I love classic Jean Claude Van Damme films. Lionheart, Bloodsport, Timecop, even Double Team are films I still watch to this day. So I’ve always liked Kickboxer, and knew that sequels existed out there in the straight to DVD world. What I did not know until the glory of Netflix was that in 2016, they rebooted the original 1989 classic in a film called “Kickboxer Vengeance.”
“Vengeance” follows the same basic storyline of the original film. With our hero Kurt Sloane having to travel to Thailand to fight the kickboxer that killed his brother during an underground match. If you are a UFC or mixed martial arts fan, the best part in this movie are the cameos. George St. Pierre, Gina Carson, Cain Velasquez, Fabrici Werdum all make appearances throughout the film. Sloane’s main enemy Tong Po is even played by former WWE superstar (and current Guardians of the Galaxy megastar) Dave Batista. But by far the best part of the movie is our original savior Van Damme playing the trainer of our new rebooted Sloane. As a disgruntled angry man, I loved Van Damme and think he played the role perfectly. His accent somehow is still horrible and his acting hasn’t improved in 30 years, but he’s still fun to watch. On another note, whatever the hell HGH or steroid Van Damme is taking at age 56 I need to get me some of. He looks amazing on screen. But I digress.
The movie overall I would consider an enjoyable, one time watch. There is no reason to ever own this movie, but checking out on a rainy day is worth it. The fight scenes are as great as expected and the shots of Thailand are beautiful. There is particularly a scene of people fighting while running across live elephants and I thought that was fun to watch. Give it a shot but no rush on it.
6 unnecessary splits out of 10
Special note: In an uncredited cameo, and probably missed by most, when Van Damme is in jail the individual in the cell next him that he talks to is actually the original Tong Po from the 1989 movie.