Kickboxer 2

tn_kickboxer2When Van Damme got his chance to play twins for the first time of course he took it. But while he was out double impacting the saga of the Sloane brothers had to continue, so they invented a third brother besides Van Damme or the champ older brother whose death in the ring with Tong Po he had had to avenge. They say this new one, David Sloane, is not as strong or fast as his brothers, but has “more heart.” And the movie actually backs that up.

The first half is actually kind of like REDBELT. He’s struggling to keep the family gym/dojo in the black, but still refuses offers to fight professionally. Instead of Ricky Jay you have Peter Boyle as the sleazy sports entertainment business man (but he kind of has a conscience – the guy you really gotta look out for is his partner Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa). When they try to recruit Sloan and he refuses he tells his confused student, “He’s gonna take a sport that we both love, that we would die for, and destroy it.”

mp_kickboxer2David Sloane is played by Sasha Mitchell, who is an actor, not a real kickboxer, so you don’t get any splits in this one. Seems like the filmatists taught him and stunt doubled him well, so I didn’t have a problem with it, but Van Damme definitely was more impressive in his fights, so this could be a dealbreaker for some people. The trade off is that Mitchell is a more competent actor and English-speaker than Van Damme. And since I’m a sucker for these kind of purist, idealistic, honorable warrior type heroes I enjoyed the early scenes of him in the gym philosophizing to the kids he recruits off the streets as his students (theory of badass juxtaposition). He has kind of a square charm to him that I thought was likable. Just seems like a really nice guy.

That different type of protagonist gives it a real different feel than the original, but it also maintains continuity by using more of those cheesy ROCKY sequel type motivational rock songs. And there’s a goofy scene where you find out Tong Po later shot Van Damme and killed him. Which in my opinion is VERY poor sportsmanship.

c-htUnfortunately, the second half of KICKBOXER 2 turns into the obvious sequel you’d expect. C-H T pulls a trick to change who Sloane’s former student has to fight. An opponent comes out with a bag on his head and although it would be pretty cool if it was Van Damme under there (or a headless kickboxer) it turns out to be the dreaded Tong Po, who you may remember is Michel Qisi (director of TERMINATOR WOMAN) wearing makeup to look like a scary Asian. Not surprisingly he kills the student in the ring just like he did in KICKBOXER 1 when he was doing it just like Ivan Drago did in ROCKY IV.

Dennis Chan returns as the goofy Muay Thai mentor Xian Chow. He trains the younger Sloan to defeat Tong Po (to avenge the deaths of his niece, his student, his student’s brother, and his dog if I remember correctly), but there’s not that many montages and no hilarious dancing in a bar. You can’t do that without Van Damme. At the end (AMBIGUOUS SPOILER) it’s not clear if Tong Po is alive or not. I’ll have to watch part 3 to find out if he later surprised David in a dark alley and shot him. I hope not, because they said there were no more Sloane brothers. I guess there could be a cousin.

I gotta say, I don’t agree with C-H T’s honor math. He believes Tong Po lost his honor by being defeated by Kurt Sloane, and since Kurt is dead Tong Po can’t get a rematch and can only regain his honor by defeating David Sloane. #1, how is that equal to pick on the kid brother? Everybody in the movie repeatedly says he’s not as good as his brothers, and obviously he can’t do the splits, so what are we doing here? #2, why doesn’t the whole cold-blooded murder thing fit into the equation of honor? I think that needs to be balanced out with a point blank execution of Tong Po, and then his brother would fight Kurt’s brother and the honor would come posthumously, like Harvey Milk’s Medal of Freedom or Tupac’s last six albums.

Of course they have to repeat the famous forearms-dipped-in-broken-glass fight from part 1, but like before it’s kind of useless because it seems to cause no damage, they keep hitting each other and barely bleeding. It’s not until they get to that required moment in the fight where the hero seems to be done for that he suddenly has blood all over him like an extreme wrestler.

At the beginning of the movie Sloane’s young tomboy friend/youth outreach manager (Heather McComb) brings a juvenile delinquent (90210’s Brian Austin Green) to meet him. B.A.G. is unimpressed with what he sees until Sloane puts on a blindfold and lets the little brat try to hit him. Of course he dodges or blocks all the blows and spouts off about the power of the mind and when all seems lost and completely dark you’re actually at your most etc. etc. This turns out to be the key to his fighting, because there’s a callback to it at the end when he’s getting his ass beat by Tong Po and his vision is blurry. He remembers to focus his mind the way he does when he’s blindfolded, and that’s how he beats (kills?) Tong Po. In other words, he beats him by pretending he’s Brian Austin Green. If you’re ever covered in blood and the monster who killed both your brothers is close to beating you to death, just imagine he’s Brian Austin Green. I repeat: he is not the huge, menacingly-pony-tailed beast who practices his kicks by breaking columns with his bare foot. He is in fact the nerdier kid from 90210. Get that in your head and you are indestructible.

The writer is David S. Motherfuckin BLADE Goyer, so it’s pretty good with a solid action movie structure. The director is Albert Pyun, but I never would’ve guessed that because it’s both watchable and kind of good. It even has crowd scenes. Definitely his best that I’ve seen, even if the second half is too much of a rehash. I can’t find the comment right now, but one of you recently said that “Pyun” is the sound that bullets make when they ricochet off things in westerns. I like that, but in fact it turns out it’s the sound of Tong Po getting kicked in the face by the guy from SPIKE OF BENSONHURST.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 13th, 2009 at 1:51 am and is filed under Action, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

103 Responses to “Kickboxer 2”

  1. Well, he HAS a black belt in Tea Kwon Do. Don’t know if he already had it when he made that movie anyway.
    I remember that I couldn’t stop laughing, when I found out something like 10 years ago, that the goofy Cody from “Step By Step” did some Martial Arts movies earlier. Although on the other hand I remember that there were at least two episodes* of it, where Cody showed some fighting skills. One was a bar fight, where he and Patrick Duffy took on a group of bikers and in the other one he saved Dana from getting molested, by kicking through the glass of a vending machine.

    Yes, I got lots of useless knowledge about Sitcoms from the 90’s and I’m not always proud of it. (Although it made me look cool in the eyes of some of my co-workers, a few years ago.)

  2. And with “he” I mean of course Sasha Mitchell. Just in case you wonder who I was referring to. :P

  3. I was the bullet ricochet guy.

    I am very awesome.

  4. Tea Kwon Do, The Tea Of Champions!

  5. Albert Pyun would never again show this level of competence

  6. “The director is Albert Pyun, but I never would’ve guessed that because it’s both watchable and kind of good. ”


    Believe it or not, KICKBOXER 2 was the only Pyun movie to ever get reviewed on the old Siskel & Ebert program. Of course they thought it sucked.

    So Vern, when we getting a review of Van Damme’s biggest American hit?

  7. Yes!! Great idea RRA. A Timecop review is long overdue.

  8. All of the Kickboxer sequels are available on omnipresent, and increadibly cheap DVDs in the UK… except this one, which is the only one I’m actually interested in watching! The “corporate takeover” aspect intrests me. Plus it was the only one to be released theatrically which surely indicates… I dunno, something.

  9. Now you have to work your way to Kickboxer 5. I’m pretty sure that one takes place on an Island, like the Island of the Kickboxers or something. And i think Qisi comes back for that one.

    honor mathematics is awesome.

