Alain Moussi

Moussi is Back in Well Go USA’s Official “Kickboxer: Retaliation” Trailer

Alain Moussi returns as Kurt Sloane as Well Go USA unleashes the sequel Kickboxer: Retaliation this month! IGN has released the first official trailer to the film.

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Set one year after the events of Kickboxer: Vengeance, professional MMA fighter Kurt Sloane finds himself back in a place he never imagined returning to: Thailand. Implicated in the death of Tong Po, Sloane finds himself at odds with Thomas Moore, the man behind the underground fight ring he and Tong Po competed in. Sloane is now challenged to take on a new beast in the 6’8″, 400-pound monster Mongkut. At first Kurt refuses, but when his wife is kidnapped, he finds no other choice but to accept the fight. Sloane not only reunites with his Muay Thai mentor, he finds a new band of allies who will help him train for the fight of a lifetime.

Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sara Malakul Lane, Sam Medina, and Steven Swadling reprise their roles from the original film with a cast of newcomers to the mix, including boxing legend Mike Tyson, soccer star Ronaldinho, strongman Brian Shaw, MMA fighters Roy “Big Country” NelsonWanderlei Silva, and Fabricio Werdum (who appeared as a different character in Vengeance), kickboxing champion Rico Verhoeven, and Game of Thrones‘ Mountain himself, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, as the hulking fighter Mongkut. Christopher Lambert plays the mastermind Thomas Moore.

Dimitri Logothesis directed the film and co-produced with Robert Hickman as well as co-wrote the film with Jim McGrath. Jean Francois-LaChappelle and Moussi himself served as the fight choreographers.

Well Go USA unleashes Kickboxer: Retaliation on January 26 in select theaters.

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“Kickboxer” Sequel to “Kick” Off in 2018

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Kurt Sloane will return to “kick” off the new year!

This past weekend, Kickboxer: Vengeance lead actor Alain Moussi took to Instagram to announce an official release date for the sequel Kickboxer: Retaliation, which back a few months, had mentioned a September release date. However, Moussi has announced that the film will be released on January 26, 2018.

Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sara Malakul Lane, Steven Swadling, and Sam Medina reprise their roles from the original reboot of the 1989 martial arts action film and will be joined by Christopher Lambert, Mike Tyson, Brian Shaw, Roy Nelson, Jessica Jann, and HafÞór Björnsson as the new big bad fighter, Mongkut.

Dimitri Logothesis co-wrote and directed the sequel with Rob Hickman producing.

Kickboxer: Retaliation is set for a January 26, 2018 release date.

H/T: Alain Moussi Instagram

TRAILER: Kickboxer – Retaliation

Kurt Sloane is back as the official trailer to Kickboxer: Retaliation has been unleashed.

Alain Moussi and Jean-Claude Van Damme return alongside Sara Malakul Lane and Sam Medina from the 2016 remake Kickboxer: Vengeance. Joining them for the new installment are Mike Tyson, Hafthor Bjornsson, Ronaldinho, and Christopher Lambert as well as some top MMA and kickboxing fighters such as Roy Nelson, Fabricio Werdum, Wanderlei Silva, and Rico Verhoeven.

Kickboxer: Retaliation continues where Kickboxer:Vengeance left off. It has now been 12 months since Kurt Sloan left Thailand vowing never to return. We pickup the story in a crowded sports arena with cheering fans where Kurt is now in a new battle – A title bout for the MMA World Championship title. When Kurt returns back to the locker room he is met by a familiar face along with, what we are led to believe to be two US marshals who charge Kurt with a crime and is extradited back to Thailand in an illegal manner. At some point during the journey, Kurt is sedated and later wakes up in a dingy cell at an infamous prison in Bangkok, Thailand.

