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Power Kids (2009) Print E-mail
Monday, 07 June 2010
ImageAh the beauty of independent, foreign filmmaking.  Well, not exactly.  "Power Kids is certainly not going to be the next big import martial arts film.  In fact it feels simply like "3 Ninjas" with a bunch more brutal violence.  In Thailand this film is probably considered a blockbuster.  However, when brought here to the US, it isn't going to amount to much.

The film biggest blunder is the annoyance of its characters.  The kids in the film are just too much to handle.  The overacting and whininess of the child actors is unbearable.  However, this is such the case with these types of foreign films.

The story also leaves much to be desired.  We spend the first 30 to 45 minutes wondering if there actually is a story to this film.  Honestly, I would have shut the film off after just a few minutes, as it is obvious that the film isn't going anywhere.  About two-thirds the way into the film we finally hit the main plot, which is completely cliché.

The film is comprised of a group of four kids, and one outside kid that are constantly getting into trouble, if that is what you call it.  One kid is a immature, the eldest boy is the "wisest" and the girl is calm and reserved until she has to kick butt.  The other little boy is the whiniest kid that you just want to kick in the head.  However, he has a heart condition that lands him in hospital after stupidly running from a bully.  Luckily there is a heart ready for transplant at a neighboring hospital.  Yay, all is well and we can go home now.  Oops, I think I forgot to mention the armed guerilla terrorists that just so happen to seize the hospital for reasons that remain on the back burner.

When the news is seen over the television the kids decide to break into the hospital and get that heart that is on ice.  It is just super fun to watch a heart packed on ice get tossed around from fight to fight with everyone expecting that the heart is still good.  What a laugh.

The kids battle small groups of the terrorists as they make their way through the hospital.  The hospital sequences are full of muay thai (kickboxing) scenes that are interesting at the beginning, but then just become long and repetitive.
The video quality of this film is nothing spectacular.  In fact, if this were a US film it would probably received close to a zero on the rating scale.  However, seeing as how this is an import and that it is a transfer from a 16mm film source, I'm going to give it a break.  However, viewers should know going in that it isn't pretty.  Black levels are all over the place and are never resolved.  Colors also bounce from one spectrum to another.  No post-processing appears to have been done to the film.  Color timing is simply horrible.  Whites are constantly overblown and contrast is weak.  Noise is the least the problems with the source.  Details and textures are absent, likely due to the low-resolution film stock.  Simply put, the film is watchable for a low budget feature would never make the cut if I were a studio exec.

I have to commend this audio track.  The Blu-ray comes with both a Thai and English Dub 5.1 Master Audio track.  I always watch foreign films with the original language audio track and English subtitles as just too much is lost with the dubbed track.  This film is no exception.  Flip to the dubbed track and have yourself a good laugh.  The voices are completely separated from the bodies of the characters and the acting is worse than with the original actors.  But what really annoys me is that the studio handling the dub was provided horrible M&E stems.  So much of the production sound is lost and not accurately replaced, if replaced at all.  That being said, the original language is full of exaggerated sound effects and dialogue.  The music takes a back seat.  All together to the audio track is a bit on the low fidelity side.  It lacks the crispness of the modern action films.  Surround usage is fairly aggressive.  Directionality and panning is horrible, but I give the creators props for trying.

I surprised that this Blu-ray came with any special features.  However, it does contain a making-of featurette and some behind the scenes footage.  All in all it runs about 15 minutes.

"Power Kids" is not a kids' film.  There is far too much violence and language for that.  Also, be warned that kids will likely try to knee and elbow people after seeing this film.  The video and audio quality are nothing special, but somehow fit bill for this film.  Skip it unless you are really interested in foreign filmmaking or heavy into martial arts.

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