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Movie Review - Kickboxer: Retaliation

Kurt Sloane (Alain Moussi) was supposed to be done with Thailand. Now competing as a mixed martial artist in the US; Kurt was suddenly abducted, only to wake in a Thai prison. His captor, the ruthless gangster Thomas Moore (Christopher Lambert) has an endless supply of money, armed guards and revelers in his prison fortress. If Kurt wants to go home to his stereotypically attractive wife, he'll need to defeat the indomitable Mongkut (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson). Björnsson stands 6'9", 420 lbs and may actually be part bear. Reluctant to fight for Moore ('cause why would anyone want to fight a human bear), Kurt's wife is also abducted and used as a bargaining chip. If Kurt can beat the man-beast, he can earn the freedom of him and his wife.

But first, a training montage.

I couldn't imagine anyone wanting Kickboxer: Retaliation for anything more than slick

fights. Unfortunately, this film, the 7th overall in the franchise is crushed by the weight of its own mediocrity. Jean-Claude Van Damme reprises his supporting role as Master Durand, the blind martial arts master, who trained Kurt's brother. One of the few bright spots was the scene stealing performance from Mike Tyson. Known only as Briggs, Tyson was far and away the most interesting character in the film. His zen like approach to beating the hot piss out of someone, begs for further exploration that never manifests.

Unfortunately, we're forced to ride the movie out with Kurt Sloane as he applies his brief training to take down Mongkut. It's not that Kickboxer: Retaliation is a giant ball of failure, its more to the point of the film retreading a very familiar path. There isn't anything done in the film that Tony Jaa didn't do better in his 2005 film Tom Yung Goon (known as The Protector in the US) and that was over a decade ago. The optimist on me wants to find some redeeming qualities in Kickboxer: Retaliation. The realist in me knows that this movie is 35 minutes too long and suffers from a severe lack of Mike Tyson.

Verdict: F

Not Rated @ 110 mins

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