Kurt soon meets the masterminds behind his abduction and is told he needs to fight a new formidable foe named Mongkut, who is a beast of a man, standing at 6’8″ and weighing in around 400lbs of solid muscle. This is a specticle they know will bring in millions. Kurt is offered 2 million dollars to fight or face a life term behind bars, but Kurt is steadfast and just wants to go home…He will not put a price on human life for the pleasure of others. A bounty is placed on Kurt’s head, prompting other prisoners to take shots to help coerce him to fight, however, Kurt can certainly hold his own and is not phased at all by any of this , however, eventually, under duress, he is forced to fight.

Kurt does not fully comprehend the challenge he has ahead of him until he encounters the pure size and strength of the man named Mongkut. Through much pain and pure determination, Kurt is put through some of the most enduring training he has ever experienced to prepare him for the fight for his life.

Dimitri Logothetis wrote and directed the remake with Robert Hickman serving as producer.

According to sources, the sequel is due for a September release.

Could Singh and Jaa Be Joining Third”Kickboxer” Film?

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Preparations are going strong for the third and apparently final installment of Dimitri LogothetisKickboxer reboot trilogy and some major casting possibilities arose last week.

It looks like aside from Alain Moussi returning as series hero Kurt Sloane, it is looking like Mike Tyson will be reprising his role from this year’s sequel, Kickboxer: Retaliation. However, it is new casting rumors that have been going wild and they include a South Indian actor and an actor meant to appear in the original reboot.

Punjabi actor and producer Ranjha Vikram Singh, who appeared in 2014’s Heropanti alongside Tiger Shroff, met with producer Rob Hickman and even had the chance to meet Tyson himself. Singh then confirmed that he has met with Hickman about appearing in the newly named Kickboxer: Armageddon and talks have begun. Aside from his skills as an actor, Singh is a trained boxer so his skills could help in the fight action of the film.

The source who revealed Singh’s meeting also dropped a bombshell, which for now, should be taken with a grain of salt. The source revealed that Thai action star Tony Jaa, who was originally cast in the role to eventually be played by Jean-Claude Van Damme in Kickboxer: Vengeance and Kickboxer: Retaliation, is actually planning to join the cast of Armageddon. If in fact, Jaa is joining the cast, this can prove to be one action-packed finale. Jaa recently appeared in XxX: Return of Xander Cage and will next be seen in the Hong Kong action thriller Paradox.

More as these news develop. Kickboxer: Armageddon is scheduled to begin production next month for a 2018 release.

H/T: Mid-Day

“Kickboxer: Vengeance” Comes to DVD and Blu-Ray Next Week!

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Missed your chance to see Kickboxer: Vengeance in theaters? Don’t fret because on November 8, the film hits DVD and Blu-Ray!

The film stars Alain Moussi in the role originated by Jean-Claude Van Damme, a martial artist who seeks revenge for his brother by training with his brother’s former mentor, played by none other than JCVD himself. Dave Bautista takes on the role of Tong Po, the kickboxer responsible for his brother’s demise. The film co-stars MMA legends Gina Carano and Georges St-Pierre, UFC fighters Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum and in his final role, the late great martial arts action star Darren Shahlavi.

Special features will include a behind-the-scenes featurette including interviews with Moussi, Carano, Bautista, and St-Pierre.

So if you missed it in theaters, get your copy of Kickboxer: Vengeance on DVD and Blu-Ray next week!

 

Third “Kickboxer” Film Has Title Revealed

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Alain Moussi in “Kickboxer: Vengeance”, premiering tomorrow.

At the Los Angeles premiere of Kickboxer: Vengeance, producer Rob Hickman gave a few details on what will be the third installment of the rebooted saga, which stars Alain Moussi as Kurt Sloan.

The second film of the series, Kickboxer: Retaliation, has recently completed shooting in Thailand with the returning Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sara Malakul Lane, and Sam Medina along with new series cast members Christopher LambertHafthor Julius Bjornsson, Mike TysonJessica JannRoy NelsonRonaldinho, and Brian Shaw.

