Action has a new hero

Kickboxer
1989 | Color | 1 Hr 37 Min | Action | R | Cannon


Directors:
Mark DiSalle
David Worth

Writers: 
Mark DiSalle 
Glenn A. Bruce

Stars: 
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Dennis Alexio
Dennis Chan

Kurt Sloan is the corner-man for his brother, U.S. kickboxing champion Eric Sloan. When Kurt witnesses his brother become maliciously paralyzed in the ring by Thailand champion Tong Po, Kurt vows revenge. With the help of Zion, a kickboxing trainer who lives in a remote area of Thailand, Kurt trains for the fight of his life.


When I received an E-Mail from Crackle this week I got a little giddy when I read that the kickboxers where streaming for free in June! I thought hell why not revisit the 80's and a little Cannon movie magic. 



I have always wondered why JCVD never garnered the respect such as Stallone, Schwarznager, or Willis as an action star of the 80's? The guy has it all perfect body, great hair, and he made khaki pants a cool thing! Look nothing groundbreaking is going to be seen during this movie it comes on a time of fantasy action movies that are far fetched but entertaining. Did the writers borrow from the Karate Kid formula hell, yeah but it still works? Brother gets beat to a pulp other brother seeks out a way to learn the ways of fighting to seek revenge. Simple yet satisfying.


The movie looks good in many ways as well. With many locations used for a backdrop throughout Thailand. The little village that Van Damme used for his training works and really helps set the tone. In fact, principal photography took 56 days! One of the training scenes was near the temples in Wat Phra Si Sanphet and Wat Ratchaburana, part of the ruins of Ayutthaya city in Thailand and are breath taking. Side note Crackle has a very clean looking HD qualaty print that looks great.


So what do most of the 80's action slash fight movies have in common? Peter Cetera, Brain Adam's type power pop motivational tunes that plagued the action movies of that decade! All tho this soundtrack came to us from Stan Bush who's claim to fame would be the song from the Transformers movie "Touch" that was used in many other movies including "Boogie Nights", "The Goldberg's" tv show and Saints Row video game. He also worked with JCVD providing a few songs for Bloodsport. Not to say the soundtrack is bad it really does fit the feel of this movie. Not quite "Eye of the Tiger" but still catchy in many ways. 


The cast also works very well together and you really get the sense that they had fun making this movie. Sadly Rochelle Ashana (Pictured above) never went on to do much more in her acting career. Before Kickboxer, she had a guest role on the A-Team and the movie Fright Night 2. Her last movie was a stunt double for Blade. She is very pretty such a shame she did not do much more.


Dennis Alexio who played the brother is a retired professional kickboxer who went by the nickname "Terminator". Although making a couple of film appearances, he concentrated mainly on his professional kickboxing career and won numerous titles and championships. Alexio also competed as a professional boxer. His record was 5-1 with 3 wins by KO.


So a fun fact about our villain played by Michel Qissi it turns out he and Van Damme were pretty good buddies. In fact, they both made their acting debut in the movie Breakin'! Even tho neither of them got a credit for their walk on role you can clearly search youtube for the video of these two dancing. You can tell they both wanted to act! They are so over the top, but anyway, they also started their young career together with Bloodsport. Shortly after Kickboxer they also did Lionheart. Qissi also returns to the mat in Kickboxer 2. The chemistry between them is fun to watch. 


For what it is worth Kickboxer does its job you get a light hearted movie with plenty of fight scenes that all boil down to a great fight at the end using the art of warriors. They tie hemp to their hands and add glass. It was kind of odd because this really does not play a factor for the story. Side note all the fight's were choreographed by Van Damme. Also, Chuck Norris was to be the star of the movie I for one am thankful they went with Van Damage! 


So if you are looking for a fun summer buddy movie it is well worth the revisit to Kickboxer. Also for the month of June thanks to Crackle I will get caught up on the other 4 as we patiently wait for the reboot Kickboxer: Vengence later this year.

3 Bloody Brains

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