I know everybody is all excited by how much they loved Jean Claude Van Damme's recent comeback film JCVD, but ask yourself this...was he really that memorable to begin with? Having always heard that "Kickboxer" was one of his better films, combined with Jason's bizarre affection for all things silly in the 80's, I thought this was a nice thing to hand off to him to review. Apparently, I was mistaken. Let Jason tell you about his pain...
Any problem can be solved by kicking someone in the head. It's a philosophy to live by, but if you want to boil it down and stamp in onto a rubber bracelet - WWJCVD do? Can't pay rent? Kick somebody in the head. In a traffic altercation? Kick the other driver in the head. Someone taking too long to order at KFC? Kick that bitch in the head! But if you really want to do it right, pull off your shirt, put on some bad synth music and pants tight enough to reveal your religion, and start kicking.
's mulleted, greaseball brother, Eric
, is the American kickboxing champion. He's full of swagger and arrogance and wants to prove to those unholy Thais that his kicking is better than their kicking. So JCVD
pack up their best sleeveless shirts and travel to Bangkok to grapple with the shaved, muscled men of Thailand. Eric
immediately gets his ass handed to him by 'Tiger' Tang Po
, a pony-tailed Muay Thai
killer who didn't make the cut for Street Fighter 2
. Tang Po
wheelchair bound and our hero, Jean Claude
, vows revenge. What follows is an old school martial arts film without the Shaw Brothers
heads into a jungle that's thick with training montages. He learns to perform combat-inappropriate splits and ultimately challenges Tang Po
is the movie that defines Van Damme
. Sweaty, bronze, and more than a little homo-erotic, it was unfortunately out shined by the testosterone soaked masterpieces of "Red Heat"
. This is raw, unrefined camp from the gayest martial artist of them all. And I'm not using 'gay'
as a slur. When you see Jean Claude
prancing around Bangkok with a denim vest and no shirt underneath, you'll understand. He and his brother look like two pederasts trolling for ass in Southeast Asia. Why we're supposed to believe that they're brothers, I have no idea. His brother is a meat head with a perm who looks like he got lost on his way to the set of 'Hard Ticket to Hawaii'
can barely speak English in this. Poor casting aside, the acting will make you cringe. The uninspired cinematography will lull you into a coma, but not to worry! You'll be awakened by a good hour of 80's synth pop, crafted by what sounds like Kenny Loggins
playing with a $30 Casio. If you're looking for a film that's devoid of convincing drama or thrills, look no further than this - an hour and a half of sweaty goons dancing and dry humping each other in the ring.
Not a damned thing. The transfer on this doesn't even look much better than a standard DVD, even at 1080p.
is inextricable from his films and this one will serve as his epitaph:
Jean Claude Van Damme - He Could Kick Really High
I've opined about my love for bad horror plenty in these pages. Bad action is it's own glorious monster. "Kickboxer"
is at the top of that dung heap and would make a great double feature with "Savage Beach"
or "Sailor Boiz Volume 7"
. Avoid unless you hate yourself or just want to feel superior.
Click Here to Buy Kickboxer [Blu-ray]