Balance of Power (Hidden Tiger) (1996)

Balance of power was a bit of an unexpected hit for me in all honesty. I really wasnt expecting much in the way of this being any good (In fact I was quite frankly dragging my heels about reviewing this one because I really wasnt in the mood to review a generic martial arts movie) and yet Billy Blanks surpassed my expectations with this very overly macho but somehow slightly self aware martial arts action movie.

There was a turning point for me with this one. At first I thought my fears were all but confirmed as the film opened with a slouch into a generic “Bad guy” style affair, however by the time of the 2nd act training montage it was like a switch had been hit on this film and it very quickly upped the pace and quality of the production with a sweeping 2nd and 3rd act that were really quite enjoyable to sit through.

I’d struggle to say that this one was an out and out classic. Its still quite a generic affair. But I distinctly remember at the time coming away surprised that it wasnt absolutely awful (Not that thats a glowing endorsement exactly, saying somethings “Not awful” is completely different from saying “Is bloody amazing”

It does what it does rather well. Since this review I’ve managed to get my hands on quite a few of Billy Blanks films (Which will slowly be covered as I *Hopefully* go on) but the immediate thought thats struck me with his works is that it would be really helpful and general beneficial to everyone if they assembled some kind of “Best of Blanks” thin boxset…maybe 2-3 discs with 2 movies per disc on them. nothing fancy just something that collects some of his movies in a thin set so that people dont have to try and find them in dribs and drabs. I think he’d probably build up quite a cult following internationally if they were to do something like that.

In the US Im told both Blanks and his son are quite well known and run a line of fitness programmes. In the UK I dont think they’re quite that well known but im sure if your into your martial arts films that you’ll probably be aware of him…as for me? Well I’ve seen a few of his films but im always open to seeing more…

 

(I should also probably add that this film is off the scale in terms of being ludicrously cheesy)

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