REVIEW: Kickboxer 2
"Where will I be when the last man dies?"
Kickboxer 2 starts out with the image of Sasha Mitchell sleeping in his bed. Because nothing at all exemplifies what kickboxing is all about, then a hero who needs his beauty sleep. He awakens to his gym to a cheesy song called "My Brother's Eyes" and David Sloan (Played by the forementioned Sasha Mitchell) beats up on a punching bag for a couple of minutes before showing Brian Austin Green that he can indeed beat the crap out of him blindfolded. Also onboard is Heather McComb who is a street girl. That these kids don't drink or do drugs is amazing given that it's L.A, still David Sloan gives lessons in his gym which seems to consist of him beating the crap out of his top student, while the kids look on in amazement.
"I am somebody, See, I'm a teacher!"
David Sloan doesn't want to get into the ring because his brothers were killed in Thailand by Tong Po and David figures if he can lay low nothing will happen to him and he can run his gym in peace but because his gym is about to be repossessed he has no choice but to fight for the kickboxing championship. He does so and after a few minutes of jumproping decides that is all the training he needs. He also fights because his best student and best friend Brian (Vince Murdocco) wants to turn pro and David doesn't want him to sign with crooked promoters.
"Sometimes it's better to flow instead of attack!"
The lead promoter, Justin Machiah (Peter Boyle) wants to of course hype up kickboxing, which David finds amoral, despite the fact that if hyped his business would no doubt spark interest in the sport and more money would be put in and more people would learn it, therefore giving David more business. But I digress. Naturally David Sloan easily defeats the put upon champ Neil Vargas (Matthias Hues from I Come In Peace) and utters the unspeakable words that Machiah's kickboxers are lame and his corporation is crooked. Not that anyone would care since nobody disputes boxing as being crooked. However this upsets Machiah and his Thai business partner Sangha (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) who burn down David's gym and shoot him in the leg. It's here through this would be dramatic moment that David starts doubting himself to the cheesiest song ever recorded. The lyrics go like this "To hurt to cry, i'm fighting back the tears, I wanna run and hide from all those wasted years, in my lonely room, I sit and stare a man aloooooone!" Of course my theory about what the song is about, is masturbation because when I ever I think about the wasted years and my lonely room being alone, the rest comes naturally, right?
"Get up, you're a Sloan!"
David is then trained by Xian (Dennis Chan) the same sensei from the first film, who sadly doesn't force Sasha Mitchell to do the splits. My guess was that Mitchell used his starpower from the classic TV show Step By Step to lay down the law and say, I will not do the splits because I can't and because i'm the biggest star you've had since Jean-Claude Van Damme, my word is the law. (This was directed by the same guy who gave us Cyborg!) So instead Sasha kicks tires, climbs rope, does push ups and forms which apparently make him a better fighter.
"The old man is good, David is getting better, soon the circle will be complete"
After recovering David is invited to watch his best friend Brian fight for the championship, however because Sangha is Tong Po's old trainer, he devises a ridiculous plan to have Tong Po beat the hell out of Brian while David watches helplessly in the crowd. Actually that's not true since because David freaks out, the security escorts him out and then in slow motion we watch as Po unleashes brutal hits that end up killing Brian, and no security guard is available because all of them (maybe 3 of them) are holding David back. Also Tong Po shows how mean he is by throwing a ref out of the ring. I must admit that Kickboxer 2 offered me something i'd never seen before. In that i've never seen a fat old guy thrown out of the ring in slow motion with fight music blaring on the soundtrack.
"This is my fight, it's just something I gotta do, now!"
Aside from the fact that Brian took his mom to his fight, rather then a girlfriend or fuck-buddy or something that a professional athlete would have, we see David moping around in a restaurant where Xian explains that he wants revenge for the murder of his neice. You see Tong Po gunned down Kurt (Played by Jean-Claude Van Damme), Eric and the love interest from part 1 (in order to make a connection to the first movie) and Tong Po wants to regain his honor by fighting the brother of the guy who kicked his ass. This is of course as ridiculous as it sounds since there is no guarantee that the brother would even be a good replacement. I mean what if the brother is fat, or what if there's only a sister? However this is why Brian had to die, why David's gym had to be torched and why a fat old ref had to be thrown out of the ring in slow motion.
"I hear no fat lady singing, so kick his and let's go home!"
This is inarguably my favorite part of Kickboxer 2, but then again a bloody fight sequence where blood, sweat and tears pour by the gallions are always looked at by me in high regard. Sasha Mitchell despite his status on Step By Step, is a pretty decent martial artist, who would have thought that the schmuck on Step By Step could throw a mean roundhouse and do spinning hooks with piercing technique? Him and Tong Po share in a bloody fight sequence which finds Mitchell all bloodied up and roughed up, indeed he can barely walk at the end of the fight sequence, so you know it was a pretty even match. However Tong Po is demolished and left to live in his personal hell, of knowing that the world's deadliest kickboxers was brought down by Cody from Step By Step, however we haven't seen the last of Po because there is still Kickboxer 4. Where he abducts David's wife, although sadly it's not Dana from Step By Step.
"You must have patience!"
Kickboxer 2 has its moments of fun, sure, I mean the shock of seeing Cody from Step By Step can't be all that bad (Well it can, but I mean dull) however what is the biggest shock about Kickboxer 2 is Sasha Mitchell himself. Not only is he a decent martial artist but he actually act. No, I'm serious he delivers a performance that is adequate and indeed far more competent then Don Wilson, Daniel Bernhardt or Steven Seagal in reciting his lines. That being said there are too many sequences of David soulsearching and way too much padding in the plot which only gives us the required amount of acting. The action, like the original, is exciting, well shot and indeed provide the mediocre rating spelled out.
Hamlin Grade: 4