Although produced a little too late to cash in on the skateboard craze, this is an amiable, effective family film.
Ever since his air force test-pilot father (John Furey) died in a plane crash years ago, young Sammy (Trenton Knight) has dreamed of flying. His mother, Lois (Dee Wallace Stone), struggles to provide for him and his older sister Tilly (Andrea Barber) and keep the family home out of the hands of
crass realtor Squires (Bruce Davison). Sammy loves skating, but the older, more adept riders, led by Squires's tough son Jay (Pablo Irlando), make fun of Sammy tumbling off his homemade board, which leads him and his best friend Mickey (Brooke Stanley) to acquire a "Starduster." It arrives by mail
as a kit, with instructions in an alien language, and Sammy, attempting to return it, winds up at an empty warehouse where he meets the magical Zeno (Turhan Bey), who assembles it for him and becomes the board's advising, platitude-spouting voice.
Sammy now impresses not only Jay's gang with his gravity-defying riding but also Ken Fields (Andrew Stevens), promoter of professional skateboard competition, who asks Sammy to compete. Jay covets the Starduster, and so hatches a plan with his father to steal it from Sammy's house while he is
sleeping. However, Mickey, who's feeling slighted by Sammy's skateboard enthusiasm, sees Jay, and the next day, together, they confront Jay and take it back, although Mickey is injured in the process. Sammy makes sure she is helped to a hospital and then shows up just in time for the skateboard
competition. At the crucial moment, Zeno leaves the Starduster and Sammy must use a regular board for his tournament-winning ride.
While losers Squires and Jay slink away, Sammy and his friends celebrate. Zeno reappears to say goodbye to Sammy and tells him that he himself was responsible for all his victories, not the "magic" Starduster. Mickey takes their picture; it shows not Zeno but Sammy's dead father standing next to
Neither a sequel nor a remake, THE SKATEBOARD KID II shows a vast improvement over its 1993 predecessor. Scripter Karen Kelly does use the basic premise of a magical skateboard, but she spins a brightly written, if formulaic, tale of a youngster coming to terms with growing up, learning
self-confidence and the values of competition and friendship, and dealing with parental death--in short, everything parents could hope for in a film for their kids with the bonus that it's enjoyable for them as well. Smoothly produced and directed by the actor Andrew Stevens, the movie is often
quite witty, for instance, in its use of film clips (THIS ISLAND EARTH, etc.) to comment unself-consciously on the plot. There are some problems, including repetitive shots of similar-looking skateboard stunts, and the moviemakers' mockup of the climactic tournament, intercut with documentary
scenes of the real event, is rocky.
Performances are a lot better than the material requires. Veteran actors Stone, Davison, and Stevens seem to be relaxed and having a great deal of fun. Replacing Dom DeLuise, who was the skateboard's voice in the first film, is 1940s icon and habitual Maria Montez co-star Turhan Bey (THE MUMMY'S
TOMB, ARABIAN NIGHTS, etc.). Bey also appears in the flesh, imitating Mako by way of Charlie Chan--his every line of dialogue turns into a goofy aphorism. This family film was executive-produced by, of all people, the prolific sleaze king Jim Wynorski, who makes a cameo appearance as a
near-comatose barfly.(Violence, Adult Situations.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: PG
- Review: Although produced a little too late to cash in on the skateboard craze, this is an amiable, effective family film. Ever since his air force test-pilot father (John Furey) died in a plane crash years ago, young Sammy (Trenton Knight) has dreamed of flying.… (more)