We are about a week late on this but better believe it was worth it. Here at HMU we don’t pride ourselves on giving horrific reviews no matter how much our stomach turns during the watch. That being said anytime a cult classic gets a follow up or reboot we try to be optimistic on the reasoning behind them especially after such along time. Enters KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE a very delayed return to one of the films that continue to propel the career of Jean Claude Van Damme. He returns along with newcomer Alain Moussi to and a bevy of former WWE and current and former mma stars to bring a very comical yet less than stellar sequel.
We are not trying to say the first KICKBOXER film was iconic but there were many things that were just right. That film was made during a revitalization of the action genre and while it still breathes today this follow falls short on this essence. With the cinematography and action choreography of films like THE RAID, ONG BAK and whatever Well Go USA is distributing the overall action just doesn’t cut it. It was welcoming to see them return the long montages of the fighter training mixed in with a truly unnecessary and rushed love story but the greatness involved Van Damme. With companies like Glory and fighters out there like Joe Schilling Joe Nattawut and Raymond Daniels you would think they could find a better representation for the sport and not use so many UFC guys with wrestling backgrounds. How you can have Gina Carano in the film without a fighting scene is weird as well but it probably wouldn’t help. There is some moments of fun in the film but the story behind it is just a lukewarm cast off that really doesn’t work.
We really wanted to like KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE but it just wasn’t expectation worthy. With the availability of fighters and progress in choreography it seems like this could have been better. There is a charm in the film that will remind you of the first but overall we could expect a better overall product.
2 / 5
KICKBOXER VENGEANCE: is directed by John Stockwell and stars Jean-Claude Van Damme, David Bautista, Alain Moussi, Gina Carano and Cain Velasquez. It’s now available on Blu ray and DVD courtesy of RLJ Entertainment.