  10. Po didn’t die, at least not if you choose to care about the sequels. The 3rd movie, “Art of War” is less focused on martial arts and doesn’t have Tong Po. The 4th brings back Po (sounds cute dunnit?), has a tournament, one major gratuitous sex scene and a fighting scene at the end that is either supposed to appear realistic, or is just an example of terrible direction, choreography and editing.

    Mitchell supposedly practiced his fighting skills by beating his wife, but some time after being convicted he got back custody of his kids and apparently the allegations of spousal abuse were untrue. Who cares, I think he’s good at shouting “duuude”.

  11. Once more my useless sitcom knowledge comes into play. So if you don’t care for that shit, you can stop reading this post:
    Sasha Mitchell’s wife became a drug addict and one day she freaked out and attacked him and I think even the kids, so he had to defend them. Unfortunately she was smarter than expected and turned it into a “celebrity husband abuses his helpless wife”-story, which also caused the sudden disappearance of Cody. (The producers didn’t want to have a wife beater in their family sitcom. He got replaced by a hyperactive guy named “Flash” that lasted less than half a season, and then by Bronson Pinchot as French hair stylist.) But when her addiction became public, he got the kids and even appeared in one last episode of “Step By Step”. (Apparently Cody traveled on his motorcycle around the world or something like that.)

  12. Sasha Mitchell also played in Dallas alongside with Patrick Duffy. I believe JR wasn’t killed by a shot, but by Mitchell’s right foot.

  13. Kickboxer 4 is also pretty good. Kickboxer 3 is a bore, not directed by Pyun. Pyun’s real talent was in kickboxing movies, I mean as hilarious as Cyborg was, in terms of quality he actually got a lot of things right. Then he made the awful Heatseeker which combined robots in kickboxing battles and he was bad again/ He’s a guy who needs to have his creative input on a leash. I mean he is sort of fascinating, but he did want to make Cyborg into a black and white opera. Can you imagine that? Sasha Mitchell was a blackbelt before Kickboxer 2 and also a kickboxer as well, indeed it’s how he got the part for his best movie Spike Of Bensonhurst. Indeed, I always Sasha, it’s too bad he doesn’t make more movies.

  14. And I mean quality of fight sequences, cause that was the only thing Cyborg did right.

  15. “Apparently Cody traveled on his motorcycle around the world or something like that.”

    Too funny. I remember there was a time around the year 2000 or so that Mitchell put on a ton of weight in muscle and wanted to get into pro wrestling. Would have been awesome if he wrestled as Cody from Step by Step and walked the ramp to the show’s theme music

  16. The Codeman!
    He was the bastard son of JR Ewing.

  17. Hi All,

    First, Vern, thank you so much for the review. I enjoyed it…ALL of it. As I read the comments, let me provide some insight. Sasha was not a black belt or trained at all in martial arts. He strictly got the role based on his charm and what I thought was a unique persona. I was a big fan of his from Bensonhurst and really wanted him in KB2. He trained very hard and was incredibly dedicated at acquiring the skills of a martial artist. He continued on in his training thereafter in a serious way.

    While I certainly have been mostly ugly miss and bomb in my filmmaking, I hope I am improving to at least an almost semi-coherent level of competence level with my current films (Tales of an Ancient Empire and Road to Hell). And, yes, many a critic and producer has tried to get the leash on my “creative” instincts but I was mostly able to bite them all and give them bad filmmaking rabies.

    Anyway, thanks for the review and all the comments. Love for you to review Mean Guns so I get everyone’s take on that. You will be doing the world a favor as I shoot Mean Guns 2 in November. This is your chance to try to toss a leash on me before I go crazy.

    Albert Pyun

  18. On the Command Performance comments page , we mentioned and discussed a little bit about Pyun and his works. I said that I just don’t understand the guy ,because in his movies there’s often something that I like , but I’m always unimpressed. So , naturally , I re-watched Nemesis , because I’m obsessed with cyborgs , just like Mister Pyun. Unfortunately I’m here to report another step in the constant lowering of my standards because , after years of quick cuts , shaky camera and documentary style , I’ve found myself enjoying the fact of simply knowing what the fuck was going on. The opening shootout is pretty good , the action is always clear ( if not good ) and the special effects are old school plastic puppets AND stop motion animation ( always a winner with cyborgs and undead).Plus :

    1) Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa.

    2) Sven-Ole Thorsen : He’s a cyborg killed by an old, shaking , armed and dangerous grandma!! “Fucking Cyborgs”!!

    3) In the most hilarious scene one of the henchmen breaks a window and jumps down chasing the hero on the streets below , ALWAYS shooting at the sky. Stupid henchman .

    In conclusion , it’s still a B class movie , but understandable , funny in every possible way and better than I remembered .

  19. Actually Nemesis wasn’t too bad of a B.movie, it’s probably the closest Pyun (Did you know he studied under Kurosawa?) has come to making a good movie with robots. He did get some good action sequences and it wasn’t his fault that Nemesis was merely good-bad (Which is like Seagal, Van Damme, Lundgren, Dudikoff and Mitchell starred movies) Mainly cause of his cast, Tim ,Cary Tagawa and Thom Mathews were pretty good, but even the usually dependable Brion James (in a hideous german accent) and everyone else were just terrible. Especially the asian sidekick that aids Olivier Gruner. Actually Gruner wasn’t unwatchably bad, but a lot of his co-stars were. Still it is a fairly decent movie. Pyun’s only decent works are that, Kickboxer 2 and 4, Sword and The Sorcerer and maybe Mean Guns. Everything else have been hilariously awful or just plain boring. Indeed Captain America, Dangerously Close,Alien From L.A,Deceit, Knights, Nemesis 2, Heatseeker, Omega Doom, Blast, Crazy Six and Max Havoc are all losers well worth avoiding. I still respect Pyun cause of those titles I mention as being good, indeed he has 5 more decent movies in his filmography than Michael Bay. 4 more than Roland Emmerich (Universal Soldier his only good movie) And 4 more than Joel Schumacher (Falling Down), 4 more than Rob Cohen (Dragonheart), and 3 more than Paul W.S Anderson (Mortal Kombat and Event Horizon) It’s just too bad, we don’t have more guys like Mark L. Lester and Isaac Florentine, guys who deliver consistently and with great results, in which even on an off day they still make decent action fare. I mean take Lester, Class Of 1984, Commando, Firestarter, Class Of 1999, Showdown In Little Tokyo and Night Of The Running Man. Good stuff…

  20. Yeah , I’ve seen Brion James only dubbed by Italian actors , and hearing him with that accent really pissed me off , but in the end added to the overall goofyness of the package . I’ve never heard him before with his original voice , is that accent fake ?

    Another plus is also B-movie legend Tim Thomerson , playing a state of the art cyborg unable to shoot even an elephant in front of him with a rocket launcher!!!

  21. Mr. Pyun: SWORD AND THE SORCERER, NEMESIS, DOLLMAN and MEAN GUNS were all quite enjoyable in my opinion. I have INVASION and LEFT FOR DEAD in my Netflix queue but haven’t gotten around to them yet. Shine on.

  22. I liked Invasion for what it was (a flawed but watchable Bodysnatchers movie). It was far, far inferior to the Donald Sutherland version though. I’m a big body-horror fan, so I’m always eager to see what they make of each new film. Some day I’d like to see one set in a shopping mall like the original “Dawn of the Dead”.

