Bullet Points: The King of the Kickboxers
The King of the Kickboxers is one of those movies that was much better when you were nine years old. It kind of loses some of its charm when you watch it as an adult. You start to notice just how bad some of the acting is or that Prang’s “monkey” is actually a chimp. It’s still a really fun movie and should be broken out about 6-7 beers deep for optimum enjoyment. Loren Avedon and Billy Blanks really go at it in the end. The fight scene is pretty incredible, which is why I posted it as our Scene of the Week several weeks ago. The great Keithe Cooke plays Prang and puts in some amazing martial arts in the short time he’s on screen. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys old-school martial arts or cheesy movies. You’ll be surprised just how much you enjoy it. Let’s check out the Bullet Points:
The Gist: Jake (Loren Avedon) is an undercover NY cop who has just been given the assignment to work with Interpol trying to break the case against some filmmakers who are using their productions as a way to kill western fighters on camera. Things are made even more interesting when Jake realizes that the man responsible for the video deaths is the same man who killed his brother and left Jake for dead ten years ago. Now, he has an opportunity to get payback and bring these guys to justice at the same time.
This is after Jake tells the armed drug-dealers that he is an undercover cop…
The Cast: Loren Avedon plays our hero Jake Donahue and let me tell you, his acting is not good. I will say that it seems to get better as the move goes on and it makes me wonder if the early scenes were filmed first and maybe he just got more comfortable as the filming went on. Either way, if you can make it through the first 20 minutes of this one then just know that it does get better. Sherrie Rose plays Jake’s love interest Molly, who is really just an aspiring model/actress turned sex worker. Her acting is just plain terrible. Apparently she was chosen shortly before filming began and she and Avedon had a fallout during filming and did not get along. Whatever it was, it led to a remarkably bad performance. The writing was a real dumpster fire too. If there wasn’t important storyline goodies in the first act of the movie, I would say just skip the first 20 minutes. A lot of the dialogue seemed to get better when Jake meets up with Prang and they have their back-and-forth’s. Speaking of Prang, he was a welcome addition playing the martial arts master, turned drunkard, turned martial arts master again.
THE MOST DRAMATIC SCREAM IN MOVIE HISTORY!
The Villain: Billy Blanks is really the most important villain of the movie. There are a couple of weird white dudes who put the fights together but little is known about them (did they have names?) and we never really find out why they are doing this. Presumably it is for money but it is never discussed. Blanks, though, does a fine job of being the strong, super black, super tough bad guy. Where Jake probably talks way too much, Khan is very much the strong, silent type. His martial arts skills are also evident and he definitely looks like a threat with his shirt popped off for most of the movie. I’m not sure what the reasons for the name Khan were but add this to the long list of movies with the main bad named Khan.
Even Avedon’s hand looks half the size of Blanks’.
The Action: This is where KOTK really makes up ground in my book. The acting was crap. The characters weren’t great. The music is shit. But, the action is phenomenal! Avedon, Blanks, Keith Cooke as Prang, and a score of random Thai guys do a great job of keeping this movie from being a total waste of time. I would say that any fan of action, especially martial arts, should add this puppy to their must watch list. The final fight sequence was particularly great. It really played to the strengths of both fighters. The training that Prang had Jake go through was unique, silly, and badass all at the same time. My one wish for the movie is that we would have been able to see more of Keith Cooke. His lightning fast kicks and fluid movements were cool to see and I don’t think that Jake was any better of a fighter than him by the end of his training.
Fans of the splits will enjoy Jake’s training sequence.
Take it Home:
- Costumes: The costumes worn in the final fight by Jake and Khan represent Hindu deities but Thailand is over 94% Buddhist so I don’t understand why they would use Hindu costumes. Maybe they just thought they looked cool.
- Ass-kicking take 93: The final fight sequence took two weeks to film.
- Michael Bay-ism: They must have budgeted for an explosion cause in the end they just pull out a couple of rocket launchers and blow up the Thunderdome.
- Favorite quotes: “A fuckin’ cop.” “No, just a plain old cop, fuckin’s got nothing to do with it really.”
- When Harry met Prang: The romance between Prang and his “monkey” is better than the one between Jake and Molly.
- I’m here for the gang bang: Jake feigns interest in a gang-bang in order to save Molly saying “Take it easy, you guys, I can go second or third.” Classic Jake!
Jake kinda looks like Patrick Bateman on vacation…on second thought that sounds like a great idea for a movie.