I was fully prepared not to give a crap about a Kickboxer remake. After all, the original 1989 film – though considered a classic in some circles – wasn’t a brilliant movie by any means; it was almost more video game than film, in which the audience “played” as Jean-Claude Van Damme and watched him battle against stereotypical warriors from various countries around the world in a secret underground tournament to avenge his brother’s death. But thanks to a new casting announcement, the upcoming remake now has my attention.
A press release revealed that action stars Tony Jaa and Scott Adkins have joined the cast, which already included guys like Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista, former UFC champion George St. Pierre, and X-Men: Days of Future Past actor Alain Moussi. If you’re into martial arts movies, you’ve surely heard of Jaa and Adkins by now, but in case you haven’t, here’s a quick rundown.
Jaa was once considered to be the successor to Jackie Chan, having blown open the martial arts world with his amazing fighting skills in the Ong-Bak series and The Protector. He’s dropped off a bit since his heyday in the early 2000s, but he’s still an incredible talent, and he’s actually going to appear in Fast & Furious 7 when that comes out next year. Adkins has become a go-to guy for badassery in fighting movies these days, especially because of his jaw-dropping work in Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear (you don’t need to see the first Ninja to enjoy the sequel). He had small roles in films like Zero Dark Thirty and The Bourne Ultimatum, and he also fought the original kickboxer – yep, Van Damme himself – in Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.
Stephen Fung (Tai Chi Zero, Tai Chi Hero) is directing, and Moussi will star as Kurt Sloan, “a talented martial artist who travels to Thailand where he must learn the secrets of the kickboxer to avenge his brother’s death at the hands of Tong Po (Bautista).” Jaa will play the man who trains Sloan once he arrives in Thailand, while Adkins will portray Sloan’s brother.
With talented guys like Jaa, Adkins, and Bautista involved, as a martial arts movie fan I now owe it to myself to check this out. What do you think? Looking forward to seeing a 3D remake of Kickboxer with these dudes attached?
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