Sidekicks (1992 film)

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Promotional film poster
Directed by Aaron Norris
Produced by Don Carmody
Written by Lou Illar
Galen Thompson
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Joao Fernandes
Edited by David Rawlins
Bernard Weiser
Vision PDG
Gallery Films
Distributed by Triumph Films
Alliance Films
Release date
  • December 17, 1992 (1992-12-17)
  • April 9, 1993 (1993-04-09)
Running time
101 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Sidekicks is a 1992 action film starring Jonathan Brandis and Chuck Norris.


Barry Gabrewski is an asthmatic boy who lives with his widowed father, Jerry Gabrewski (Beau Bridges), in Houston, Texas. A loner, Barry has vivid daydreams about being Chuck Norris' sidekick, battling against Norris's movie enemies, who are often personified by Barry's everyday bullies such as Randy Cellini (John Buchanan). Noreen Chan (Julia Nickson-Soul), his favorite teacher, often plays the damsel in distress in these daydreams.

Barry wants to learn the martial arts, but is rejected by the arrogant dojo owner Kelly Stone (Joe Piscopo) for being too weak. Instead, he is taken on as a student by an old Chinese man called Mr. Lee (Mako), the sly uncle of his teacher and the owner of a local Chinese restaurant, "Frying Dragon". Mr. Lee finds creative ways to teach Barry to defend himself from his bullies. Lee devises training methods that increase Barry's endurance, which helps his asthma. Lee also deduces Barry's hero worship of Norris and from that, deduces at least some of Barry's daydreams. He creatively incorporates this into Barry's training, creating training scenarios that seem more dangerous than they are so that Barry will feel heroic for succeeding at them.

Lee enters himself, Barry, and Chan into a local team Karate tournament but is a bit stymied to learn that a team must have four members. Norris is attending the tournament as a guest. Chan (at Lee's urging) convinces Norris to join the team. Norris is both willing to help an ardent fan and has his own motivation for participating: he has encountered Stone on several prior occasions and wants to teach him "a lesson in humility." Barry is stunned to find himself working together with his hero.

The tournament involves four events: Breaking, Mens Weapons, Female Kata, and Freestyle fighting. Stone's team narrowly defeats Chan in the Female Kata, but Lee defeats Cellini, one of Stone's students, in Breaking. True to his word, Norris defeats Stone in Freestyle fighting. Barry -- aided by a vivid daydream -- scores well in the Mens Weapons. The result is a tie between Stone's team and Lee's team. In the tie-breaker, Lee is allowed to choose the participants, and chooses Barry and Cellini, saying Barry is the member of the team with "something to prove." Stone chooses the event, Breaking. Barry is dismayed to be confronting Cellini in the latter's best event but Lee tilts the odds in Barry's favor by using a small amount of lighter fluid to set Barry's bricks on fire. Faced with a much more heroic-seeming task, Barry wins.

After the tournament, Barry is seen talking to Norris, thanking him for his help. Norris vanishes, and it is implied that Barry has found the strength to live his life without the need for his daydreams. Before the movie fades to black, a young boy finds Barry's Chuck Norris magazine. With an excited "Wow" the camera pans out to reveal the young man is in a wheelchair.


Filming locations[edit]

This movie was filmed primarily in Houston, TX. It was the brain child of well known furniture outlet owner in partnership with Chuck Norris and his Kick Drugs out of Schools campaign, Jim "Mattress Mac" McIngvale, produced and invested 8 million dollars on this movie.[1] It is believed his relationship with Chuck Norris, who starred in many commercials with "Mac" came to him with the idea of creating this film. In McIngvale's book, Always Think Big, he states going into film and producing was "extremely hard work".[citation needed]


The film received largely negative reviews from critics.[2][3][4][5][6] Based on 8 reviews gathered, the film has a 13% from Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 3.6/10.[7]

Box Office[edit]

The movie debuted at No.2 at the box office.[1][8] The movie only grossed $17,180,393 during its domestic release.[9]


  1. ^ a b Welkos, Robert W. (1993-05-09). "A look inside Hollywood and the movies `SIDEKICKS' SAGA `Mattress Mack' Markets a Winner". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  2. ^ "Sidekicks". Washington Post. 1993-04-30. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  3. ^ "Sidekicks". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  4. ^ "Sidekicks". Variety. 1992-12-31. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  5. ^ Smith, Lynn (6 May 1993). "'Sidekicks' Wakes Them Up to Some Truths About Achieving Dreams". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  6. ^ "Sidekicks". Entertainment Weekly. 1993-05-21. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  7. ^ "Sidekicks". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  8. ^ "Weekend Box Office : 'Proposal' Still Doing Indecent Business". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  9. ^ "Sidekicks (1993)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 

External links[edit]