Given the starstruck attitude of the original family-friendly, martial-arts B-pic THE MAGIC KID, this quickie follow-up's slightly soured view of Hollywood is a surprise; but make no mistake: this is no DAY OF THE LOCUST. It's not even DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY.
Now 14 since his last adventure, Kevin Ryan (Ted Jan Roberts) is an action-movie novice about to break into the big leagues with a $20 million "Ninja Boy" spectacular. Tutor Mrs. Patterson (Jennifer Savidge) wants the boy to enter high school after the shooting, but oily studio mogul David
Wadsworth (Hugo Napier) uses threats and enticements to keep Kevin working instead on an instant sequel. Cracking under the pressure, the teen storms off the soundstage and hides at the Patterson home, having fun like any other kid with his teacher's pretty daughter Maggie (Dana Barron). Meanwhile
studio brass torment Kevin's weakling guardian Uncle Bob (Stephen Furst) to locate their missing star or else.
If the scenario sounds oddly devoid of kung-fu combat, it is. The plot mainly intercuts between character-boosting bits about Kevin learning the value of friends and education, and Uncle Bob cowering from the latest crisis. There is a climactic brawl when Kevin clobbers goons sent to enforce
discipline on the "Ninja Boy" set, but even that's over in a moment, and the punchline is that Kevin walks away from a potential fight on his first day of high school. Action-watchers will find MAGIC KID 2 a long 91 minutes, but at least juvenile leads Ted Jan Roberts and Dana Barron have pleasant
personalities that make their scenes relatively painless. The same cannot be said of the insufferable Uncle Bob and his bulldog Buford, though writer-director Stephen Furst helms the whole trivial enterprise confidently and manages a few sharp pokes at showbiz. (Violence.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: PG
- Review: Given the starstruck attitude of the original family-friendly, martial-arts B-pic THE MAGIC KID, this quickie follow-up's slightly soured view of Hollywood is a surprise; but make no mistake: this is no DAY OF THE LOCUST. It's not even DRAGON: THE BRUCE LE… (more)