This should put a smile on the faces of the action fans among our readership. The first full trailer for Kickboxer: Retaliation has been released and it looks like an absolute blast. A sequel to 2016’s franchise reboot, Kickboxer: Vengeance, this film already looks like a step up in quality from its predecessor. Stars Alain Moussi, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Sara Malakul Lane all return from Vengeance. They are joined by newcomers Christopher Lambert (Highlander, Mortal Kombat), Hafpor Julius Bjornsson (“Game of Thrones“), and Mike Tyson.
One year after the events of “Kickboxer: Vengeance”, Kurt Sloane has vowed never to return to Thailand. However, while gearing up for a MMA title shot, he finds himself sedated and forced back into Thailand, this time in prison. He is there because the ones responsible want him to face a 6’8″ 400 lbs. beast named Mongkut and in return for the fight, Kurt will get two million dollars and his freedom back. Kurt at first refuses, in which a bounty is placed on his head as a way to force him to face Mongkut. Kurt soon learns he will have no other choice and will undergo his most rigorous training yet under some unexpected mentors in order to face Mongkut in hopes to regain his freedom.
The Kickboxer franchise is one that has been all over the place in terms of narrative, tone, and especially quality. John Stockwell’s Vengeance rebooted the series last year and it was a capable enough restart for the franchise. It showcased nothing particularly impressive, but Moussi was a decent lead and it had a good villain in Dave Bautista’s Tong Po. Plus it was nice to see Jean-Claude Van Damme in a Kickboxer movie again.
Retaliation looks like it’s action-packed from start to finish. Just based on the above trailer, I’m seeing Moussi in multiple fights, especially against The Mountain from “Game of Thrones“. Furthermore, it looks like we’ll also see Van Damme go toe to toe not only with Mike Tyson, but also in a sword fight with Christopher Lambert. My inner child who grew up worshiping at the altar of Bloodsport and Highlander is going bonkers right now.
This film began shooting last year before Vengeance even arrived in front of our eyes and the producers still aren’t resting on their laurels. A third film, Kickboxer: Armageddon, is already in pre-production and is expected to begin filming this summer. If it turns out to be as fun as Retaliation looks, I hope they just keep them coming.
Kickboxer: Retaliation is the seventh film in the Kickboxer franchise. It is written and directed by Dimitri Logothetis. The picture is produced by Robert Hickman and Dimitri Logothetis. The film stars Alain Moussi as ‘Kurt Sloane’, Jean-Claude Van Damme as ‘Master Durand’, Christopher Lambert as ‘Thomas Moore’, Sara Malakul Lane as ‘Liu’, Hafpor Julius Bjornsson as ‘Mongkut’, Mike Tyson as ‘Briggs’, Steven Swadling as ‘Joseph King’, Ronaldinho as ‘Ronaldo’, Jessica Jann as ‘Gamon’, Sam Medina as ‘Crawford’, and Rico Verhoeven as ‘Moss’. Brian Shaw, Roy Nelson, and Wanderlei Silva also appear.
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