Sidekicks (1992) Review

Verdict
2.5

Summary

Sidekicks is incredibly cheesy and not a great movie but it has a positive message and Brandis is very likable on screen. When Chuck appears for the final tournament it’s difficult not to smile.

Plot: Barry is an asthmatic kid having trouble in life. He lives with his father, a computer programmer, in Texas. Barry is struggling to get by in life, dealing with his rough school life, bullies, as well as his health. Barry’s only source of enjoyment is fantasizing that he is with Chuck Norris. Barry becomes sick of getting picked on by the bigger guys, and decides to learn karate, in hopes of one day meeting the great Chuck Norris.

Review: I’m always filled with a sense of sadness when I see this film now, simply because of the tragedy of Jonathan Brandis who died in 2003.

Although Sidekicks isn’t an amazing film by any stretch of the imagination, I enjoyed it because it actually has a positive message, which is something few movies have today. The main theme is overcoming adversity and disabilities to achieve your dreams and if you work hard enough you can do it.

The movie itself has more cheese than Holland but it’s difficult to dislike it for Brandis’ sheer likability and the final tournament with Chuck Norris fighting Joe Piscopo. It’s aimed at a younger audience so adult viewers may not love it, but it was quite charming and the references to Chuck’s movies like The Hitman and Missing in Action was fun.

Alan Silvestri’s score was decent too with some nice electric guitar music to accompany the (constant) training montages; literally the entire movie is pretty much a montage. Suits me!

It is really a comedy and the humour is aimed at kids with the bad guys being more comical than anything. Although, the scene where Barry (Brandis) fights the school bully was pretty entertaining. Those scenes always get me riled up. It’s a shame we didn’t get a final fight in the tournament between the two of them, which was a real let down.

I sympathized with the character of Barry because like him, when I was young I was a constant dreamer, hell that’s why I run this website, to escape the tedium of reality. It’s wish fulfillment which is why we all love the action genre so much.

Overall, Sidekicks is incredibly cheesy and not a great movie but it has a positive message and Brandis is very likable on screen. When Chuck appears for the final tournament it’s difficult not to smile.