Hickman gave only a few details on what will be the third film of the series. What he revealed is that production on the film will be set in February and the title will be…

Kickboxer: Syndicate

Interesting title, but considering the consequences that await Kurt Sloan from Vengeance to Retaliation, it does in fact make kind of sense. Dimitri Logothetis has written the new reboot as a trilogy of films so this would put the stamp on this martial arts saga.

Meanwhile, look for Kickboxer: Vengeance tomorrow in theaters and Video on Demand and look for Kickboxer: Retaliation in 2017.

H/T: Variety

Interview with Alain Moussi, the New “Kickboxer”

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It is time to officially meet the new KickboxerAlain Moussi is a Canadian-based martial artist who got his start as a stuntman, which propelled him to nab the lead role of Kurt Sloan in the remake Kickboxer: Vengeance. In his first lead role, Alain got to work with his longtime idol, Jean-Claude Van Damme. World Film Geek chatted with Alain via phone interview to talk about the reboot, coming in theaters and VOD on September 2.

Alain, thank you so much for taking the time to talk about Kickboxer: Vengeance. I recently got to see the film and I really enjoyed it.
My pleasure. Good! Awesome! Great to hear!

For those who are unfamiliar, can you describe your martial arts background and how you got your start as a stuntman?
I started in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu as a kid in Ottawa in Canada. It was at the Therien School with Mr. [John] Therien and that’s where I grew up, in the Jiu-Jitsu school. I did that for about eight years and then I got into kickboxing with Jean-Yves Theriault, who was 23-time world champion at the time I got started with him. And I got into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as well at the same time so I kept up with both kickboxing and BJJ, which I got to meet with Carlos Machado. Carlos is my Jiu-Jitsu mentor now. I’ve been training under him for nine years now, earning my black belt. As I started work as a stuntman and expand my skills, I did a lot of seminars for different arts to add them to my game. I was able to adapt them into different styles of fighting for films and the stunt work definitely help.

I got into stunt work about six years ago, in 2010, when I met Jean Frenette, a stunt coordinator in Canada who was doing the fights for Immortals. He took me under his wing and after I met him, I was doing a lot of fight concepts for Immortals . The stunt coordinator [Artie Malesci] thought they were pretty good and they would ask, “Is this guy working right now? Is he available?” and they said, “Yeah, he’s brand new and can do the job.” So I was hired to double Henry Cavill in Immortals and I was pretty much thrown into the deep end.

Usually when you start as a stuntman, you would be like “Guard #3” and get shot at and fall [laughs] and you are lucky to get a full day on the set. I had six months, three months stunt prep, three months shoot. There are a lot of talented stuntmen and stunt coordinators in Canada, so because of that I was able to showcase my skills for all these people. So after Immortals, I got hired for all these films and it was pretty cool. So I had the opportunity to work with a lot of great people over the years and great job. So that was my transition from being a martial artist. I own a martial arts school [NX Martial Arts and Fitness] and then started doing stunt work. I love it so much and I’ve always wanted to be in films, that’s why I started martial arts. Slowly as I grew up, it was like “How are you going to do that?” Ottawa, compared to Montreal and Toronto, is a smaller city and there’s not that really much film production. So with the right timing and skill set, I got into the right film and met the right people.

How did you get the lead role in Kickboxer: Vengeance because in my opinion, you did an excellent job as Kurt Sloan.
Oh man! Thank you so much. I really appreciate that.That is so cool. Sometimes you get scared s***less when you are doing this [laughs]. Like you go with confidence but at the same time, you are waiting for these moments. I would talk to my wife all the time about this. I’m reading reviews and it is like “Who is going to trash me first?” as if I’m waiting for it. It hasn’t been the case, which is really cool, and thank you so much for saying that. It’s really nice.

I met producer and writer Dimitri Logothetis on a film where I was doing stunts and I was doing a showcase for him where I had two major fights and afterwards, he talked for about five minutes. The next day, he hasn’t cast a lead for this film and I got a call from casting and they asked me to come in because the director wanted me to audition for the lead role. I was like, “Wow! This is an amazing opportunity!” I thought it was a joke at the beginning but it wasn’t so I auditioned. He offered me the role and at the time, he told me he has the rights to Kickboxer. So this movie that we were shooting in Montreal never finished because the finance here got into some trouble.

