If you’re looking for a good family-oriented movie, look no further than The Martial Arts Kid. The film opens up with an arrest a teen named Robbie, played by Jansen Panettiere of Eden Falls, after what is assumed many arrests of the same kind. Robbie’s grandmother is fed up with the lawlessness and decides to send him to live with his aunt and uncle down in Florida.
The aunt and uncle are played by martial art veterans Cynthia Rothrock (China O’Brien) and Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Paying Mr. McGetty). Wilson, who plays Uncle Glen, is the owner of a martial arts dojo and Aunt Cindy runs a restaurant on the beach. Robbie’s first night under the roof of his new family doesn’t go so well when he sneaks out to a gas station in the middle of the night for snacks. He meets a girl named Rina (Kathryn Newton, Supernatural) whom he is instantly attracted to, but runs into the typical problem. She has a boyfriend. Not just any boyfriend, though. Her boyfriend is Bo played by Matthew Ziff (Altered Perception) who is the town bully.
Robbie’s experience at school the next day does not help. With further harrassments from Bo and his henchmen, Robbie learns martial arts from Uncle Glen and gets a new standard of character in the process. When Bo threatens Rina, Robbie takes a stand in a explosive end fight, where Unce Glen faces with an old student Laurent Kaine (T.J. Storm, Punisher: War Zone).
A good, clean entertaining movie, Michael Baumgartner directs a feel-good film that tells a story of a troubled young man coming into his own amidst adversity, with more than a decade of film experience behind him. The film cuts to the heart of the matter of bullying and what needs to happen for it to stop.