    You’ll notice that I’m commenting on “Invasion” instead of “Kickboxer 2”. That’s because I saw it years ago and can’t remember a damn thing about it. Never a good sign. :( I did think “Bloodsport” was far better than the original “Kickboxer”, and view them almost exactly in the opposite way as Vern did in his reviews. But Kickboxer was a damn enough squib for me that it didn’t make me want to go out of my way to see the sequels.

  23. Thanks for all the comments on my films. And thank you Paul for your comments about Invasion. It must be weird to see on DVD because it was always screened in large theaters at festivals initially. Brussels, Estepona, Santa Barbara. We always controlled the room temp and sound system. In a theater that’s tuned for the experience, we could get audience members hallucinating. It a weird hypnotic effect on a big screen and with 6 channel discreet sound. Puts audiences in a trance-like state. We had dozens of fest invites but it was too hard to prepare a screening. We’d make a new picture master and entire soundtrack specifically tuned for the exact theater we were screening. But I’m glad you got a bit of the experience.

    As Kickboxer 2, its kind of not certain what it wants to be. My intent was to focus more on the characters but ultimately we had to cater to what people would expect from a movie called Kickboxer 2. I don’t think we quite found the balance. Interestingly, I was shooting in the south Bronx (Dollman) when Kickboxer 2 opened in New York City. We rented a limo and sat in. The theater was pretty full and was crazy rowdy. They hated two things: 1) That there was no JC and 2) That there were little kids and no cute girls…they did love the ring girls though.

    And thanks Go Joe for being such a supporter. I think you’ll find with my upcoming films a more mainstream style of storytelling (at least for me).

    And holy smokes, Kenner, I have to do better to reward all those lost hours viewing my dreck. What did you think of Mean Guns?


  24. CallMeKermit — The old lady who shot Ole was 94 years old I remember and everyone was worried that I was having her shoot full load blanks from a, I think it was, desert eagle. Everyone half expected her arm to snap off from the recoil.

  25. Mr. Pyun – I’m not really a fan of your work. I won’t bullshit or beat the bush, I’m just not. But hey, opinions are like assholes: Everyone has one.

    That said, I never saw it, but your RADIOACTIVE DREAMS sounds like a crazy concept (in a good way) that I must commend you for getting produced.

    Or getting Michael Pare some more work for that matter. That’s always a good thing. You have one cool action over Michael Bay as far as I’m concerned. Two actually.

    (Also, was the guitar-naming gimmick in CYBORG your idea?)

  26. Let’s not get on Schumacher too much. The guy also gave us Lost Boys, Flatliners, and D.C. Cab.

    Time To Kill, Phone Booth, and Tigerlad I thought were good too although due to their reputation, I’ll concede that those are debateable but c’mon D.C. Cab! That movie is funny as shit.

    Come to think of it Batman and Robin is pretty damned hilarious as well. BAAAAAAAAAAAANE!

  27. Joel Schumacher is the poor man’s Barry Levinson, a filmmaker with the amazing ability to craft both pretty good and atrociously awful films.

    I mean look at Levinson. Same year he shot WAG THE DOG, he also made SPHERE.

    As for Schumacher, we all know BATMAN & ROBIN that trainwreck which indirectly conceived THE DARK KNIGHT about 11 years later. Thanks Joel.

    He also shot FALLING DOWN, which kicks all sorts of ass. Douglas should have gotten an Oscar nod for that one fucking misunderstood picture.

  28. I was going to add St. Elmo’s Fire to the mix but I’ve never seen it. I love the song though. I obviously don’t know the context it’s used in the movie (having not seen it and all) but it’s by far one of the greatest montage songs ever written.

    Falling Down is great as well but it was mentioned already so I let that one go. I also finally saw The Number 23 and like 8MM, it’s competently made but it’s just not something I’ll ever watch again.

    I also really enjoyed The Client as heavily flawed as it was. Although I’m REALLY leanient on courtroom type movies. It sucks to say but Michael Bay could make a courtroom movie and I’d probably eat it right up. Quick cuts, shakey cam, and all.

  29. No way Bay would ever make a courtroom drama.

    Unless he can find a way to tie in explosions with the climatic verdict.

    Imagine this pitch…jury finds out they’re families will get bombed if they find an innocent defendent not guilty.


  30. Lawyer #1 – Did you or did you not use Government funding to put a hit out on Vick Tium.

    Lawyer #2 – Objection your honor.

    Judge – Sustained.

    Lawer #1 – Sustain This!

    Lawyer #1 tears open his jacket to reveal a suicide bom.

    Judge – ORDER! ORDER!

    Defendent – What the hell dude? This wasn’t part of the plan. I’m innocent for christsakes!

    Lawyer #1 – So is America.

    Lawyer #1 along with the entire courthouse explodes.

    Cut to T.V. newscast.

    T.V. Anchor – THAT. WAS. AWESOME.

    Co-anchor – Hell yeah. It was even better than Armageddon!

    End title card

    A Film by Michael Bay
    You’re welcome world.

  31. “And holy smokes, Kenner, I have to do better to reward all those lost hours viewing my dreck.”

    It’s dreck, sure – but, it’s good dreck. I’ll put it like this – if you’d worked with Roger Corman during his hayday, you’d have probably been one of the better directors in his stable. I mean, sure – “Captain America” was pretty bad, but I’ll take that over “Death Sport” any day.

  32. Well shit I was going to make a (non)witty comment about Captain America but now since Pyun came in and is acting really cool and put a face (so-to-speak) to a name, I kind of feel like an asshole if I did that now.

    -With that out of the way and unto to other not of high quality Marvel movies…

    vern & CallMeKermit

    you both owe me 90-minutes back after talking me into (ie convincing me) to re-watching the Corman-produced Fantastic Four. Don’t give me that I did it on my own free-will.


    Didn’t Bay actually say he was interested in doing a character-piece/drama or something next?


    There hasn’t been all that much for me to be happy about lately or even smile at in my life. You just made me laugh out loud for like five-minutes, something I haven’t done in while. So I thank you very much for that.

  33. Mr. Pyun: Thanks alot for your comments bud, I’m very surprised and impressed to see you here. Even if I was talking shit you are a legend in my book. Also you are the director of TICKER in my book, my book is called Seagalogy and has a whole chapter on TICKER. Anyway I’m glad to see you have a thick skin and sense of humor.

    Sorry to say I already reviewed MEAN GUNS and I’m too embarrassed to even provide the link here because it was pretty harsh. I didn’t like it but I honestly have gotten many emails over the years recommending I check it out, so there are definitely people out there who like it. Also people always tell me they like CYBORG. And DOLLMAN made me laugh, that was pretty funny.

    And I honestly really did like what you did with Sasha Mitchell in this one and his pre-REDBELT code of honor stuff. If you’re still around I have a question I’m really curious about, how did you do the Van Damme dead body? I couldn’t tell if it was a lookalike or what. If it was a dummy it was a good one.

    Thanks again, I think outlawvern.com just went up in status by having Albert Pyun comments.

  34. Thanks Vern for that. oh don’t worry about the harsh, if I wanted to spare my feelings I wouldn’t be in this business nor make such crappy movies that elict harsh. I think I have a pretty realistic grip on just how bad some (most) of my films are. And part of the fun of online reviews and blogs is to havea little fun (ah…it is in fun, right?) with the skidmark that are usually my films. But I will try to do better and try to prevent the films being taken over and recut. Bottom line is everyone here sounds like they love movies and so ts great to have this forum of discussion — or in the case of my films, venting. Yes, it was a real body in KB2. I showed the actor the first few minutes of Alien From LA and you see the result.

