also oh-so-creatively-titled...ready for this?..."Kickboxing Academy".
Seriously. That's what it's called. It actually makes just as much sense as The Toughest Bar in the World.
Anyway, the teacher sees that they may have some competition in the form of the two boys that we saw getting their asses kicked earlier. He orders Chet and Treck to get over there, pronto, and they recognize them.
Yep, Chet and Treck were two of the bullies that were defeated by Proto!Andros.
The teacher asks Chet if he kicked the "mysterious stranger" in the 'nards. Answer: no. He then gets yelled at, and after that, the two boys are ordered to teach the other two a lesson, capiche?
- Treck: "Ka-wha, sir?"
So we find out the name of one of the two boys who was bullied. The one who was called a "beached whale" is Stan. The other...for now, I'll call him "Not!Arnold". The two look around in the Kickboxing Academy until Chet and Treck sneak up from behind and kick their asses.
...wait, no, they jump out from behind and tell them that they're going to the wrong school, and that the ballet school's right across the street. Oh, and Chet tells Stan, "you're gonna get a lot more than that (trouble), fat booooooooooy".
So Master June steps up and tells the bullies that they should leave, and after mocking her, she notes what dumbasses they are, so she'll let them leave unscathed. Then she asks if they're going to sign up for beginner's classes, and as usual, the bullies laugh. So she does a kick in the air, and says that the next one will be real.
How real, you may ask? Well, as soon as the bullies realize that they can beat up a girl, well, let's just say that they really underestimate how strong June is. Needless to say, she beats them with little effort.
Stan and Not!Arnold are impressed by how awesome June is, and she tells the bullies to consider that a free lesson. Stan calls it "tres magnifique!", and Not!Arnold replies...differently. Okay...anyway, she says that she'll consider a two-for-one special, but Treck wants to before Chet shuts him up. Oh, and they haven't seen the last of them.
So the bullies finally leave, and June teaches her new students the basics. We actually don't get to find out about them, because we then go to an auto repair shop. The boy there isn't interested in changing the oil in other peoples' cars, no, he's ready to pick his girlfriend up from kickboxing class. Oh, and the car he was working on? His, and he says that it "works like (his) girlfriend". And it looks like the car used in the first few scenes.
...wait. The guy's the big brother? Wow.
So we cut to another—wait, why isn't it that the movie can't choose a place and stick with it? Anyway, Cindy and Melinda talk a bit over...God knows what. Actually, the former tells Melinda that her boyfriend's taking her to kickboxing class. And why was Melinda showering? You'd never know who she'll see in kickboxing class. Seriously.
So Cindy and her boyfriend, Brian, talk a bit, and the latter asks if she's going to the car show. She doesn't know. NEXT!
Cut (yet again) to a gas station. There, we do see Proto!Andros, and he looks at Brian and Cindy. Naturally, they talk a bit.
...and to ease the inevitable Squick, I will now re-write the dialogue as if I'm writing a bad Power Rangers slash fic, with two Red Rangers substituting for Cindy and Proto!Andros.
Carter: So you're not coming to class anymore?
Andros: I don't really have the time. Besides, I was just doing it for the goofs.
Carter: You're pretty good for a goof.
(romantic music plays as the two smile at each other)
Now, replace "Carter" with "Cindy", "Andros" with "Proto!Andros", and "D'aww" with "...", and you pretty much get the same effect.
So Cindy and Brian drive away. NEXT!
We cut back to the Kickboxing Academy, where a class is in session. Not!Arnold and Stan observe, and the former thinks that he'll do it in one or two lessons. Even after showing the moves, Brian is called up against June, and the two...wait, no, Brian epically fails at fighting as June beats him in seconds.
So June berates Brian that he knows the moves, but he is not flexible. And balance is always key, even if there isn't time to do the usual stances. More comments, and—
- "Step right up, boyyyyyyyyyys~!"
...who the fuck was that?!
Anyway, in virtually the 100th cut-to-another-scene, the man is promoting a fake of a real...radio. And this has to do with the movie why?
You know, in virtually the first ten minutes of the film (less if you discount the Shaky Cam credits), it's all over the place, showing one storyline, then the next, all in some odd, slow-ish progression. And some scenes in which it makes less sense. Like this one.
The two boys look at a girl walking down a street. And I just love how the other boy has "Pervert" on his shirt. Nice work, movie.
And before we finish off with the first part, the boy who was selling the radio compliments the girl, saying that the "boots were made for knocking!" Ugh.
So after the "Pervert" guy tells the other to check it out, the first part ends. Will Not!Arnold and Stan learn the kickboxing moves? What other kinds of inverted Squick will I re-write? And will the wannabe salesman sell his fake radio?
Find out next time in Part 2!