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Kickboxer 2: The Road Back

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Title: Kickboxer 2: The Road Back  
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Subject: Brian Austin Green, Sasha Mitchell, Heather McComb, David S. Goyer, Vince Murdocco, List of film series with five entries, Albert Pyun, Entertainment Film Distributors
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Kickboxer 2: The Road Back

Kickboxer 2: The Road Back
File:Kickboxer 2 FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Albert Pyun
Produced by David S. Goyer
Tom Karnowski
Written by Screenplay:
David S. Goyer
Characters:
Mark DiSalle
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Starring Sasha Mitchell
Peter Boyle
Dennis Chan
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
John Diehl
Michel Qissi
Heather McComb
Vince Murdocco
Music by Anthony Riparetti
James Saad
Cinematography George Mooradian
Editing by Alan Baumgarten
Distributed by Kings Road Entertainment
Release date(s)
Running time 89 minutes
Language English
Box office $1,250,712

Kickboxer 2: The Road Back is a 1991 martial arts film directed by Albert Pyun. It is the first sequel to the 1989 film Kickboxer.

Production history

Kings Road president, Stephen Friedman, who won an Academy award with his first producing effort "The Last picture Show", had wanted to bring Van Damme back for the sequel, but the cost was too high for the budget. David Goyer was hired to write the sequel based on his approach of a "Body and Soul" approach to the story. Kickboxer 2 was David's first produced screenplay. Later, Goyer would write Blade, Dark City, Ghost Rider, The Dark Knight and more recently, Man of Steel. When Pyun came aboard, he agreed with Friedman that the series could go no further with Van Damme, but the gritty Body and Soul approach would work with Sasha Mitchell (Spike of Bensonhurst) who pyun really liked in Paul Morrisey's urban drama, Spike of Bensonhurst". Pyun felt Sasha brought a rough edged realism into a genre that normally dealt more with posing. He liked how Sasha looked, more street fighter than body builder or martial artist. Pyun also pushed for the original Tong Po (Michele Quissi) to return. Pyun and Quissi met on Cyborg and would later collaborate on "Bloodmatch". Pyun felt that because Friedman was more studio and literary minded in taste, he allowed Pyun to take the film out of the more traditional martial arts type movie. Pyun, to make sure realism would be captured in the kickboxing fights, hired Jimmy Nickerson as fight coordinator. Nickerson was responsible for the fight choreography in "Raging Bull". The final piece was finding a trainer and coach for Sasha. Pyun met with several well known martial arts teachers. And he zeroed in on Dan Inosanto who was trained by Bruce Lee. Inosanto and Pyun met and through that discussion, Inosanto suggested Benny "The Jet" Urquidez who was a well regarded pioneer of full contact kickboxing. Pyun met with Urquidez and Mitchell and the deal was made for urquidez to train and coach Mitchell. Pyun wanted Sasha's approach to full contact to be similar to Urquidez's.

Though Jean-Claude Van Damme starred in the original film as Kurt Sloane, he was not included in the sequel. Instead, the story follows Kurt's younger brother David Sloane (Sasha Mitchell), who finds himself challenged by Tong Po, the former Thai Champion.[1] In this film, Kurt and Eric Sloane have already been shot dead at the hands of Tong Po following the events of the first film.

Plot

Several years after his brothers' deaths, David Sloane (Sasha Mitchell), the youngest and last of the great Sloane dynasty, struggles to keep the family kickboxing gym afloat. Although his will to compete has waned since the loss of his brothers, financial problems eventually force Sloane to fight again in a new organization run by a crooked promoter (Peter Boyle). His surprising comeback ultimately attracts the attention of Tong Po who, having been disgraced by Sloane's older brothers, seeks to lure their younger sibling back into the ring. But when Sloane announces his retirement after the bout, Po's manager Sanga (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) hires a group of thugs to burn down the gym, injuring Sloane and killing one of his young students.

While recovering in the hospital, Sloane is visited by Xian Chow (Dennis Chan), who trained his brother Kurt in Thailand. Though David initially wants nothing to do with him, he finally relents and allows Xian to nurse him back to health. Meanwhile, one of Sloane's most promising students (Vince Murdocco) has secured a championship bout and invites Sloane to watch the fight. However, his slated opponent is unexpectedly replaced by Tong Po, who brutalizes the young man and kills him in the ring. Now with no other recourse, Sloane is forced to accept Po's challenge. In a bloody bout reminiscent of the "ancient way" of fighting in Thailand, Sloane exacts his revenge and defeats his rival.

Cast

Release

The film was given a limited release theatrically in the United States by Trimark Pictures in June 1991, grossing $1,250,712 at the box office.[2] HBO Home Video released it on VHS and laserdisc the same year.

The film was released on DVD by Lionsgate in 2003.[3]

Reception

Even though the film received good reviews from some critics and popularity among fans of the series, in comparison to the 1989 Van Damme original, the film was not initially well received.[4] TV Guide opined, "From its opening moments it's obvious that KICKBOXER 2 is struggling under the leaden weight of humorlessness. This is the movie that absolutely no one wanted to see: a kickboxing movie that takes itself dead serious."[5] Michael Sauter of Entertainment Weekly wrote "...kickboxers have all the right moves-yet as action heroes, they're practically interchangeable. If any of them is serious about filling Van Damme's shoes, he'd better start working on his style."[6]

References

External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • Rotten Tomatoes

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