    RRA – yes my idea on the instrument names. The original music score played off each character’s name for his or her theme. The score got tossed along with me before the editing was done. And thanks for the kind sentiment about getting Radioactive Dreams made…you’re the only one who probably feels that way!

    GeoffreyJar — please joke away. would be cool to see your riff on that travesty. I might just post my director’s cut online. It very different (but I didn’t say better).

    Keep fighting the fight and so will I. It is amazing, as I look back, that I’ve been fortunate to make 50 films and videos over the past 28 years and not a single critic, fanboy, cinema lover or assassin could stop me. I’m like the Terminator.


  35. geoffreyjar : I’m sorry for wasting your 90 minutes , but I did point out that Cormanastic 4 was NOT a good movie in any way . As a Doctor Doom fan I was pissed off by the guy who played it , but after the recent F4 with Alba and co. I was so pissed that I skipped the sequel entirely . But , as I said , I think the Corman one is more in line with the source material and more funny to watch, and , come on , didn’t you get a kick out of the cheesy special effects and bad dialogue? Just thinking of the “rubber” special effects makes me smile ! Again , I’m sorry , but you needed to see that for yourself , we are all scholars of Cinema , after all , no?

    Mr. Pyun: Thanks for the comments . And , by the way , hiring an old lady to shoot Sven-Ole Thorsen with a Desert Eagle ? Genius !That’s a dream job , man , a fun day at work! I wish I was that lucky !

  36. I for one am totally up for viewing your cut of Captain America.

    Captain America is far from the worse superhero film and it isn’t even the worst Marvel film.

    But I will not be completely overtaken by celebrity (and one acknowledging me to boot) and I will say that no it’s not a particularly high quality film, I think I just may like The Dark Knight better, I will say it is far from the worst superhero film every made and it isn’t even the worst Marvel film every made.

    So considering there are no crazy legal procedures you have to jump through, I’m all for it and I say go for it.

  37. CallMeKermiT

    As stated I have seen the movie before, just a long time ago. I was content at leaving it as a memory, but that wasn’t good enough for you and vern…

    -for the record for people joining in, neither vern nor KermiT actually told me to watch the thing, they said that it was superior to big budget one so I figured it worth another shot. I was wrong. Well actually I was right to not want to view it again but I was wrong for giving second chances

    Yeah I got a kick out the cheesy effects but what I really liked was the pant-amine of the guy playing Doom. He had the most over-the-top hand/arm gestures I had ever seen in my life. I cracked up everytime he poped up.

    That said the thing’s script sucked hard. It could have been okay/bad if they just stuck to origin but they add silly Doom henchmen and of coarse the Jewler (that serves nothing to the plot). Thus I can not (completely) defend it on the whole ‘what they had to work with’ defence.

    -Well it wasn’t as bland as the big-budget one I guess where the 4 just sat around and did nothing until the very end.

    –The Dr. Doom in that sucked too. He was closer to the comics but he was more Saturday-morning cartoon villain than dictator who wants to save the world (even if he has to force it to be saved). So I gotta say that in that department this one is no better than turning him into a bland business man. (He did act more like Doom in second one though, actually that was one those were the whole thing was an improvement over the previous one, it still wasn’t all that good (it went from bland (part 1) to mediocre) but at least the 4 actually did shit in it)

    —So there you go Mr. Pyun, your Marvel movie is better than Fantastic Four and Ghost Rider.

  38. I also forgot…I liked Dollman as well. In fact, I even sort of liked Bloodmatch (If not for the really dumb ending.) So I guess that puts your work at 6 and a half good movies (Bloodmatch is your half, cause it had good action.) The truth of the matter is, I think we approach Albert Pyun in a weird ways. Indeed, I probably am the one who leads pack of being a defender. For me, Pyun has talent when it comes to the kickboxing genre, sword and sorcery genre. I did like Mean Guns, Nemesis, Kickboxer 2 and 4, Dollman and Sword and The Sorcerer. If you want to see an obvious difference in talent, you just take a look at Kickboxer 2 and Kickboxer 4 in comparison to the atrocious Kickboxer 3. You’ll notice Pyun has a natutal knack of keeping the pace tight, the fight sequences frequent and finding a way to inject some creativity in his film. Also the barfight in Kickboxer 4 is arguably the best bar fight of the 1990s, and the sound effects as well as the music add up to a very well made movie. The only flaw was the make up job on Tong Po, most of the time it’s passable but sometimes it’s downright ludicrious. Still Pyun’s camera angles and the like are tailor made for the kickboxing genre. Also, the way Pyun opens Kickboxer 4, right there expresses the obvious knack that Kickboxer 3’s Rick King doesn’t have.

    That said, I don’t think has as much of a knack for the science fiction cyborg movie. Nemesis worked because at heart it really was just a kickboxer movie, Cyborg was, well let’s be fair a kickboxing movie made with an unfinished He-Man/Spiderman movie, with a young JCVD and as such while it was hilarious and badly made, the way Pyun staged the action does at least indicate his talent. That said, anytime Pyun moves away from the kickboxing, which he tries to do in efforts like Heatseeker, Knights and Omega Doom the result is, he gets interesting visuals out, but I don’t think Pyun really knows how to tell a story without an action element, also to be fair he often time gets little help from his actors, Indeed Kathy Long, Sue Price,Keith Cooke, Mickey Hardt and so on were just horrible. Then guys like Van Damme, Olivier Gruner,Christopher Lambert, Sasha Mitchell, Michael Dudikoff,Linden Ashby,Thom Mathews and John Stockwell have some screen presence but they’re there to kickbox. Don’t feel too bad by my words saying that you struggle with narrative when you don’t rely on the action element, most directors today such as Michael Bay, don’t even have that in their favor. At least with you, we can see who’s shooting at whom, kicking whom and your scope is at least ambitious.

    Even if you did Brain Smasher…A Love Story…

  39. Also I was in particular, disappointed with Captain America, mainly cause even Pyun’s usual scope for fight sequences and shoot outs seemed to be in autopilot, I mean Captain America also just looked ridiculous as Pyun didn’t initiate a atmosphere that he did effortlessly does with even his most lame efforts. Captain America should’ve been more like the Lundgren Punisher, mainly all the money in the fight sequences and little else. Then again, Lundgren has more flair for action than Matt Salinger does. It really is a lot harder to be an action star when you think about it… He did open Captain America well though, the way Red Skull’s family is wiped out and stuff, is done fairly well, sadly everything else fell flat. The other thing was just how ridiculous the Captain America suit looked on someone running from the bad guys, especially the sequence when he is on a bike. Or from that matter just how little action there was, Captain America basically fought the same henchman over and over again and spent a lot of time out of costume, though given the ridiculousness of such, perhaps it was a good idea.

  40. I’ve got to be honest, and seeing as the director is here I suppose I’ve got a nice reason to be; I kind of liked the Captain America film! Who could ever forget Cap’s “pull over I’m going to be sick” stunt? Used twice if I remember correctly. And that bit at the beginning with the boy playing piano and suddenly being attacked was genuinely quite nasty and shocking for a PG film.

  41. Albert Pyun – I’m going to assume that if Vern acknowledged you, this must be for real so I got a few questions if you don’t mind.