Two years later, Dimitri called me up and told me, “I need you to come to L.A. to do a showcase for [producer] Ted Field. Ted is my partner for Kickboxer and I want to prove to him you are the guy for the role.” So I go to L.A. and do the showcase. At the end of the showcase, Ted gets up and said, “Yeah that is what we are doing! This is what we’re doing right here!” So I also had to do a screen test so I can show them how I look on screen and not just rely on the action. So I worked with a coach, we did the screen test and that was it.

Dimitri is the one who believes in me. He sees the potential in me and sees that I’m a hard work and that’s one thing. I work hard. I don’t mind the hard work. I take it in and that’s how I got good in martial arts. I believe you can have as much talent as you want, but if you don’t work hard, there’s limits. The only way to go beyond your natural talent is is it rep and work hard. To be willing to go the extra mile and Dimitri saw that, so I got the role. So at Cannes, they announced Dave Bautista, Georges St-Pierre, and myself. So it was like they could’ve changed their minds, but this made it official.

What was it like working with Dave Bautista [who plays Tong Po], Georges St-Pierre [who plays Kavi] and your idol, Jean-Claude Van Damme [who plays Durand]?
It was awesome, all great guys! I had met Georges a few times, but we didn’t really know each other. I had always followed his career when he was in the UFC. We are the same age so I always admired him and I admired his intelligence in his fighting. That is a great example of what you need to be to be successful, a champion. So when I got to work with Georges on a personal level it was great. He did a great job at adapting to film fighting from real fighting and that can be an issue. To understand distance and timing and all of that stuff and it was a real treat.

And we even had our own lingo because we both speak French, so we would be on the set talking in French and everyone would give us these weird looks. So we would shoot an official conversation where we had to speak English and then we would go back and forth, so we had our own thing going, which was really cool. Lots of cool times with Georges, Georges is a really funny guy and I’m happy Dimitri got to capture that, to get the humor out of him. He’s naturally a funny dude. Working with Georges was great.

I met Dave in a hotel on the night he got in. He’s very soft-spoken, a well-spoken man and I went to introduce myself right away and he’s super nice. Then he had a limited time on set because he was leaving to shoot James Bond [Spectre]. So we didn’t have much time so he just wanted to do it. So we actually started with the end fight. We got right into it. We rehearsed it for only an hour then shoot the fight. It went really well.  We had the right groove, good timing, and we really committed to it, he hit me, I hit him. All the hits you see are real hits.

We had really good chemistry and he’s performed in professional wrestling. So he understands distance, understands timing, and understands contact. Understanding contact is something not everyone understands. They don’t know the different between “20%”, “30%”, and “70%”. They may not register that, but he does. I do, I’ve done this for a while and he did too, so we were able to go at it to a level where you would say, the hits look great. The hits may look like they were at 100% but may actually be at 30% but they look real and that’s important to me in a fight. Working with Dave was such a treat because we both were able to do that plus, he’s such a nice guy. He’s such a cool, charismatic dude and that’s due to wrestling. I was like, “Oh my God, I’m working with Dave Bautista! This is incredible! I watched this guy destroy dudes in the ring!”[laughs].

Of course, JC was the icing on the cake for me because he was my childhood hero. He’s the reason why I got in martial arts. As if doing Kickboxer was already an honor, with JC is in the film as the mentor, it was incredible. We had a great time on the set. He’s so collaborative, so nice. We talked about what we were going to do and go at it. And to have fight scenes with him is a dream come true. We had this fight in the rain and it was so special to me because it was our first fight and it is the moment where the student wants the teacher to become his teacher. It’s a lot of dialogue. It’s unspoken, but there’s a lot of physical dialogue that happens. It’s like he puts him down and puts him down and I get up until finally it’s like I convince him to take me on. It’s that moment that is special and it’s almost like you have the film fight and a sense of reality.

