I’m excited about this one. KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE is a remake of KICKBOXER, and it for sure is a new franchise because they’re about to start shooting a sequel called KICKBOXER: RETALIATION. In this one, Alan Moussi (stunt double for Henry Cavill in IMMORTALS, The Miz in THE MARINE 3, Jason Clarke in WHITE HOUSE DOWN, Hugh Jackman in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE and Jai Courtney in SUICIDE SQUAD) takes on the JCVD role of Kurt Sloan, whose brother (now played by the late Darren Shahlavi) is paralyzed (now killed I bet) in the ring by the vicious Thai fighter Tong Po, originally played by Van Damme’s friend Michel Qissi, now the great Dave Bautista (credited as David here, so it’s his serious actor role I think).
Van Damme replaces Dennis Chan’s mentor character, and this seems promising in the trailer, because it appears to be one of these more interesting character actor performances Van Damme has been getting to do when he plays supporting roles.
It looks like they have most of the most famous elements of the original film, although I doubt they’ll have the famous dancing scene.
I love the format of the fighting tournament movie, and it’s a good way to get in those MMA cameos (Georges St-Pierre, Fabricio Werdum, Cain Velasquez) without it being forced. I also noticed T.J. Storm from BLACK COBRA in there. The braids are easy to spot. If you remember hearing Tony Jaa and Scott Adkins were in it, forget it, they were replaced by Van Damme and Shahlavi, respectively.
Carano seems like probly a non-fighting role, and not necessarily great acting, but it’s kind of a reunion for her because the director is John Stockwell who did her movie IN THE BLOOD, which I enjoyed. Stockwell (yes, the actor who is in CHRISTINE) doesn’t have a perfect track record as a director, but at his best he has a good balance of an artful eye and the lowbrow, so I think he’s a good choice.
IMDb lists the U.S. release date as August 19th. That’s a Friday. And Youtube lists this as the “theatrical trailer.” Does that mean this a real theatrical release? I hope so!
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.