American Shaolin: King Of The Kickboxers II

  • 1993
  • 1 HR 43 MIN
  • PG-13

AMERICAN SHAOLIN has no story connection whatsoever with 1992's negligible KING OF THE KICKBOXERS, despite the tacked-on subtitle. Overseas the picture was called KARATE TIGER 5 in reference to the four previous (otherwise unrelated) flicks from the same producers. If anything, this chopsocky also-ran draws inspiration from AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN and...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Rating:

AMERICAN SHAOLIN has no story connection whatsoever with 1992's negligible KING OF THE KICKBOXERS, despite the tacked-on subtitle. Overseas the picture was called KARATE TIGER 5 in reference to the four previous (otherwise unrelated) flicks from the same producers. If anything, this

chopsocky also-ran draws inspiration from AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN and other dramas of boot camp and service life.

The opening introduces Trent Bushy as preening, evil martial-arts champ Trevor Gottitall (who wrote this? Keith Spellitout?), surrounded by his arena sycophants. "It's not enough just to win, Twevor," lisps one. "You've got to destwoy your opponent compwetewy!" Trevor follows that admonition not

by maiming or killing, but by pulling his opponents' trousers down during the match! The latest to be so humiliated and defeated is Drew Carson (Reese Madigan), who returns to his embarrassed master wondering why he was singled out. The problem, it seems, is that Drew's master/instructor was not

really a graduate of the legendary Shaolin Temple school of kung fu as he had claimed. To reclaim his lost honor Drew makes a pilgrimage to mainland China to become a bona fide Shaolin warrior. The Shaolin Buddhists, however, have never accepted a Westerner into their ranks before--especially this

loud jock who interrupts their prayers with a shout of "I wanna be a monk!"

Drew maintains a vigil, day and night, rain and shine, in their courtyard before the kindly Master San De (Zhang Shi-yen) relents and admits him as a novice. The rest of the picture revives every basic-training cliche that was old back when Abbott & Costello were buck privates; Drew balks at

having to shave his head, wake up early, train hard, and do chores. He shares his Walkman and Playboy magazines with the young Chinese initiates, teaching them disco-dancing and air guitar. In one dippy cross-cultural musical interlude, Drew leads fellow disciples in a big rock'n'roll production

number as they hoe the garden: "Ain't no cure for the Shaolin Temple blues!" Drew takes some temple pals AWOL and brawls with local rowdies, an act which nearly gets him expelled. But his brother monks demand that the American have a second chance, and Drew behaves, finally earning his status as a

full-fledged Shaolin fighter. Then it's time for the grudge rematch with Trevor Gottitall, who's been giving the Shaolin team serious trouser trouble at a tournament. Drew re-enters the ring and vanquishes the villain with his newly-acquired kung-fu skills and Eastern discipline.

The bulk of these karate pics are so utterly alike in plotting and execution that it's a mild novelty that AMERICAN SHAOLIN even steals from different source material, as Drew learns to be a Kickboxer and a Gentleman. Nevertheless, Reese Madigan's main character is largely a crass boor, the Ugly

American personified, who wouldn't be allowed into a Shriners' Temple, let alone the Shaolin one. Though Yank Drew wins the big bout at the end, it's the Asian actors onscreen who take trophies for acting prowess over their occidental counterparts. There's ample pageantry in the filmed-on-location

details of Shaolin life and activities, including one memorable action sequence: Drew's ordeal in the "Temple of Wooden Men," an obstacle-course cave filled with low-tech robot attackers. As usual though, the reality of the martial-arts combat is undone by overstated audio dubbing that make every

blow, heavy or light, resound with the same thwack! (Violence.)

TV Premiere Dates

Because it's never too early to plan Thursday night... two months from now.

MIXED-ISH - In "mixed-ish," Rainbow Johnson recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the '80s and the constant dilemmas they had to face over whether to assimilate or stay true to themselves. Bow's parents Paul and Alicia decide to move from a hippie commune to the suburbs to better provide for their family. As her parents struggle with the challenges of their new life, Bow and her siblings navigate a mainstream school in which they're perceived as neither black nor white. This family's experiences illuminate the challenges of finding one's own identity when the rest of the world can't decide where you belong. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)
MYKAL-MICHELLE HARRIS, ARICA HIMMEL, ETHAN WILLIAM CHILDRESS

Best New Fall TV Shows

The hottest new broadcast TV series

My News

Sign up and add shows to get the latest updates about your favorite shows - Start Now