I actually liked that scene.
Really? You liked that fight? That’s good!

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Alain Moussi, Dave Bautista, and Darren Shahlavi are all smiles on the set of Kickboxer: Vengeance in 2014.

Darren Shahlavi [who sadly passed away in January 2015. The film is dedicated to his memory] was a great talent and plays Eric Sloan. What was it like working with him?
Darren and I were friends and we were in L.A. sitting at a restaurant. I was reading for Kickboxer and he said he really wanted to be in the film. He tells me what role he would play and puts a picture next to my face and says, “I can be your brother”. And I was like, “Oh my God! That’s a great idea.” So the next day, I’m having lunch with Dimitri and I showed him the picture and I said, “Hey, here’s my brother.” Dimitri remembers Darren from an acting reel and he said, “Done. Let’s do it.” Just like that.

Darren and I had done stunt work. We did The Marine 3: Homefront, where I was doing stunts [doubling lead actor Mike Mizanin] and Darren was one of the villains. So that’s how we met so we had to work together in that capacity doing stunts and fights. Now, it was like I was going to be on screen with him and I was thrilled. I admired Darren and I had followed his career and to be working with him, especially because this was a film that was important to him because the original had inspired him. When I heard the news he had passed away, I was so sad.

There was a scene that is very important and it was the scene where Eric tells Kurt he was leaving for Thailand. After we had shot that scene, Darren came up to me and said, “Alain, this is my favorite scene that I ever shot.” And I thought that was so special and I feel honored to be on screen with him in one of his final scenes.

One of my favorite fight choreographers and another good guy all around, Larnell Stovall, did the action for this film. Did you have any input in the action or was it Stovall and his team all the way around?
I had input in a way where I didn’t want to be in his way. I wanted him to do what he thought would be right for the film. We sat down together and talked about the characters, especially my character, and we talked about what style of fighting would work. We would go over the textures and then he would run with the scene.

He would show me things and I would say yes, no, modify this. I would give him a list of moves that I like to do and he would work with that so it was a great collaboration between me and him. But I always trusted him because I knew he was an extremely talented choreographer. I love his work. He would show me pre-viz that I thought were great and at times, he would tell me “Push! Push! Make up your own!” But he did an incredible, incredible job with the action.

Do you have a favorite fight scene in the film that you shot or do you like them all [laughs]?
They all their own charm [laughs], but three really stand out for me, so I’ll give you three. I really love the end fight, especially the last round. The fight with JC in the rain, and the elephant fight.

I liked the “elephant fight” too. It was reminiscent of some of the Thai action films from the past decade.
That particular scene was choreographed by our Thai coordinator, Jim [Supoj Khaowwong]. Jim and his team put that fight together and I loved it. And these are three different fights, different textures, different techniques. But I really liked them.

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The original promotional poster for Kickboxer: Retaliation, which recently wrapped production.

So as fans may know or those who may not know, you recently wrapped Kickboxer: Retaliation. Without giving away too much, what can we expect in the sequel?
Number one, you can expect to follow Kurt Sloan in a new chapter of his life, which is very interesting. That is what I like about sequels, because you follow the character into new places.

Two, expect some amazing action and I’m not just saying that because I did them. But because they are shot very well. And I will give one away, but not tell you who it is. There are two good oners (one-take shots) in Retaliation, and there is a four-minute oner that we shot on the first day.When we were done, we were like “Oh my God!” and we got it in the can. There will be some great action here.

What’s also cool about  Retaliation is that it will go way deeper into the relationship with Durand and the relationship with Liu [played by Sara Malakul Lane]. Especially with Kurt and Liu as that relationship really develops because that is important to see Kurt’s relationship with the girl.

We have so many new faces here. We’ve been posting all over the place, including UFC stars. So Mike Tyson. And by the way, that is the other treat. Mike Tyson as you’ve never seen him before. He has never been captured in films the way we captured him. Boxing fans will go crazy when they see what we did with Mike and the hard work he did.Tyson was awesome. Not only the action, but also the character.

