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Kickboxer: Vengeance (2016)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: John Stockwell

Starring:
Alain Moussi/ Kurt
Georges St-Pierre/ Kavi
Dave Bautista/Tong Po
Gina Carano/Marcia
5 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Tong-Po (Dave Bautista) killed Kurt Sloan's (Alain Moussi) "brather". Now the latter will be trained by Jean-Claude Van Damme and some other actor doing half of his ADR, in order to attain VENGEANCE.
THE LOWDOWN

“It’s a full serving of often inept cinematic cheese with no preservatives.”

Kickboxer Vengeance (watch it here): Ingredients

•A so-so Alain Moussi in the lead role. He displayed a flamboyant fighting style, did the splits, all that jive, but he lacked the charm that Van Damme displayed in the 1989 original.

• Mucho uneven directing, editing and cinematography choices.

• A messy and choppy way of telling its non-story. Too “intricate” (with the back and forth in time and its snore inducing/half-cocked cop/love interest subplot) for its own good! More is not always better!

• I love Gina Carano but she was beyond wooden here and didn't throw one punch. I don't watch her onscreen for her acting talents yo! LET HER FIGHT!

• Georges St-Pierre was no Marlon Brando but he was pretty funny as a drunk fighter and seeing him whoop that ass onscreen was a treat!

• Was great to see Martial Arts artist and stunt man Darren Shahlavi do his thing one last time. He died of a heart attack in 2015.

• Dave Bautista made for a menacing, cool as bleep and physically imposing Tong-Po. Loved him in the role!

• Bad ass fight scenes galore (of course they tossed some MMA moves and weapon schtuff in there). The flick came alive when it was either a training montage or a fist-to-cuffs party.

• An interesting sounding score by Adam Dorn. Think “relaxation” type music. Somehow it worked!

• A fun Jean Claude Van Damme performance. But WTF was up with the random shit dubbing by a shittier voice impersonator? Too bad, because Van Damme’s performance was a highlight (even though he wore sunglasses for the bulk of the movie...) and that strange poseur voice that randomly boomed out  tarnished it.

• We got all kinds of groovy nods (wasn't crazy about the "Nok su kow" chant coming out of nowhere though) and visual cues to the original film! Fans of the 1989 Kickboxer (such as myself) will be pleased!

Warning:

Look, it's not a good movie on paper (the original looks less dated than this update - go figure), but if you're a fan of 80's cheese-fest martial art flicks or/and the 1989 chop-sockey classic (watch it here), you may get some cheap spin-kicks out of it! I did!

GORE
Some blood splats here and there (coming out of one's mouth after being tagged). The usual!
T & A
We get two butt shots and Sara Malakul Lane showing off them ta-tas!
BOTTOM LINE
Kickboxer: Vengeance was shoddily written (how you can mess up a story of this ilk is beyond me), often shot/edited in a clumsy way, with lots of awful acting stinking up the joint. On that, this is a revenge/martial arts opus not Roland Joffe's The Mission. The thing did come to life when it was pimping a dope training montage or a zany man-dance while Van Damme (even with the crappy ADR), St. Pierre (even with his limited range) and Batista (dude owned it) were a blast to watch! Fans of Kickboxer (1989) may enjoy the sly nods to the original and if you're into so-bad-they're good/retro martial arts parties - you may be "all good"! I won't buy it, but am happy that I saw it and will tap the upcoming sequel Kickboxer: Retaliation when it comes out for shits and gigs!
BULL'S EYE
Michel Qissi (Tong Po in the 1989 original) has a quick cameo here!

Look out for a hefty wink to the infamous "Kickboxer JCVD dance number" during the end credits.

Hong Kong filmmaker Stephen Fung was set to direct, but left the production the weekend before the shoot was to start.
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6:10AM on 01/14/2017

Missing Mylee

please review kick boxer 1989. It's one of my faves.
please review kick boxer 1989. It's one of my faves.
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