By Lawrence O'Toole
Updated September 18, 1992 at 04:00 AM EDT

In a tale as tall as a giraffe, an orphaned English boy named P.K. (Stephen Dorff) spends his life learning to box and to fight prejudice, eventually becoming a great white hope for South Africa. John G. Avildsen’s photogenic movie, though squeezed onto the small screen, can be fairly gripping. But the constant narration is alienating, and there are just too many aphorisms about education from P.K.’s wiser-than-God teachers (John Gielgud, Armin Mueller-Stahl, and convict Morgan Freeman, who teaches him to box). More damaging, this is the most recent Hollywood production about the black struggle in South Africa in which the focus is on someone white. The first was 1987’s Cry Freedom, the ”biography” of Steven Biko in which a white journalist (Kevin Kline) became the main character. The Power of One, for all its good intentions, is mostly about a nice white boy. It’s like some kind of tiny, accidental obscenity. C-

Advertisement

Comments