For the fans who have been anticipating Vengeance, what would you like to tell them?
I hope the fans will be ready for an entertaining movie. And I hope they will be entertained. It’s a fun movie, an entertaining movie and to be ready for some cool action. If they like that, that will be perfect, I will be really happy.

Well, Alain, it’s been a pleasure. You are available on social media, so we will have those links posted so the fans can catch up with your latest news. Once again, thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule to talk about Kickboxer: Vengeance.
Thank you, it’s been a pleasure.

To follow Alain Moussi on social media, click on the following links:
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Kickboxer: Vengeance comes to theaters (check your local theater for showtimes) and Video on Demand on September 2 from RLJ Entertainment.

A special Thank You goes out to Katrina Wan PR for making this interview possible and to Alain Moussi himself for the wonderful chat!

 

REVIEW: Kickboxer – Vengeance

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2016, RLJ Entertainment/Radar Pictures/Headmon Pictures/The Exchange/Acme Rocket Fuel

Director:
John Stockwell
Producers:
Ted Field
Rob Hickman
Nicholas Celozzi
Allen Knudson
Dimitri Logothetis
Samuel Cory Timpson
Writers:
Jean-Claude Van Damme (original characters)
Mark DiSalle (original characters)
Dimitri Logothetis (screenplay)
James McGrath (screenplay)
Cinematography:
Mateo Londono
Editing:
Carsten Kurpanek
Chris A. Peterson

Cast:
Alain Moussi (Kurt Sloan)
David Bautista (Tong Po)
Gina Carano (Marcia)
Sara Malakul Lane (Liu)
Darren Shahlavi (Eric Sloan)
Jean-Claude Van Damme (Master Durand)
Georges St-Pierre (Kavi)
Sam Medina (Crawford)
Daniel Mayid (Wattona)
T.J. Storm (Storm)
Matthew Ziff (Bronco)
Steven Swadling (Joseph King)
Cain Velasquez (King’s Fighter)
Fabricio Werdum (Tong Po’s Fighter)

At long last, the remake to the 1989 Jean-Claude Van Damme film has arrived? It is a worthy remake? You bet it is. Despite some flaws that may hinder the overall quality, the film is an excellent vehicle for martial artist and stuntman Alain Moussi, who proves himself worthy of a lead role.

Three months ago, Eric Sloan won the Global Karate Championship with the help of his younger brother and trainer Kurt. Marcia, a fight promoter, invites Eric to fight in an underground match in Thailand for $400,000. Kurt is not sure it is the best idea, but Eric decides to go for it and leaves for Bangkok without his brother. When Kurt gets a plane ticket to Bangkok on the night of the fight, he arrives to see his brother decimated and ultimately killed by the undefeated Muay Thai champion Tong Po. Kurt knows that Marcia had set Eric up and an attempt to seek revenge on Tong Po, makes Kurt a fugitive when he is helped by Liu, a Thai cop who is looking to destroy Marcia’s underground fight ring.

Liu takes Kurt to the home of Durand, who was Eric’s Muay Thai trainer. Kurt is convinced that Durand can be the one who can train him to avenge Eric’s death. Durand at first refuses, but he sees that Kurt has the heart and willingness to do what it takes and therefore, puts him under grueling training. Liu does not want Kurt to fight Tong Po, fearing he will meet the same fate as Eric. However, with vengeance on his mind, Kurt is put under test after test to prove himself worthy of challenging Tong Po to a match. When Kurt passes the final test, the match is set between Kurt and Tong Po? Who will win or much rather, survive this final confrontation?