    1. When does Road To Hell come out? I was going to order that special edition thingy you had on the websight and when I e-mailed whoever is in charge of the sight she said there were some re-shoots or pick-up shots that needed to be done.

    I love Streets of Fire and although I’m not expecting it to be as good I still can’t wait to check it out. Plus I’m retarded for Michael Pare’.

    2. Who decides to recut your movies? Also, why would they bother hiring you in the first place if their just going to screw the movie up themselves? It seems it would be cheaper to just shoot it themselves which would make editing that much easier on them.

    I guess you still get paid and more importantly do what you seem to love doing so it’s not a total loss but it’s got to be frustrating as hell having your movies taken from you.

    I don’t know how much money you make doing these movies but have you considered funding your own movie with friends who will work for free or cheap? That way you can have freedom to make whatever crazy off the wall movie you want without fear of some producer coming in and “fixing” things.

    3. What’s the movie (good or bad) that comes closest to your original vision? What would you consider your best effort?

    4. You should make a ninja movie with Michael Dudikoff vs. Sho Kosugi. No dialoge.

  42. Me and others have knocked on Pyun endlessly over the years, but in some ways I probably can tolerate a Pyun more than a Michael Bay.

    There are two types of directors: The auteurs (artists) and professionals (job). Some can be both (Spielberg) but otherwise its two different approaches to cinema. Some are there for the art (along with the coke and pussy) and others because its their job, regardless if its a kung fu picture or a chick flick or whatever.

    Pyun is a professional, who seems to keep on truckin’ no matter what over the years. Kinda reminds me of Peter Hyams, who’s made some very good and very awful pictures, but he keeps making movies constantly, and in different genres. Pyun though, he does what he and his people can do with the scant money they’re given.

    Not an excuse at all for any quality deficiency problems, but sometimes with very limited schedule/budget and for something like KICKBOXER 4 that most folks wouldn’t really give a shit about just looking at the title. I guess one can only do sometimes what they can with what they got.

    On the other hand, this is why I don’t defend Bay at all. $100-200+ million budgets on his last few movies, enough to hire good actors, good FX, etc….and yet his films are incompetent wastes of time and money. What’s his excuse except he’s a hack?

  43. Radioactive Dreams rules!
    Nemesis is a fine B-movie too.
    Cyborg is just crazy stuff.
    Mean Guns is hilarious, the two killers(the asian one and the blonde dude) and the dumb blonde chick steal the movie.
    So, keep it up Albert!

  44. “At the beginning of the movie Sloane’s young tomboy friend/youth outreach manager (Heather McComb) brings a juvenile delinquent (90210’s Brian Austin Green) to meet him. B.A.G. is unimpressed with what he sees until Sloane puts on a blindfold and lets the little brat try to hit him. Of course he dodges or blocks all the blows and spouts off about the power of the mind and when all seems lost and completely dark you’re actually at your most etc. etc. This turns out to be the key to his fighting, because there’s a callback to it at the end when he’s getting his ass beat by Tong Po and his vision is blurry. He remembers to focus his mind the way he does when he’s blindfolded, and that’s how he beats (kills?) Tong Po. In other words, he beats him by pretending he’s Brian Austin Green.”
    That’s what happens at the end of Bloodsport, isn’t it? So Mitchell is playing a poor man’s Van Damme, who has to do a poor man’s version of a technique Van Damme did as a completely different character? As for B.A.G., Vern, did you ever see him playing Dereck Reese (Kyle’s older brother) in the Terminator TV Show? He was pretty good at being a badass in that, actually. Ironically, the guy they got to actually play Kyle in Flashbacks/Hallucinations looked like a total weenie by comparison.

  45. Holy shit, I go away for like 16 hours and Albert Fucking Pyun shows up. Vern’s conjuring powers have only grown stronger since the Walter B. incident.

    That said, Mr. Pyun, I love The Sword and the Sorcerer (if you’re on MySpace, I’d be honored if you’d check out this review I wrote: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=29379446&blogId=372608299), and I want to know if those rumors of a sequel are true. I need more of that crazy rocket sword in my life.

  46. geoffreyjar : My god , the hand gestures , I forgot about that ! I remember Doom as way over the top and irritating , but I don’t remember some things of that movie . Maybe it’s time to watch it again….

    ( And so it begins …….the endless circle of re-watching / commenting Corman’s Fantastic 4. Little they knew at the time that , in a few years , all that was left of the Internet was a group of Seagologists , The Cult of Oleg and Cormanasticologists .)

  47. As a guy with a shelf full of those out-of-print white New World DVDs, I can say that the preferred term is “Cormaniacs.”

  48. Mr. Majestyk: Yes , but we Cormanasticologists are the extremist group inside the Cormaniacs . All we do is re-watch HIS Fantastic Four every couple of years and bitch about Doctor Doom.

  49. Ah. Very well. Please try not to besmirch the reputation of the rest of us when you suicide bomb Tim Story.

  50. OLEG prevails!
    We should pitch our OLEG storys to Pyun…

  51. We never use suicide bombings , we have fantastic gloves with concealed blades . Didn’t you see the movie ? I think it’s time for you to re-watch it , it’s really not that bad……….

  52. I remember SWORD & THE SORCERER as being too silly for me….and I’m being nice here.

    That said, the projectile sword is a rather nice touch.

    (P.S. – Saw DISTRICT 9. Pretty good shit, and the narrative myriad of FX, action, politics wipes its ass with that useless TRANSFORMERS 2, at about 1/4th the budget of Transformers 2. )

  53. Sword and the Sorcerer is a far better Conan movie than Conan the Barbarian.


    Stop pimping FAILtastic Four!
    -I came up with FAILtastic all myself. Aren’t I clever. It took me whole 5-seconds to realize that I could replace the FAN in Fantastic with FAIL to make a witty comment on my opinion of that movie’s quality
    –are you paying attention to me yet?!

    -just saw District 9 myself (and seeing Ponyo tomorrow -damn good day for movie releases if I do say so myself), I can say I was blown away by it. It managed to have a biting commentary in it while being a bit overbearing but not shoving our faces in it every step of the way.

    Too bad the only things nerds are going to talk about it is how it relates to their precious Halo.

    “You saw District 9?!”

    “Hell yeah!”

    “I love the commentary in the film on the state that South Africa is in. It’s really infuriating!”

    “What are you talking about? Oh well the movie was so awesome (there was a mecha that blew shit up at the end!) and the only thing that sucked was that they couldn’t do Halo instead.”

    “Did someone say Halo?! I fucking love Halo!! Too bad they made that fake-Halo movie instead of a real one!”


  54. geoffreyjar : I agree , I was thinking the same thing about Halo fans going apeshit about all the previous history with Jackson and Blomkamp .I really never understood why they scrapped a project like Halo , hugely popular with this generation , with a team like that , but they’re actually trying to re-introduce G.I. Joe to a public that , for the most part , never experienced the original. At the time I was reading that the producers decided to NOT film it for the budget and for the previous track record of movies based on videogames. Really , in my opinion , Halo movie = Shitload of money , but what do I know ? I’m not a millionaire producer . I played some Halo with my brother , it’s fun to play as a team, but I’ve never finished it , so for me it’s not the greatest game ever. District 9 looks way more interesting on any level , and I’m glad Blomkamp made this instead.

    FAILtastic Four : Are you referring to the recent one or the Corman one ? Because in my opinion there’s a degree of failure in both of them !

  55. Oh , and another thing , I’ve seen some shorts of Blomkamp , including the Halo tests , and even if I’m still waiting for a District 9 release over here , I think that he is still the man for the job.He already nailed the look of the game just with a couple of minutes of footage . I consider Alive in Joberg the test for District 9 , so ,who knows ? Maybe someone will see his Halo shorts and decide he is the right one for a full length Halo movie. ” We must hire this guy!!”

  56. There are many reasons given why Halo didn’t get off the ground and supposedly the real one is that Universal & Fox were all for it but Microsoft wouldn’t budge on it’s deal of wanting a large percentage (30% I believe) of the total grosses, that’s along with their massive licensing fee.

    Blomkamp has been iffy if he’d want to do Halo still. In one interview he goes the James Cameron’s Spider-man route and says he wanted to do it then and it was taken away from him and he doesn’t want to do it anymore to another interview where he says he’s still interested in making it.

    -as for which one is the FAILtastic-est well… take your pick… but I was referring to the Corman-produced one.

  57. But WHY make a CAPTAIN AMERICA movie and have him NOT in costume so much? WTF? I mean, yes, the costume is kinda silly in reality, but that’s the trip you signed on for, right?

  58. Halo is a pretty cool game and I could see how you could make a sweet movie out of it, however I would much rather see a movie be made out of Base Wars. It could be like A League of Their Own meets RoboCop. Who wouldn’t want to see that?

  59. I’m still waiting for a Tetris movie. There are giant blocks of many shapes and colors falling from the sky and only Russian scientist Keanu Reeves knows how to arrange them properly to save humanity!

  60. Mr. Majestyk

    Fund it!

  61. Who should Vern summon next?

    I vote for Baxley!

    Thanks for popping in Mr Pyun. I always enjoyed Nemesis (without irony, I contend) and Dollman.

    And if we are making games into movies then someone should adapt the Riddick spinoff game – because that was sweet.

  62. Personally, I’m hoping Herzog shows up for the inevitable Bad Lieutenant review. That guy is hilarious.

  63. Someone made a trailer for a Tetris movie. You can find it on Youtube along with Pacman and Mine Sweeper. Mine Sweeper is the best one in my opinion.

    “What happens when I hit 99?”

    “Nothing. You just really suck.”

    Also, Who do you think should play Raul Julia’s M. Bison in a movie about Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game: The Movie? I’m gonna go with the obvious choice and say John Tuturro. Anne Ramsey would make a good Blanka but unfortunately she’s dead.

  64. I hope for a Ninja Gaiden movie , that game has it all : over the top violence , a silly story with ninjas and demons , and a special agent ( FBI or CIA , I don’t remember ) with big boobs , leather clothes and two guns !

    Here , take a look :

    Everything about her just screams Special Agent .

    But I have to admit that the image of a giant , yellow , T-shaped block falling from the sky with no apparent reason is pretty fucking scary , in a Hitchcock-meets-Emmerich kinda way.

  65. Yeah but if/when they do make Ninja Gaiden they’ll tone down the violence (like they were going to do with the Duke Nukem movie) and cast a white guy as Ryu or Ryo (or whatever the hell his name is now)

    Has Prince of Persia: Sands Of The Time (the upcoming movie) and the upcoming The Last Airbender, Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, and 21 taught (or will teach us) anything is that Asians are not qualified to play themselves in movies. Or maybe the filmmakers think casting Asians would be ‘cheating’.

  66. “Sword and the Sorcerer is a far better Conan movie than Conan the Barbarian.”

    geoffreyjar – and CONAN THE BARBARIAN is a better movie than SWORD & THE SORCERER.

    *Sticks tongue out*

  67. Oh snap!

    My opinion will have to have to disagree on that fact as well. Conan may have one of the best music scores of all time and much higher production values and fucking Mako in it, but whenever I’m in that very rare mood to actually want to watch a ‘DnD-ish’ fantasy movie, I’d watch Sword and the Sorcerer or Beastmaster any day over Conan.

    *Makes fist and extends middle finger only*

  68. I’ll second Beastmaster. Rip Torn throwing children in fire and those slug things the put in those dudes ears and the skin-cloaked-human-melters and the tiger painted to look like a panther and Marc Singer and that cool symbol he has burned on his hand that I used to draw on my own hand as a kid (and still do from time to time) and those witches with the hot bodies and faces that look like gently used lunch meat and most importantly…Tanya’s roberts.

  69. Can someone explain me why it seems so difficult for people to make good movies out of video games? I don’t really game at all but I do watch the movies and it’s fucking baffling to me how boring and stupid almost all of them are (Silent Hill being the exception. That movie was stupid, but boring it was not).

  70. “I’m in that very rare mood to actually want to watch a ‘DnD-ish’ fantasy movie”

    Why not instead DUNGEONS & DRAGONS?

    Really, CONAN THE BARBARIAN is so fucking awesome, so manly, so full of 100% win. I mean that speech alone where Arnold threatens his god…”To Hell with ya!” That moment alone is better than BEASTMASTER and SWORD & THE PUSSORCERER combined.

    “Can someone explain me why it seems so difficult for people to make good movies out of video games? ”

    That’s easy to explain: Because look at the people who have been hired to craft them. From De Souza (great for writing Schwarzenegger/Willis pictures, everything else shit) to Paul W.S. Anderson (not great at anything except the women he snag off to the side) to that asshole who directed CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE (you believe he DPed TERMS OF ENDEARMENT?) and so forth so forth.

    I would or could argue the same with horror. Compare the supposed Hollywood horror all-stars today (Rob Zombie, Eli Roth, Neil Marshall, goddamn Platinum Dunes) with say the 70s/80s (Tobe Hopper, Wes Craven, George Romero, John Carpenter, Clive Barker, David Cronenberg, etc.)

    If good filmmakers dont give a shit about a genre, then you’ll get the dregs who’ll job it.

    Yet even a Kubrick can’t overcome the core problem with a video game-movie that I have: Why the fuck should I watch it when I could play it instead?

  71. But even if the movies aren’t good they could at least be entertaining in their shittines or could be crazy and wild to watch. But all the movies seem to be competently shot, designed and all the actors seem to take it seriously, and the result is movies that are duller then a butter knife.

  72. The mabye…..here is a wild guess but….

    maybe something designed to play for fun, wasn’t designed for cinema viewing?

    As for “wild to watch”….for some reason, that phrase springs up SUPER MARIO BROS. Oh my God man, Dennis Hopper ordering Gecko pizza and small-reptile henchmen turning people into monkeys with Nintendo Superscopes.

    Or nobody ever doubting the logic of Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as brothers.

  73. I agree with RRA that the quality of video games comes down to the quality of the filmmakers who make them. Which explains why LIKE A DRAGON, directed by Takashi Miike, and DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE, directed by Corey Yuen, are the only two video game movies I’ve seen that I would consider excellent.

    LIKE A DRAGON is a very fun yakuza movie that even people who find Miike’s films to be sometimes slow and boring will probably like. I think. I don’t suffer from that sad affliction, so I can’t be sure. And I know a lot of people think DEAD OR ALIVE is terrible, but if you can really find nothing to love about a movie in which Eric Roberts makes magic sunglasses that turn him into the world’s greatest martial artist then all I can do is pity you. And the critics agree with me on this one, so obviously I am not alone in these sentiments: “A complete and utter lack of any…poor quality!” – Stephen Hunter, The Washington Post. “This is…a movie…which…good!” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times.

