Eric Sloane is the world karate champion and gets offered the chance to fight the infamous Tong Po in an underground fight in Thailand for a serious sum of money. Eric’s brother and trainer Kurt is not convinced and doesn’t travel with him but soon gets a ticket to Thailand from Eric. When he arrives at the fight, he is just in time to see Tong Po kill his brother in combat.
The police raid the fight and it is revealed they have been investigating the shady dealings of the promoter as well as corruption within the force, they escort Kurt to the airport and ask him not to return to Thailand. Kurt swears revenge and goes to his brother’s trainer Master Durand and eventually convinces the master to train him to challenge Tong Po.
Kickboxer: Vengeance is the remake of the early Van Damme action vehicle entitled simply ‘Kickboxer’. The plot of the remake (and the original) isn’t Oscar winning material and is simply a revenge tale with some training montages thrown in as well. What this version has going for it is the return of JCVD (this time as the trainer), David Bautista and a load of professional MMA fighters. The role of Kurt this time around is played by stuntman Alain Moussi in his first starring role. Moussi does well in the fight sequences and although not a seasoned thespian (neither was Van Damme at that time) is just fine.
All the violence is staged convincingly and Bautista hams it right up as Tong Po complete with dodgy pony tail. All in all, the cast do well in what really is a modern day Cannon Group film. It’s all very forgettable but great fun all the same. Two sequels are on the way, with the first one already filmed. Thankfully the hot lady cop played by Sara Malakul Lane will be returning as well.
Kickboxer: Vengeance is simply 90 minutes of pure escapism and certainly worth your time if this is your bag.
One more thing, watch the end credits as Moussi does a new version of Van Damme’s awful dancing from the 1989 version.
- Starring David Bautista Jean Claude Van Damme Alain Moussi Gena Carano Georges St-Pierre
- Director John Stockwell
- Distributor Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment