We here at JPFmovies previously reviewed “Kung Fu” the 1970’s cult classic which branded David Carradine as Kwai-Chain-Kane the Asian priest wandering the old west. Decades later Kung Fu the Legend Continues (1993-1997) was aired also starring Carradine. So let’s take a look at the Kung-Fu reboot “Kung -Fu he Legend Continues.”
We here at JPFmovies (in case you didn’t notice) are big fans of the 1970’s T.V. series Kung-Fu (1972-1975) starring a young David Carradine, Keye Luke, Philip An and an assortment of guest stars including Jody Foster and Harrison Ford. However, 1975 was not the end of Kung Fu as Warner Bros. tried a few times to bring it back. First was Kung Fu: The Movie, a made-for-TV special that aired on CBS in 1986, with Carradine as Caine, and co-starring Brandon Lee (yes, that Brandon Lee) as his heretofore unknown son. That was followed in 1989 by another TV movie, again on CBS, entitled Kung Fu: The Next Generation, set in the present day and again starring Lee, but this time as Johnny Caine, the great-grandson of Carradine’s Caine (who doesn’t appear).
Kung Fu: The Next Generation didn’t go anywhere past the pilot stage, but four years later, Warner Bros. tried again for syndication, this time bringing Carradine back as well as preserving the contemporary setting. As a result, in 1993, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues was born, made in Toronto, Canada, it was truly a strange conglomeration of various plot devices/and ideas. The show’s premise had Carradine again playing Kwai Chang Caine, this time the grandson of the original Caine, who tries to keep the old ways of the Shaolin alive — all the while solving crimes with his police detective son Peter (Chris Potter, also the voice of Gambit on Fox’s X-Men, appearing in Silk Stalkings and Queer as Folk) and a motley assortment of supporting characters.
Throughout the show, Caine dispenses aphorisms like “I am Caine, I will help you” while his son gushed clichés like, “I’m a cop! That’s who I am, that’s what I do!” Not sure what demographic they were going for with this series. The show used the slow-motion martial arts device that the original Kung Fu pioneered as well as the truly tired cop stories and low budget production values, while Toronto as an obvious stand in for San Francisco to reduce costs. That said, The Legend Continues made it 88 episodes after 4 seasons and was not canceled due to low ratings but the studio Prime-Time Entertainment Network, simply going out of business.
We here at JPFmovies believe that is why the enigmatic Legend Continues series remains off most people’s radar. The bastard child of the original Kung Fu and the tired cop themed shows that have plagued our airwaves for decades. Most of the writing was done by Michael Sloan, the show’s producer, who obviously found many of the scripts on the internet or via outright copyright infringement of other media. Some of the lines are so contrived that you wonder what they were thinking. If you don’t believe us just take a look at the clips we’ve provided.
Here is the problem JPFmovies has. We are Kung Fu junkies so we are having a really hard time complaining about the show since it stars David Carradine as Caine—albeit a distant character altogether. On the other hand, if it were any other show we would have come down pretty hard on it. You see our dilemma?