    Though I’m not sure I agree that something that is fun to play can’t be adapted into an enjoyable movie. Couldn’t you make a similar argument about books? And while I think that there are some games that are boring to watch other people play, like TOMB RAIDER (in that respect it is still one of the most accurate video game to movie adaptations, in my opinion), there are also games like GRAND THEFT AUTO or TONY HAWK that are fun to watch, and I don’t see why they couldn’t be fun to watch in movie form.

  74. Well , in the Ninja Gaiden games the protagonist is still Ryu , like in the old Nintendo games. He’s in that D.O.A. movie played by Kane Kosugi , son of the legendary Shô Kosugi of Enter the Ninja fame , so he’s not only an Asian playing a ninja character but also part of a family of ninja actors ! Unfortunately I’ve always avoided the movie because of the bad reviews…….But No More !

    Thank you Jake , I’m going to watch that shit right now!!

    ( Man , Pa’ Vern is going to be pissed , while he’s away the kids are talking videogames here !)

  75. “Couldn’t you make a similar argument about books?”

    Jake – Not really. Except only if you’re talking those “Make your own adventure” type kids books….you could make an argument.

    You know what I’m talking about: Hero trapped in cave alone in the dark, what does he do? Do you Pray? (pg. 37), Make a Fire (pg. 70), Wander around aimlessly (pg. 41) or masturbate? (pg. 8) See that shit is interactive in that the audience the reader decides or crafts the story for themselves, and suffer/enjoy the consequences.

    If you’re stuck on that fucking water death trap level on GOD OF WAR, the story is stuck in the mud, in purgatory because you can’t beat it onto the next level. Its not going to continue, with or without you. Like most books.

    Besides, we’ve had quite a few quality movies adapted from books. Look at the good shit we’ve gotten from Shakespeare’s writings alone, or which inspired (randomly as well, like FORBIDDEN PLANET from “The Tempest”) or for “MacBeth”, Polanski’s insane picture and Kurosawa’s Japanese revisioning THRONE OF BLOOD.

    As for video games….not one good movie. Now I haven’t seen that Miike picture or DOA, and DOA scared me off after Foywonder roasted its balls for Smores at his website. Who knows, maybe they work or not?

    But otherwise, when most people struggle to find a champion for this (shitty) sub-genre, and meekly bring up that lame MORTAL KOMBAT from Paul W.S. Anderson…well there you go.

    Hell I’m glad HALO collapsed so we could get that DISTRICT 9. Yeah I said it mother fuckers.

  76. RRA

    We will have to agree to disagree (though in your defense your movie has Mako in it).

    Or we can start calling each other stupid or homosexuals.


    I hate the consensus that something can’t possibly be good based on what the movie/book/whatever is based on.

    ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is based on Christmas card, that film turned out alright in my opinion.

    As stated it all goes back to the filmmakers who get attached to them. Joe Eszterhas would kill me for this, but I blame the writers the most. Either they fail to come up with an intriguing narrative or their egos inform them that there brilliant ideas are superior (whoever the hell wrote Double Dragon & Uwe Boll) or they are fans but they have that fan fiction-writer mentality (Paul WS Anderson).

    Then again take Tomb Raider 1 & 2 -probably the most faithful video game adaptations. First one is not very good and the second one is mind-numbingly boring/stupid/terrible

    I’m confident a legitimately good movie based on a video game will be made, just doesn’t seem to be happening very soon though.

    There are two that I like though:

    Street Fighter
    My favorite video game-based movie. Steven E De Souza said he wanted to make an action movie like the ones he grew up watching (ala Guns of Navarone, Force 10, etc) and instead accidentally made a GI Joe movie. As a GI Joe movie it is perfect in just about every way. Too bad it was suppose to be Street Fighter II. Oh well it’s still awesome.

    Now this is a movie that knows what it is. It’s a movie about scantly-clad women beating the shit out of each other and Eric Roberts. It’s goofy and over-the-top and knows it is (but doesn’t annoyingly wink at the camera to help the audience along with that fact).
    -CallMeKermiT, the only way you wont enjoy it is if you take your vidja games way too seriously and have no sense of humor or admiration for the female body.

  77. Mortal Kombat is an odd one.
    I’m way too blinded by my nostalgia glasses to be too hard on it though.
    But I will say that the climax pisses me off to no end. Instead of fighting they just talk to each other and try to make each other feel bad and occasionally throw a punch. What a major let down.

    Mortal Kombat Annihilation is a bad one
    I’m way to blinded by rage to be too easy on it though.
    But I will say that the whole movie pisses me off to no end. Sure there’s alot of fighting but most of it sucks. In fact the only good fight the whole thing was Sub-Zero vs Scorpion, all the others where bad. What a major let down.

    Now ones I think could have been enjoyable:

    Double Dragon
    Could have been a fun cheesy action movie. Two brothers go out and beat the ever living fuck out of a local gang. It would be like Death Wish but with two vigilantes and fighting.

    How do you fuck this up? It’s Marines fighting demons and possessed folk on Mars (or one of it’s moons) while the base is slowly taken over by Hell. How could that not be awesome? You could take out hell and try your damnedest to make a second-rate version of the Resident Evil movie.

    Resident Evil
    The game: Rip off Romero
    The movie: Rip off Aliens (and meanly trick us by having a great opening and then dropping the ball when they go to the underground lab.

    Alone in the Dark
    Private investigators investigate supernatural/Lovecraftian shit. You could do that but Uwe Boll has better (more commercial haha) ideas.

  78. Oh yes , geoffreyjar , I’m very serious about my ninja games , and I tell you right now that if the movie is not about a young ninja ……. Oh My God ! DOA IS FULL OF TITS!!!!

  79. CallMeKermiT

    Oh it will be about a young ninja.

    He’ll just be played by a white guy now.

  80. “Mortal Kombat is an odd one.
    I’m way too blinded by my nostalgia glasses to be too hard on it though.”

    geoffreyjar – When good men do nothing…:)

  81. B..but it’s from my childhood… that means it is a masterpiece and really DEEEEEEEEEEP. You just don’t understand it.

    I’m not saying it’s great just because it’s from my childhood honest!!

    You’re homosexual and gay!!

    That out the way if you want me to rip on the thing…

    -bad acting
    -bad dialogue
    -Whitey playing Chinese (okay technically Raiden is a god… and Lambert is hamming it up so bad it makes up for it… almost)
    -Typical sexism in movies: introduce female character as strong and self-independent, then proceed to show her getting beat up and crying and needing a man for the rest of the movie
    -For a wall-to-wall action martial arts movie: only two of the fights are really good. The Liu Kang vs Individual with Darker Skin tone than myself, Liu Kang vs Reptile. Well there are few fun ones (Team Mortal Kombat vs Guards, Cage vs guys on movie set) and others they completely cop-out on (Sonya vs Kano, Kang vs Tsung) or they start out good and turn to gimmicky special effects sequences (Kang vs Sub-Zero, Cage vs Scorpian in Hell, Kang vs Tsung)
    -The CGI is pretty bad
    -for an unstoppable fighter/monster Goro sure did go down easy (I hate when movies do this: Blade vs Blood God, Hellboy vs Squid God, don’t say they are unstoppable and then have the hero defeat them with great ease.)
    -What was the point of Katana?
    -Other than masturbation-fodder?
    -Waists Trevor Goddard’s enjoyable character
    -Completely waists Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

    There are you happy now? You have made me destroy my childhood memories!


