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REVIEW: Kickboxer: Retaliation (2018) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Kickboxer: Retaliation (2018)

Run Time: 105 Mins
Rated: R
What To Expect: Van Damme, Lambert, fun

Who knew that the first movie in this series would be good?  That’s not supposed to happen; remakes of classics holding their own.  Then, the first indicator of the second movie being good was just how fast they put it into production, evidently, they held onto those good ingredients and knew that they could simply offer seconds, to comparable success.  So, now we have our second movie in the re-done Kickboxer series.  And it is good.

Alain Moussi returns as Kurt Sloane, Jean Claude Van Damme returns as Master Durand.  This time around, Christopher Lambert shows up as Thomas Moore, a corrupt underground fight organizer who sees big dollars in Sloane’s fighting ability.  When Sloane refuses to fight Moore’s champion (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who dwarfs even Bautista), Moore has methods to change his mind.  Of course, the fight happens.

First rule of movies like this, stick to the basics.  Nobody wants a fight movie with some overwrought, ambitious ‘script’ from some punk just out of film school, those are kept for Adrien Brody and John Cusack these days.  And this is what Kickboxer 2 does.  It does not get ideas above its station, keeps things brisk and everyone involved is having fun (including Lambert, as you’d expect and even Van Damme, as you would not).  Mike Tyson is also in the movie, as a wise prisoner who first fights Moussi, then becomes a supplementary mentor.  After all, if you’re going to fight a killer dinosaur, who better to get a few pointers from than Iron Mike?

Retaliation looks slick, not cheap.  And its fight scenes, especially the big one, are very good, well choreographed and edited — although I will say that the opening prison fight/s can get a little too fast paced.  I mean, what more can you want out of a film like this?  Van Damme, in action.  Lambert doing the Mortal Kombat thing, Mike Tyson, in action and a 10ft boss fight like the good old days.  And Alain Moussi is a fine manly actor for the 21st century, definitely deserved a spot in those Expendables movies over the likes of… whoever those bums were Sylvester Stallone cast.

So… fun is the name of the game in this movie.  They took a shot and scored – I mean Van Damme fights Tyson! Now tell me, why the fuck is this sitting on a 4.9 on the IMDb?

Kickboxer: Retaliation is available now on digital download and DVD & Blu-ray 5th March.