Review: ‘Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Return of the Shadow Assassin’

The Kung Fu legend continues, now on the syndie track, as does David Carradine in his role of the middle-aged grandson of Caine, Chinese-American character he first played 22 years ago. The original series' mystique has evaporated in favor of cartoonish antics, but Kwai (Carradine) has a son Peter (Chris Potter), who picks up some of the slack.

The Kung Fu legend continues, now on the syndie track, as does David Carradine in his role of the middle-aged grandson of Caine, Chinese-American character he first played 22 years ago. The original series’ mystique has evaporated in favor of cartoonish antics, but Kwai (Carradine) has a son Peter (Chris Potter), who picks up some of the slack.

Kwai Chang Caine returns to aid Peter, who’s being challenged by that dreadful shadow assassin (Martin Kove), agent for malevolent Stone (George Lazenby). Stone’s using Peter to get to Kwai and to an author (Gary Blumsack) who wrote about the shadow assassin. Kwai consults with an ancient soul (Kim Chan), who shows him how to replicate himself, a trick that comes in handy when he faces off with the villain.

Michael Sloan’s script rings in some silly humor for relief, but it doesn’t help. And any charm related to the original 1972 ABC series has disappeared, the wonderment banished.

Under Zale Dalen’s direction, Carradine speaks ploddingly to establish some kind of characterization, but the results are laborious. Potter is efficient, Kove is stuck with a stock-villain role, and Lazenby does satisfactorily.

Tech credits are OK.

Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Return of the Shadow Assassin

(Wed. (26), 9-10 p.m., KCOP)

Production

Filmed in Toronto by Warner Bros. Distributing Canada Ltd. and Warner Bros. TV. Exec producer-writer, Michael Sloan; supervising producer, Maurice Hurley; producer, Susan Murdoch; co-producers, David Carradine, Martin Borycki; director , Zale Dalen; based on character created by Ed Spielman.

Crew

Camera, Barry Bergthorson; editor, Teresa Hannigan; art director, Rolf Harvey; sound, Ian Hendry; music, Jeff Danna; production designer, Gavin Mitchell.

Cast

Cast: David Carradine, Chris Potter, Martin Kove, George Lazenby, Gary Blumsack, Nicole Oliver, Kim Chan, Scott Wentworth, Michael Rhoades, David Hewlett, William Dunlop, Nathaniel Moreau, Krista Bridges, Ron Rubin, Robert Lansing.
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