Remakes are quite an interesting subgenre of any film. Some are worthy of its original (such as The Departed, which remade Infernal Affairs and My Bloody Valentine) and some not so much (2008’s Hollywood remake of My Sassy Girl). At last, we have the long-awaited remake of Kickboxer, the 1989 film that helped solidify Jean-Claude Van Damme’s reputation as a viable action star. So how does it fare when compared to the original? While the film truly nods to the original, the film adds new elements that help make this a worthy reboot, which is what is intended according to co-writer and producer Dimitri Logothetis.

A new star is truly on the rise in the form of Alain Moussi. The Canadian martial artist and stuntman makes his lead role debut as Kurt Sloan, the role originated by Van Damme in the original. Moussi definitely has the skills, has the look of an action star, and can do his own stunts, which is exactly what he delivers in the role. For a debut lead role, Moussi does quite well in the role of the avenger, who undergoes a series of challenges to make himself worthy of fighting the deadly Tong Po, here played by former WWE superstar turned actor David Bautista.

At first hearing of Bautista playing Tong Po, one can imagine people saying, “Are you kidding me?” However, it must be said that Bautista actually does have a martial arts background, which is why he may be considered Tong Po as “beast mode”. Trained in Kali, Brazilian Jiujitsu, and Muay Thai, Bautista’s Tong Po is reminiscent of Van Damme in No Retreat, No Surrender. He doesn’t have much screen time, but makes the most of what he has, especially in the two important fights of the film against the Sloan brothers.

Gina Carano, known as a top MMA fighter, goes straight in the role of a female version of the original Freddy Li, fight promoter Marcia, who uses her financial influence to hold the underground fights. While some may have wanted to see her fight, they will be disappointed here. Thai-American model and actress Sara Malakul Lane is okay as Thai detective Liu, who ends up becoming Kurt’s love interest. However, the issue is that it doesn’t lead up as expected as Van Damme’s Kurt and Rochelle Ashana’s Mylee in the original. It happens pretty quick and in a shocking and awkward moment, Liu tells Kurt he doesn’t have to fight Tong Po and this leads into a very awkward love scene that was just unexpected.

The film would also mark the final appearance of a great talent. Darren Shahlavi, who passed away in January 2015, makes quite the impact as the ill-fated Eric Sloan. While his only fight in the film would be against Bautista and we all know how that ends up, it is his words to Marcia about Kurt that helps Kurt realize that Eric was looking out for him and he knows that Kurt would do anything for Eric. The filmmakers dedicated the film to Darren’s memory and to this day, he is still missed as a wonderful guy who lived his dream.

Now, before we get into the action, it must be noted that there are a few flaws that may hinder the overall quality of the film, depending on one’s taste. First, we have the appearance of MMA legend Georges St-Pierre, who plays Kavi. While he has shown his skills on screen, such as the opening fight as Batroc the Leaper in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he comes in sporadically as someone who may be working for Tong Po, but also has some respect for Kurt after their fight, which opens the action portion of the film. The other flaw? It is not so much as Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Master Durand as he comes full circle from playing Kurt in the original film to now playing the master (replacing Thai action star Tony Jaa, who dropped out due to schedule conflicts). In most of the film, perhaps due to his schedule or whatnot, his voice is dubbed but not exactly in a good way. In some parts, we hear Van Damme’s actual voice which works, but the dubbed voice sounds like a poor man’s Van Damme and that’s not exactly a good thing.

Finally, how is the action of the film? This is the piece de resistance of the film, thanks to Larnell Stovall, who has proven himself to be one of the most sought after stunt specialists in Hollywood today. He would also coordinate the stunts with Thai stunt coordinator Supoj Khaowwong and Emmanuel Manzanres assisting. Not only does the action pay homage to the original film, but we also get homages to some of the action of the late Thai stuntmaster Panna Rittikrai (Khaowwong was a protege of Rittikrai, who passed away in 2014) with Moussi emulating the likes of Tony Jaa in two fight scenes that occur on the streets of Bangkok. Van Damme and Moussi have a few training fights together and Van Damme still shows despite his past troubles, he truly looks quite good here. Moussi gets to take on the likes of St-Pierre and T.J. Storm to open the film and we even get to see The Martial Arts Kid‘s Matthew Ziff have a brief fight scene using double swords as Tong Po’s fighter Bronco. The finale between Kurt and Tong Po is great as Stovall truly melds his style of action with that of the original 1989 film, showing both Moussi and Bautista as ample and worthy fighters.

