Kickboxer 2
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlbert Pyun
Written byDavid S. Goyer
Based onCharacters
by Mark DiSalle and Jean-Claude Van Damme
Produced byTom Karnowski
Starring
CinematographyGeorge Mooradian
Edited byAlan Baumgarten
Music byAnthony Riparetti
James Saad
Production
company
Distributed byTrimark Pictures (U.S.)
Vision International (Non-U.S.)
Release date
  • June 13, 1991 (1991-06-13)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$1.2 million (United States)[1]

Kickboxer 2 (stylized on-screen as Kickboxer 2: The Road Back) is a 1991 American martial arts film directed by Albert Pyun and written by David S. Goyer. The film is the second entry into the Kickboxer film series, and stars Sasha Mitchell in the role of David Sloan the brother of Kickboxer's lead character Kurt, portrayed by Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Plot

One year after the events of the first film, it is revealed that kickboxing brothers Kurt and Eric Sloane have been killed by Tong Po in Thailand shortly after his loss to Kurt. David Sloan, the last surviving brother, struggles to keep the family's Los Angeles kickboxing gym afloat. He offers free kickboxing lessons to local kids, often demonstrating a technique he calls the "rock and the river" which allows him to defend against attacks while blindfolded.

Although his will to compete has waned since the loss of his brothers, financial problems eventually force David to fight again in a new organization run by a crooked promoter, Justin Maciah. His surprising comeback ultimately attracts the attention of Po who, disgraced by his previous defeat to Kurt, seeks to defeat David in the ring and regain his honor. But when David announces his retirement after a victory against Neil Vargas, Po's manager Sanga (who is later revealed as helping to fund Maciah's kickboxing organization) hires a group of thugs to burn down the gym, Vargas goes along with them to enact petty revenge on Sloan for his defeat. Although David attempts to fight them off, he is beaten down and suffers a gunshot wound to the leg caused by Vargas. The injury prevents him from aiding a young student trapped in the blaze, who dies as a result.

While recovering in the hospital, David is visited by Xian Chow, the Muay Thai Kru who trained his brother Kurt in Thailand. Though David initially wants nothing to do with him, he finally relents and allows Xian to nurse him back to health. Meanwhile, one of David's most promising students, Brian Wagner, has secured a championship bout and invites David to watch the fight. However, the champion is unexpectedly replaced by Po, as a part of a deal made between Maciah and Sanga. Tong Po pummels Wagner with illegal blows and kills him in the ring despite David's efforts to intervene. The bout leaves Justin in financial and professional ruin while Sanga declares their partnership is over. Afterwards, Xian reveals to David that the main reason he is helping him is because Tong Po had also murdered his niece Mylee along with David's brothers. He guiltily admits that part of him wants revenge of his own for her death, and is willing to sacrifice David to get it.

Insisting that the fight is his own, David accepts Po's challenge. In a bloody bout reminiscent of the "ancient way" of fighting in Thailand, (using tape covered in resin and broken glass) David is beaten badly and has clouded vision. Utilizing his "rock and the river" technique, however, David gains the upper hand and ultimately defeats his rival. Having lost his honor, Sanga confronts David in the ring at gunpoint, but thanks to a distraction by his friend Jack, David is able to disarm and incapacitate him.

The next day, David unsuccessfully teaches Xian to drive a car. When his students introduce him to the new neighborhood bully; David once again demonstrates the "rock and the river", but the lesson is cut short when the ice cream truck arrives, and Xian treats the kids while also, due to his age, tries to tell a story to an amused David as the credits roll.

Cast

Release

Theatrical

Kickboxer 2 was given a limited release theatrically in the United States by Trimark Pictures in June 1991, grossing $1,250,712 at the box office.[2]

Home media

HBO Home Video released it on VHS and laserdisc the same year. In the Philippines, the film was released by Pioneer Films on July 4, 1991.[3]

The film was released on DVD by Lionsgate in 2003.[4]

Reception

Critical response

In comparison to the 1989 Van Damme original, the film was not initially well received.[5] TV Guide opined: "From its opening moments it's obvious that Kickboxer 2 is struggling under the leaden weight of humorlessness. This is the movie that absolutely no one wanted to see: a kickboxing movie that takes itself dead serious".[6]

References

  1. ^ Kickboxer 2 at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "Kickboxer 2". boxofficemojo.com. April 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Opens July 4!". Manila Standard. Kamahalan Publishing Corp. July 2, 1991. p. 16. Retrieved May 4, 2020. In 'Kickboxer 2', Tong Po defeated Van Damme[.] now... Van Damme's brother takes revenge... with the help of Thai master Xian!
  4. ^ "Kickboxer 2". dvdempire.com. April 7, 2011.
  5. ^ "MOVIE REVIEW Revenge Inspires More Feats of Violence in 'Kickboxer 2'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
  6. ^ [1] TV Guide, "Kickboxer 2: The Road Back: Review", accessed January 25, 2009