Directed by Lucas Lowe and featuring rising martial-arts star Loren Avedon, THE KING OF THE KICKBOXERS offers an unusual plot for a movie of this genre.
Bangkok. 1981. Sean Donahue (Michael DePasquale, Jr.), an American, has just won an important kickboxing match. However, Sean's victory does not go over well with the locals. As Sean and his brother Jake (Avedon, star of NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER II and III) are heading toward their hotel, they
are ambushed. Sean is murdered and Jake is badly beaten by the ruthless and much-feared martial arts fighter Khan (Billy Blanks). Ten years later, we find Jake working as a fearless undercover cop in New York City. The police department offers Jake a very dangerous assignment in Thailand, which he
immediately turns down. But, after reviewing a martial arts videotape, which is part of background work for the mission, Jake decides to take the case--it turns out that one of the fighters in the video is the infamous Khan, who is now involved in the illegal business of killing actors on film.
When Jake arrives in Thailand, he is introduced to Prang (Keith Cooke), a reclusive martial-arts master. Prang, as legend would have it, is the only one who can teach Jake how to beat Khan. Meanwhile, back in town, Molly (Sherrie Rose), who is a reluctant member of Khan's harem, desperately
searches for Jake, who saved her from having to sleep with the murderous iron man one evening. Jake trains tirelessly for weeks. Finally, he returns to the city and enters a kickboxing fight. Mr. McKinney (David Mitchell Sterling), a sleazy producer, is impressed with Jake and hires him to be in a
kickboxing film. Jake's co-star in the movie, of course, is Khan. As they fight to the death, Molly shows up on the set--she's been kidnapped by Khan. This naturally makes Jake even more angry. Jake eventually kills Khan and the authorities raid the film set.
Although some of the characters in KING OF THE KICKBOXERS are likable enough, much of the acting is over-the-top. And even though the movie moves along fairly well, it does suffer from rather cliched dialogue. For example, in the beginning after Jake makes a drug bust in New York City, he says:
"Cheer up. We got the bad guys, and that's what we get paid for. It's like the old West out there, and we're wearing the white hats." Even the line "Let the girl go" is used.
However, the fight scenes are done with skill and believability. The final scene in particular is very suspenseful and director Lowe manages to put the viewer right in the middle of the action. (Violence, profanity, sexual situations.)
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- Released: 1991
- Rating: R
- Review: Directed by Lucas Lowe and featuring rising martial-arts star Loren Avedon, THE KING OF THE KICKBOXERS offers an unusual plot for a movie of this genre. Bangkok. 1981. Sean Donahue (Michael DePasquale, Jr.), an American, has just won an important kickbox… (more)