Stay quickly for the credits as we see Moussi pay homage to one of the funniest scenes of the original film, and we all know exactly what that scene is. However, the shocker of the film comes in a very special cameo that cannot be spoiled here, but is brief yet quite jaw-dropping.

In conclusion, despite a few flaws, Kickboxer: Vengeance is truly a worthy reboot and new vision of the original 1989 Jean-Claude Van Damme film. With nods to the original and the likes of Ong-Bak, the action is great and brings in a worthy new action star on the rise named Alain Moussi. In addition, David Bautista is great in his screen time as Tong Po.

WFG RATING: B+

The film will be unleashed in a limited theatrical release and on Video on Demand platforms on September 2.

In addition, look out next year for the sequel, Kickboxer: Retaliation, which Moussi and Van Damme return to their roles as we see Kurt face a new and more formidable opponent in Game of Thrones star HafÞor Julius Bjornsson as the 6’8” 400 lb. Beast “Mongkut”.

“Highlander” Meets “Kickboxer”: Lambert Joins “Retaliation” (UPDATE)

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UPDATE (8/8/2016): The character played by Christopher Lambert has been revealed. Coming Soon reveals the character is Thomas Moore, an ex-Patriot and martial artist who is the man responsible for forcing Alain Moussi‘s Kurt Sloan to go to prison and face the beast Mongkut (Bjornsson). Moore is the Godfather of Thailand’s underground fight ring.

In a very unexpected announcement during the week, it was made official at the press conference of Kickboxer: Retaliation that Christopher Lambert has joined the cast of the new sequel. Here he is on the set with the film’s lead actor Alain Moussi, who reprises his role of Kurt Sloan in the sequel.

Lambert, forever known as the original Highlander as Connor MacLeod, has an unspecified role but considering his suit, it may look like a bigwig involved in the major fight that will pit Moussi’s Sloan against the new beast Mongkut, played by Game of ThronesHafthor Julius Bjornsson.

Co-starring in the film alongside Moussi, Bjornsson, and Lambert are Mike TysonFabricio WerdumRico VerhoevenRoy “Big Country” Nelson, Ronaldinho, and Jean-Claude Van Damme, who reprises his role of Master Durand.

The film is still currently in production in Thailand under the direction of Dimitri Logothetis, who co-wrote the film and produced this installment as well as wrote and produced the first film of this new rebooted saga, Kickboxer: Vengeance, due for release on September 2.

Kickboxer: Retaliation is scheduled for a release sometime in 2017.

H/T: Alain Moussi Online

TRAILER: Kickboxer – Vengeance

The wait is finally over!!! The trailer to the long awaited remake of the 1989 martial arts film Kickboxer has finally arrived courtesy of Yahoo! Movies.

Alain Moussi takes over the role of Kurt Sloane, who sees his brother killed at the hands of Tong Po, played by former WWE superstar and martial artist Dave Bautista. To get his revenge, Kurt trains under his brother’s teacher, Durand, played by the original Kurt Sloane himself, Jean-Claude Van Damme.

The film co-stars Gina Carano, Sara Malakul Lane, Cain Velasquez, Fabricio Werdum, Matthew Ziff, T.J. Storm, and Georges St. Pierre. The film also marked the final appearance of the great Darren Shahlavi before his sudden passing in 2015.

Kickboxer: Vengeance is directed by John Stockwell and was written and produced by Dimitri Logothesis, who is currently directing the sequel, Kickboxer: Retaliation with Moussi, Werdum, and Van Damme returning with an ensemble cast of fighters.

RLJ Entertainment will unleash Kickboxer: Vengeance on September 2nd in theaters and Video on Demand.