By: The Cinema Drunkie
When I was a kid, the two action stars I looked up to the most were Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bruce Lee. Their movies made me the action fan I am today, practically foaming at the mouth at the very announcement of a new martial arts action movie. Yes, those two were my idols. But my hero was Ted Jan Roberts.
Who is Ted Jan Roberts, you ask? Well, Ted Jan, or T.J. as he was sometimes credited, was a child actor in the 90s DTV era who specialized in martial arts movies. Sort of a Karate Macaulay Culkin, if you will. He made a slew of films for companies like PM Entertainment, then starred as the main character in Saban’s Masked Rider before seemingly calling it a career in 1998 (although he has made a few appearances here and there in movies and shows, but nothing like his heyday).
You see, what was cool about him was that he was a kid like me, but he was kicking adult ass like I only dreamed I could at that time. That’s what made him my hero. A little kid beating the crap out of adult bad guys with badass karate. And he did it so efficiently too. But none more efficient than in 1994’s A Dangerous Place.
A teenage martial artist is thrown into a world of theft and risky behavior while investigating the death of his older brother.
This movie rules so hard! I love it so much! Ted Jan Roberts was the best little badass in the business, and this movie is a shining testament to that.
Speaking of Roberts, he gives a great lead performance as Ethan, a young kid who has been taught to be wise by his sensei, played by the late, great Mako, but is overcome with grief and rage over the mysterious circumstances surrounding his brother’s death. Excellent job from an excellent actor.
Corey Feldman (yes, THAT Corey Feldman) also gives a good performance as Taylor, the leader of the Scorpions, the karate team that Ethan’s brother Greg was associating with before his death. Hey, say what you will about the man personally, but he can act, and he does very well as the cocky jock douchebag.
We also get great appearances from the aforementioned Mako, Dick Van Patten as the principal, Erin Grey as the mom, Dean Cochran as Greg, and the always dependable Marshall Teague as Gavin, the discount John Kreese who might actually be a little worse than the Cobra Kai sensei.
But the real star of this movie is the action, and boooy, do we get it in abundance! Wall to wall awesome fights and car chases. Roundhouse kicks and car flips, this movie has it all in spades. This was obviously a PM entertainment movie, and that is why they were the best!
Oh man, the memories. The memories this movie brought back while rewatching it. The memories of a lifetime, Rekall, Rekall, Rekall…
Sorry, I got carried away there. Anyways, this movie rules just as hard since the last time I saw it. A mean and vicious teen karate flick that they just don’t make anymore. I mean, we got movies like Never Back Down, but be honest… is that even a tenth as good as A Dangerous Place? Yeah, I don’t think so either.
About The Author: With his mind utterly intoxicated off of a steady stream of movies, comics and cartoons, a young boy from Brooklyn, New York grew up to become the man known as… THE CINEMA DRUNKIE!!! https://thecinemadrunkie.wordpress.com/