90 minutes I'll never get back.
What happens when you take a story that initially worked back in the day, set it in present time, cast a bunch of UFC fighters, the hottest female detective I've ever seen, a former WWE World Heavyweight champion who was in some popular Marvel movie this year and bring back the original star in a supporting role but fill the famous main role with the most least convincing performance in history? You get the colossal mess that is Kickboxer: Vengeance.
Directed by John Stockwell, who is best known for directing Crazy/Beautiful, Blue Crush and Into
The film begins with an American kickboxer named Eric Sloane (Darren Shahlavi) who accepts a handsome financial offer, from some hot babe (Gina Carano), to fight an unknown Thai kickboxer named Tong Po (Dave Bautista) in Thailand. Eric's brother Kurt (Alain Moussi) tells him not to accept as he knows nothing about Tong Po but due to Eric needing funds, which will help not only himself but also his brother, he accepts the fight. Unfortunately Tony Po kills Eric in the very mismatched and unlicensed fight, which gains the attention of the authorities, led by the stunning Lui (Sara Malakul Lane). Kurt Sloane vows revenge and enlists his late brother's trainer Master Durand (Jean Claude Van Damme) to train him.
There are only two decent actors in this remake – Dave Bautista and Sara Malakul Lane. While Bautista (or Batista to wrestling fans) didn't have to do much in the acting department, he certainly looked menacing and fit the part with his physique, tattoos and hairstyle. When he did speak, it actually had meaning behind it (thank Vince McMahon and the WWE). Sara knows how to act too. I've seen some of her prior work in movies such as Jailbait and Sun Choke. When she wasn't busy showing her breasts, she put in a decent performance. Here she plays a detective who wears the shortest skirt ever, I mean seriously.
Written by Matt
Trivia: Darren Shahlavi, who played the doomed Eric Sloane, unfortunately passed away in 2015 before the movie was released. He was aged 42.
I think watching the trailer alone made me lose a couple of brain cells.