Like with all classic films there’s eventually going to be a remake. For Kickboxer (the classic Muay Thai and Kickboxing film, which we’ve previously reviewed) this comes in the form of Kickboxer Vengeance.
Similar to the first film Kurt Sloane (Alain Moussi) and his brother Eric, part of a well known American martial arts family, travel to Thailand in order for Eric to fight in a no-holds-barred fight with Tong Po (Dave Bautista). The fight ends with disastrous consequences for Eric, and Kurt vows to get revenge on Tong Po. Training with Master Durand (John Claude Van Damme) Kurt learns Muay Thai, and heads into the arena to seek his revenge.
Overall I have to admit, I felt that this remake wasn’t up to standard. Part of the appeal of the original film was the focus on the martial art, while Kurt learns Muay Thai to defeat Tong Po. In the remake, despite the fact that Kurt is still training Muay Thai, the fight with Tong Po includes swords and other weapons. The film has several cameos, including George St. Pierre, but the inclusion of Jean Claude Van Damme was a mistake in my eyes – because he’s so recognisable as Kurt from the first film it made it seem like Vengeance was a sequel rather than a remake.
Overall I think this has fallen foul of the normal ‘sequel is worse than the original’ curse, and you’d be much better picking out the original.
2 stars out of 5
You can see the trailer for Kickboxer below.