Bullet Points: Kickboxer 2: The Road Back
When you think of places you might find an action star, you probably wouldn’t have put ABC’s TGIF line up among your top choices… but that’s exactly what happened when Sasha Mitchell (from TV’s Step by Step) assumed the starring role in the Kickboxer franchise, when Jean-Claude Van Damme opted to make Double Impact instead of reprising his role as Kurt Sloan in Kickboxer 2.
Mitchell plays David Sloan, the younger brother of Eric and Kurt Sloan (from the original Kickboxer). He runs The Sloan Brothers gym, where he teaches kickboxing and gives some of the neighborhood kids a place to hang out, keep active and off the streets.
- United Kickboxing Association: After his brothers were both killed because of their involvement in the world of professional kickboxing (more on that later), David is no longer fighting professionally, despite getting lucrative offers from the likes of Justin Maciah (Peter Boyle) the man who is trying to be the Vincent Kennedy McMahon or Dana White of the kickboxing world and take the sport of kickboxing to a whole new mainstream level. Plus, David could use the cash to help pay the bills… the gym is bleeding money and it won’t be long before he’s broke… eventually David’s friend and accountant Jack (John Diehl) convinces David to agree to one fight. That fight ends up being a big one, David will be taking on the UKA Champion Neil Vargas (played by Matthias Hues of I Come In Peace fame). Vargas was defeated by both of David’s brothers in the past, so this one is personal for him.
- Shoot Promo: History ends up repeating itself and once again as Sloan beats Vargas. After the fight, David Sloan gets on the microphone and announces his immediate retirement, he also rips on the United Kickboxing Association and accuses their athletes of being on steroids. I once saw Col DeBeers do a similar thing on an episode of the AWA on ESPN where he accused Scott Hall of being a steroid abuser. Anyway, what should have been a shining moment for Maciah, ends up causing him all sorts of grief. But it doesn’t seem to phase Maciah’s business partner, Sanga (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), in the least.
- Bait and Switch: We learn the only reason that Sanga helped Maciah get the UKA started was to lure David Sloan back into the kickboxing ring so his fellow countryman Tong Po (Michel Qissi) could avenge his loss to David’s brother Kurt Sloan (JCVD in the original). When David’s prized student, Brian “The Hammer” Wagner works his way up the UKA ladder and to a championship match against Lou Lescano, Just before he is about to make his way out to the arena, Lescano is told by his manager not to go to the ring. This opens the door for a substitute fighter to be brought in. That substitute is TONG PO! An over confident Brian goes through with the fight and Tong Po lives up to his killer reputation while Brian ends up becoming his latest victim. This leads up to the fight that Sanga and Tong Po wanted all along… Tong Po vs. David Sloan!
Watching Kickboxer 2 for the first time in many years was like sitting down with an old friend and picking up right where we left off. This movie gets high marks from me across the board. Mitchell brings a different vibe to the film than JCVD did in the original. David Sloan always felt like he lived in the shadow of his brothers, so he has that to overcome along with the usual overcoming evil.
If this were a 5 Questions and not a Bullet Points, the first question I’d ask is, “How do I not own this movie on DVD?”
But this isn’t 5 Questions, it is Bullet Points and I have some more to share…
- Welcome Back: Dennis Chan reprises his role as Xian Chow, the man responsible for getting David ready for the fight of his life.
- Sore Loser: While Xian is back, Eric and Kurt Sloan were written off forever when we learn that Tong Po ended up shooting them both.
- Special Referee: Yet another “Judo” Gene LeBell sighting… LeBell plays a referee in this one. Expect a future Know Your Role spotlighting the ubiquitous Gene LeBell.
- Favorite Quote: “If you wasn’t a chick I’d rip off your damn head!” – Joey
- Beverly Hills 90210: Fans of Beverly Hills 90210 should keep their eyes open for an appearance by a young Brian Austin Green.
- Fun Fact: While there’s an exterior shot of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, the bigger fights were actually filmed at the Bren Events Center at UC Irvine.