Adventures of Johnny Tao (DVD Review)27 Jul, 2008 By: Matt Miller
Rated ‘PG-13' for violence and martial arts action.
Stars Matthew Twining, Matt Mullins, Chris Yen, Kelly Perine, Lindsay Parker, Marianne Muellerleile, Michael Gregory, James Hong, Jason London.
Adventures of Johnny Tao is a throwback to family-friendly martial arts films of the 1980s such as The Karate Kid and The Last Dragon.
The adventure follows Johnny Dow (Twining), an altruistic gas station owner/mechanic whose best friend, Eddie (Mullins), unleashes a demonic spirit that takes over his body.
Eddie becomes a superhuman fighting machine who uses his powers to transform the townspeople into an army of doughnut-craving kung fu warriors. Now the fate of the small town, and the world, lies in Johnny's ability to use the martial arts skills he's acquired from watching old movies.
Luckily, Johnny gets some much-needed help from a mysterious Chinese warrior named Mika (Yen), who has been training all her life to fight the demon spirit. They work to prevent the spirit from completing an artifact that would give the demon the power to take over the world. Their best weapon turns out to be a guitar of Johnny's musician father.
Adventures of Johnny Tao is a highly entertaining film that combines fast-paced kung fu action with toe-tapping rockabilly music. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and the violence is mild, which makes it a film that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages.
The film is filled with young actors such as Twining (“One Life to Live”), but its real draw is world-champion martial artist Mullins (a rising action star who appeared on “America's Got Talent” last year and is in the upcoming “Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight” series). The film also won Best Feature at the 2007 Backlot Film Festival.