Kickboxer: Vengeance (2016) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

KICKBOXER VENGEANCE

Director: John Stockwell
Writers: Dimitri Logothetis (screenplay),  Jim McGrath (screenplay) (as James McGrath)
Stars: Dave Bautista,  Alain Moussi,  Gina Carano

Plot: A kick boxer is out to avenge his brother.
Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes
IMDB Score: 4.9

Why I watched it: It’s my wheelhouse for sure, action B-Movie, of course I saw the original and look at that cast.

Random thoughts; Just go back and check out that plot description if that doesn’t scream action movie I don’t know what does.  This actually had some buzz cause the cast was good and it looked like from the trailers this good be a good action movie.
What I liked: Van Damme is the best thing about this movie, he has really settled into a nice little character actor niche with these action films, he’s older but can still fight but he uses his charm and presence a lot more than he used to.

The film moves pretty well, it’s a standard revenge set up and it works, the bad guys are bad and the good guy is an under dog what else do you want.  The fighting scenes are a mixed bag John Stockwell is a good journeyman director, he’s done tons of genre but I would say he’s just alright with the actually fights here.  No doubt Alain Moussi is a really good fighter and he looks the part and he moves well and at times he pulls it off.  Bautista is a beast, he’s scary as all get out.  He’s a tough guy to fight that’s for sure.  Nice casting all way round here.

What I didn’t like: Something just doesn’t click for me, something’s missing, the pieces are here but it doesn’t come to together.  Moussi is not a great actor but you can forgive that but the main problem is with the exception of Van Damme no one has a fleshed out character, no one stands out, Moussi comes off as bland.  Gina Carano is wasted here, she doesn’t fight and really doesn’t have that much to do.

Bautista is imposing but he’s not a memorable bad guy.  The end fight is really by the book and really doesn’t have as much energy as it should.  If I had to pinpoint what was missing I would say it doesn’t have the right feel or pacing for this kind of movie, it feels like it’s a step slow just not hitting on all the cylinders.

Final thoughts: Not a bad movie, a little disappointing, you should be able to make a better film with the source material and that cast.

Rating: 4/10

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