Double Blast (1994)

“Home Alone” begat “3 Ninjas,” which begat cheap, kiddie, straight to video, action fare like “Double Blast.” Mixing the appeal of the adventure movie with kids fighting crime, both of which were oddly prevalent in the decade, “Double Blast” is the epitome of the poorly constructed cash ins that littered video stores. The movie is so bad that often times you can see the pair of heroes burst in to laughter as they engage in martial arts with the film’s comedic henchmen. Jimmy and Lisa are an adventurous brother and sister who love to get in to adventures involving ninjas and martial arts. When their dad, a professional kick boxer and widower named Greg goes out for the day to compete in a tournament, rather than take them along, the pair of kids ultimately gets in to big trouble back in town.

Young Jimmy witness’s archaeologist Claudia kidnapped by bad guy Nadir (Joe Estevez), who takes Claudia hostage in order to help him translate an ancient tablet and find secret treasure. Jimmy then forces Lisa to help him save her by merely insisting, and the movie is off. It feels like the casting director went to various towns looking for karate students and settled on this pair of child actors. To her credit Crystal Summer at least seems to do her best to deliver a convincing performance, even trying to look bad ass in the mom pants she dons throughout the movie. It’s too bad we never saw her in a movie again as, with a little polish she might have worked out as a small screen star. Estevez is assisted by Robert Z’Dar to take on two white bread kickboxing kids who literally foil a kidnapping plot because they’re bored.

“Double Blast” is just down right awful, and really drags everyone down with it, including Linda Blair, who is the film’s macguffin and is forced in to coming up with just unwatchable comedy. In one instance she’s hypnotized in to giving up the location of a secret cave and regresses in to a child. “Double Blast” is very much a PG affair that attempts to dodge the PG-13 rating at every turn and shockingly walks in to logic every now and then. For example, when young hero Jimmy is convinced that Blair’s character Claudia has been kidnapped, big sister Lisa literally walks up to them asking if they kidnapped a woman. After giving up their cover, the kids inexplicably get the upper hand with their martial arts skills until one of the henchmen pulls a gun on them.

The whole movie would be done in a half hour if the thugs kept guns pointed at these brats, but it’s almost as if the writer works over time to dodge any semblance of logic or realism. Too often the amateurishness shines through, as the choreography is dodgy at best, while both stars seem to have a tough time keeping a straight face for the camera. The seasoned genre vets don’t fare any better as Estevez is the typical snarling bad guy, while Z’Dar basically just mugs and tumbles over when fighting the kids. You’d think the addition of an actual kick boxer to the fold would amp up the film, but “Double Blast” never crawls out of its abysmal pit of a paper thin narrative, and performances that drag the movie down.