Kickboxer Vengeance

 kickboxer-vengeance-2016-alain-moussi-jean-claude-van-damme-dave-batista-darren-shahlavi-gina-carano-georges-st-pierre-sara-malakul-lane-matthew-ziff-t-j-storm-steven-swadling-michel-qissi

Kickboxer: Vengeance – when his brother is killed in an underground deathmatch by the brutal Tong Po, a young fighter plots his revenge with the help of a master fighter (JCVD). I love martial arts movies and despite what you’ve read elsewhere this is a solid remake. First off; there’s shitloads of fighting – as in every five minutes, fight fight fight. There’s all the punches, all the kicks, a homoerotic rain fight, workmen walking through fights with panes of glass… there’s even a couple of street / marketplace fights that remind you of something like Ong Bak. Director John Stockwell clearly knows and respects the ancestry of this film; retaining key markers like the training montages, and bringing back key cast members; he even throws in some gratuitous boobs… however, most of the cheesier elements have been dropped and the story is more (Tong) po-faced. Just when you think they missed out the infamous car crash drunk dancing scene our new lead pays his respects with some truly horrendous Van Damme jivin’ during the end credits. Casting-wise, the new lead (Moussi) isn’t much of an actor, but what he lacks in charisma he makes up for with some high end fighting/action/stunt prowess; Batista doesn’t have a whole lot to do, although he’s a larger-than-life baddie; meanwhile JCVD steals all of his scenes with his cheeky acting chops, legendary moves, and unbelievably shredded torso. My only real niggle was the weirdly flashy subtitles clearly aimed at people who don’t read subtitles!. There’s a lot of misplaced nostalgia for the original Kickboxer: it’s ultra-80s, it hasn’t aged well, didn’t actually contain much fighting or action, and was basically a showcase for JCVDs moves. Kickboxer Vengeance however is a worthwhile and respectful remake that’s short on acting but crammed full of action. A sturdy modern martial arts movie.

Score: 7/10

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2 comments
  1. Managed to catch this one last week and actually went into this one with an open mind although i was highly likely to be disappointed being a massive fan of the admittedly…. somewhat dated original. I enjoyed the review however i have an alternative view point here, being that i thought it was just plain awful. Dave Bautista was good probably one of the best things about the film but he just never created the tension, animosity and even down right hatred you had for Michel Qissi’s character which was helped by the build up they gave Eric and Kurt. The remake had nothing it creates on its own and uses poor interpretations of other movies to the point i think i may have enjoyed Kickboxer 2 better….and that’s a stretch.

    I would say give it a go if your a fan of the original but don’t get your expectations up as ultimately this really disappoints in almost every way. solid 4/10

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  2. Wow, what a review! I didn’t know they even made another one of these films. It sounds hilarious, like so bad it’s good. Your review made me laugh several times. I will have to find a copy of this movie and check it out.

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