    I remember MORTAL KOMBAT being pretty funny, but I haven’t watched it in years. I would try it again but unfortunately I already got called a moron for admitting I kind of liked DEATH RACE and SOLDIER in a recent talkback. I don’t want the anti-Paul Wonder Strength Anderson goons kicking down my door.

    (note: in the same talkback it became obvious that every time you refer to him you should make up a different phrase for the “W.S.” initials to stand for. The best one I saw was “Women’s Shoes”.)

  83. ZOMG vern you liked those!?

    You moron!!

    I still get a kick out of Mortal Kombat. Just watched it again late last year. It may not be great (or even “good”) but I still have fun with it.
    -as mentioned earlier, I have nostalgia glasses for this one

    Things to praise it for is it’s choreography. In a pre-Matrix America, a fight scene was emulating John Wayne doing a slow-ass wide punch. Martial arts was out of question mostly and those that did use martial arts lets just say compared to scenes featuring martial arts in movies made in Hong Kong, ours was a bit lacking.

    Rapid Fire, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, & Mortal Kombat all had pretty good martial arts choreography (great choreography considering it was from veteran Hollywood choreographers who had little to no experience in that area).

    Other things to praise it for is that they cast an Asian (a martial artist even!) in the lead rather than now have a white guy play him and either:

    a) go the ‘Legend of Chun Li’ route and insist that the character is still Asian even though the actor playing him/her is clearly not

    b) give a lame-ass story explaining his/her ethnicity (that being white) -usually abandoned as a baby or parents killed and monks raised ’em

    Now-a-days it seems producers will bend over backwards to not cast an Asian as the lead (or support it seems). Then again they probably got away with it here because most of the parties involved with the film was sure it was going to be a bomb.

    One last thing to praise it for is that it incorporated all manner of goofy shit from the video games and didn’t apologize for it. Now-a-days they’d probably have Johnny Cage making constant wise-cracks about how silly everything is.


    I think you can review Mortal Kombat & Event Horizon without much backlash as those are the only two Paul Wally’s Shamrocks Anderson’s movies one is allowed to like.

  84. Are we allowed to call him Paul “Drunk Boobs” Anderson or does it have to follow the W.S. formula?

    I also like Paul “Bunny Slippers” Anderson.

  85. Chopper Sullivan

    August 16th, 2009 at 1:19 am

    This really has nothing to do with anything here, but DISTRICT 9 is the best film of the summer so far. Including THE HURT LOCKER. Vern, this is the special effects summer movie you want to use to counter the TRANSFORMERS garbage.

  86. Tony Jaa was Robin Shou’s stunt double in MORTAL KOMBAT I believe. Or was it only the sequel? Anyway, the girl in CHOCOLATE apparently grew up loving MORTAL KOMBAT because of that.

  87. RRA – I just wanted to say that they mention in “Super Mario Brothers”, that Luigi was adopted.
    Damn I wish i could one day add something interesting or important to a discussion…

  88. hamsline

    You must use the W S formula. sorry


    Jaa was only a double in the sequel

    CJ Holden

    If the filmmakers were really smart they would have gotten Cheech Marin to play Mario after they cast John Leguizamo.

    Thank about that:

    Cheech Marin and John Leguizamo are:


    and with Dennis Hopper as the bad guy it could have been a commentary on illegal immigration or something.

  89. I will say that Prince of Persia has the best chance to be an actually good movie, and I’m looking forward to that.

  90. Brendan – It does have a chance. Though honestly, the only reason I say that is because of Mike Newell.

  91. Yeah, I think because of him, but also it seems like they lines up a good cast, and looking at the production photos of all the sets and stuff they have, it seems like it’ll either be good or at least entertaining to watch.

  92. Hate to be that guy – but Tong Po didn’t kill JCVD’s bro in the first one, he crippled him with some dirty pool elbows.

    So where are we? Paul Wizard’s Sleeve Anderson gets a lot of undeserved shit. Mortal Kombat is one of the few movies that actually feels like the game, and has loads of little nods to the gameplay itself. Plus – C H-T. He has made some stinkers but is no where near the Bay/Somers/ destruction-of-mechanics-of-genre-filmatism triad of infamy.

  93. Brendan

    Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – If they are able to make it as fun as the Bruckheimer-produced Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (which plagiarized an independent movie from 1994) then I’ll be game, no pun intended, for that one.

    I’m just really happy that the movie is only casting Persians as extras or bad guys. I’m glad they took the high road and cast only whites as the leads/heroes. I was worried there for a moment. After all if the hero isn’t white how will I be able to root for him? Besides aren’t Persians all terrorists or something anyway? That’s why I’m glad they only cast whites, so we can have another movie where its Whitie who has to come in and save all those dumb primitive non-whites.

  94. To quote Ricky Gervais: “It’s funny, ’cause it’s racist.”

  95. Never saw SOUL MAN, but my immediate response to hearing of this is….who would be convinced by Howell’s make-up? Its not exactly sellable like that WHITE CHICK make-up was. Bad movie, good make-up FX.

    Still, it co-stars that chick from COMMANDO so it cant be a total loss.

    OK maybe it can be.

  96. Soul Man is just wrong. He almost gets rumbled because he is bad at basketball. Just… wow.

  97. My favorite part of Soul Man is the part where he’s at dinner with the rich white people and the son imagines him as Prince because that’s the only black guy he’s ever been exposed to.

  98. Awesome new Seagalogy fodder from a raw Albert Pyun:


  99. I deleted a spam that was here but it was kind of an interesting behind-the-scenes look at how spam posts are put together so I wanted to repost what it said:

    “long time|quite a while|long-term} {listener|audience|crowd|fan base}, {first time|first-time|new} caller. Very into WP as {multimedia|media|multi-media|multi media|multimedia systems} {platform|system|program|software|foundation|base|stage|website}, not {able to do|able to perform} the {full time|regular|fulltime} but would be {interested in|curious about|inquisitive about|fascinated by|considering|thinking about|keen on|enthusiastic about|excited about|focused on|attracted to|looking into|looking towards} contributing {in some|in a few} way. let me {know|learn|grasp} {if|when|in case|any time|however, if|once|and if} you {would like|wants|is wishing for|would really like|is wanting|is hoping for|want|need|desire|wish|really want|would love} {to talk|to chat|to dicuss|to share|to have a chat}.”

  100. “{Sure/Okay/Yes}, that sounds {Fantastic/Pretty Good/Terrific}{!/?/…}

  101. It also sounds interesting if you let a speech synthesizer read it.

  102. Man I hope Mr. Pyun isn’t still looking at this board, because I was kinda let down by Kickboxer 2. Which is weird because it’s clearly better than you figure it would be, but maybe it got a little over-hyped over the years? Mitchell is surprisingly a decent replacement for JCVD (I like the entirely different energy that he brings), and it’s nice to have CHT and Peter Boyle around. Xian brings alot to the table too – I’m really glad he’s back.

    But I guess a kickboxing movie lives or dies by its kickboxing scenes, and I’m just not into the ones here. It’s like Pyun liked those closeup shots from Rocky IV where people get hit in the face and blood flies out of their mouths, and he decided to make the entire fight scenes out of those. I’m willing to bet 90% of the final fight is in slow motion closeups, which is damn near experimental but not actually any fun to watch.

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