Movie: The Kickboxer (1989)
Overall Rating: 3 / 5
General Impression: Liked it. More than I should have.
You can't be a martial artist and not have heard about Jean Claude Van Damme. It just doesn't comptute. What you don't have to be is a person who likes JCVD just because he did some awesome martial arts movies (don't worry, I totally understand), but this movie kind of surprised me because it was actually enjoyable, and probably one of JCVD's better movies.
OK, so it's not going to be better than anything made in the last 10 years, but given that it was released in 1989 and the expectations for actors in action movies to act was not fabulous, it was good movie and worth watching if you're going to expand your martial arts movie repertoire. There was a believable plot even if the characters were flat and predictable and the action scenes were great to watch, partly because the men were muscular and shirtless (I'm not above this fan service).
What annoyed me however, was the fact that both of the brothers were supposed to be American, yet JCVD kept his accept. There was no back story to that and made that aspect of the movie really sad and cheap. Surely they could have found another kick boxer-actor in Belgium to play JCVD's brother?
True to the era there was a lone female character who played THE LOVE INTEREST. And as usual she was pretty useless. But as I said before, it was 1989, and that's how women were portrayed at the time so we'll just give that a miss.
If you're a JCVD fan, definitely recommend this one, if not, then watch at your own risk.