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It’s RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK meets 3 NINJAS in this family friendly action adventure from the makers of AMERICAN KICKBOXER 2.

Jimmy (Lorne Berfield) and Lisa Matthews (Crystal Summer) are the kids of kickboxing champion Greg Matthews (Dale “Apollo” Cook). Greg has trained his kids in the martial arts and they enjoy their training. However, Jimmy has fantasies of living a real-life adventure while Lisa wants to be an ordinary teenager. One day will change their lives forever.

Claudia Wells (Linda Blair) is an archaeologist whose partner was hired to dig up a stone tablet. When he finds the tablet, he disappears before he is able to translate the ancient language engraved on it. Claudia is asked by Mr. Nadir (Joe Estevez) to help him translate the tablet. When she refuses, she is kidnapped by Nadir as Jimmy witnessing the crime. Jimmy decides and coerces Lisa to follow the kidnappers.

When Greg, who learns of the kids while competing in a kickboxing match, decdes to find the kids, he himself is kidnapped. Jimmy and Lisa learn of their father joining Claudia and decide the only ones to save them is the two of them.

When Davian International released AMERICAN KICKBOXER 2, a in-name sequel to the 1991 John Barrett film, it was supposed to have highlighted the talents of kickboxing champion Dale “Apollo” Cook. While that film failed miserably, this family friendly martial arts film makes a big improvement when it comes to letting Cook show his skills.

The real stars of the films are the actors and martial artists playing Cook’s kids. Lorne Berfield and Crystal Summer play the young fighters who get themselves involved in an adventure that virtually changes their lives forever. Berfield, whose older brother Justin is best known for his stint on MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, plays Jimmy as if he were all 3 NINJAS rolled up in one package. Meanwhile, Summer looks to be a pretty good martial artist with some decent kicking agility. She relies mainly on her leg work when she fights. Sadly, this would be their only foray into martial arts films.

Most of the comic relief is provided by Joe “I am Martin Sheen’s brother” Estevez and his goons. Estevez plays businessman Nadir, who has quite a fixation with train sets while doing what he can to get the treasure. His goons, played by Robert Z’Dar and Chuck Williams, are reminiscent to Marv and Harry from the HOME ALONE films, always feeling the wrath of the kicking kids. Top-billed Linda Blair, as the kidnapped archaeologist, provides her own comic relief when she is hypnotized by Estevez and talks like a child talking about the time she was five years old.

The fight choreography was done by Filipino stunt coodinator Fred Esplana and martial artist extraordinaire John Barrett (who also makes a cameo as Greg’s trainer). Both did a great job in showcasing the talents of Cook, Berfield, and Summer. Cook himself has two key fight scenes, one against Tang Soo Do expert Tom Bloom (as a kickboxing rival in the ring) and the finale against the amazing Ron Hall, who plays Nadir’s business partner Blade. Hall has some impeccable talent and showcases his skills while looking dapper in a suit. Even the kids get a few chops in against Hall during the all-out rumble finale in a cave that ends the film on a high note.

DOUBLE BLAST is a fun film that melds the family genre and the martial arts action adventure. The two kid actors are fun to watch and Dale Cook gets some of his best on-screen fighting in this film. Definitely worth a rental.

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