5 Questions: American Kickboxer 2
If the promotional material for American Kickboxer 2 were to be believed the movie, starring kickboxing champion Dale “Apollo” Cook and Evan Lurie, was going to deliver twice the action, twice the danger and twice the excitement!
After watching American Kickboxer 2 and deciding to do a 5 Questions post about it, I knew I had to follow the movie’s lead and do something more for the loyal readers of this site. So this installment of 5 Questions will actually deliver TWICE the questions…
1. Why was Dale “Apollo” Cook’s acting career so short?
Oklahoma native Dale “Apollo” Cook did not have a long run in the action movie game. His first film was Fist of Glory in 1991, where he had a supporting role. That same year he would have his first starring role in Blood Ring. Four years later, Cook would star in his final film, Blood Ring 2. I can only imagine his short run was because Cook himself questioned if an acting career was really a good fit for him. After watching Cook in movies like Raw Target and American Kickboxer 2, it is a valid question.
The fact of the matter is, despite possessing excellent fighting skills, Cook lacked the IT factor that makes a person a star. Had he stuck with smaller supporting roles, he may have had a little more longevity in Hollywood.
Bonus Question 1: Who selected Cook’s wardrobe for American Kickboxer 2?
Cook spends nearly the entire movie wearing blue sweatpants. You already have a leading man that is lacking the all important star characteristics and you have him wearing clothes that tell the rest of the world that he’s given up. He knows he can’t reach the level of his action movie contemporaries, so he instead opts to be comfortable!?!?
2. Where was the sense of urgency in this movie?
The plot of American Kickboxer 2 has Lillian (Kathy Shower) reaching out to various men in her life to help her get her daughter Suzy back. Suzy was kidnapped by some bad guys looking to cash in on the money that Lillian inherited after her father left her his lucrative plumbing supply business. First Lillian calls her uncle Francis. When Francis learns about what has happened to his 8 year old niece, he tells Lillian to stop by “tomorrow evening” and they’ll work something out!?!? Then Lillian reaches out to her ex-husband Mike Clark (Dale Cook). Lillian drops the bombshell on Mike that he has a daughter and then that this daughter he didn’t know about has been kidnapped. A shocked Mike tells Lillian he’ll be over the next morning!?!? I hope the actual family of the actress who played Suzy was more loved than the character she played. What could Uncle Francis or Mike have had going on that was more important than seeing the safe return of an innocent 8 year old girl?!
Bonus Question 2: How loud was that blender?
Suzy is kidnapped after she is left outside by the pool when mommy and her new husband Howard go into the kitchen and get their freak on. Howard turns on the blender and we are supposed to believe this blender completely drowns out the noise of the helicopter above the house, the gunshots being fired (I have no idea who the bad guys were shooting at by the way) and a little Suzy screaming as she is pulled up into the helicopter.
3. Who’s your daddy Suzy?
Now I mentioned how Lillian told Mike that Suzy was his daughter. Well Lillian also called David (Evan Lurie of Martial Law II: Undercover fame), the man she had an affair with after Mike started abusing her, and told him that Suzy was his daughter. This quickly becomes like the action movie equivalent of the 80’s sitcom, My Two Dads. Mike and David become reluctant partners as they try to rescue Suzy, with both men believing they are the father.
Bonus Question 3: How awesome would it have been if Maury Povich made a special appearance?
To give the “Who’s your daddy?” mystery some closure, they should have brought in Maury to reveal who the true father was. Instead we got a bizarre ending that I will get to in a bit.
4. Have you ever wondered to yourself if Tackleberry from the Police Academy films was ever in any other movies?
Did I mention that Lillian’s new husband was played by David Graf from Police Academy? Graff played Tackleberry in all seven Police Academy films and the television series. But if you are like me you probably wondered if he was ever in any other movies or was he another victim of Hollywood typecasting. That question was answered when I saw Tackleberry in American Kickboxer 2 but it led to another question…
Bonus Question 4: There were seven Police Academy movies?!?!?
5. Why was this movie called American Kickboxer 2?
This is the biggest question of them all. American Kickboxer 2 has absolutely no relation to the presumptuously titled American Kickboxer 1. American Kickboxer 1 did have a sequel but it was called To the Death for some reason and it actually came out before American Kickboxer 2, so it isn’t like they had to name it To the Death to avoid confusion with this Cook/Lurie film.
Furthermore this isn’t really a kickboxing movie. There was no tournament, no competition… yes Cook and Lurie have kickboxing skills, but when you hear the title American Kickboxer 2, you are expecting there to be some link to the sport of kickboxing and that link just isn’t there. Couldn’t they have called it Force of Two or used the random action movie title generator to come up with something more appropriate?
Bonus Question 5: Were they setting up for American Kickboxer 3some?
Spoiler alert… Mike and David get Suzy back and the movie ends with Mike, David, Lillian and Suzy hanging out by the pool. Lillian says she likes having BOTH Mike and David around and neither seem to object to the situation they now find themselves in. Hey Suzy, your mother is a whore!