Eric and Kurt Sloane are the descendants of a well-known Venice, California-based family of martial artists. Kurt has always been in older brother, Eric's shadow, as he lacks the instincts needed to become a champion. Against Kurt's concerns, Eric accepts a paid offer and travels to Thailand to challenge the Muay Thai champion Tong Po and fails with dire consequences. Kurt sets out for revenge. He trains with his brother's mentor, Durand, for a Muay Thai fight against the merciless champion, Tong Po. Durand first thinks Kurt is impossible to train, but through a series of spiritual exercises and tests, Durand discovers that Kurt has a deeper strength that will carry him through his final showdown with Tong Po.Written by
Scott Adkins was approached to play Eric Sloane, but declined because he felt with a project like this, he wanted to showcase his action skills. The role eventually went to Darren Shahlavi. See more »
In the scene where they are escaping from prison and jumping off the second floor into the street (approximately 59 minutes into the film), the stunt crew is clearly visible on the ground with the landing pad for the jump as they climb onto the top of the police truck. When they jump down off the truck, the edge of the pad comes up into the frame. See more »
Training Montage One
(Adam Dornblum-Slugwell Music ASCAP)
All instruments performed by Adam Dorn and Mocean Worker See more »
Best JCVD film in years!
... and unfortunately a hard film to review.
The paradox is that the film succeeds where it doesn't want to -- and doesn't succeed where it wants to.
For example, as an out-of-the-box version or re-imagining of KICKBOXER, it does not quite make it.
The problem is not the direction, or cinematography (gorgeous), or even the script.
The problem is the casting of the main character.
At no point in this movie does Alain Moussi ever actually give the impression that he is strong enough or fast enough or skilled enough to take out the bad guy.
Think about it. Imagine the Rocky films if Stallone has been unable to "sell" his potential to be a winner???
That was the bad news. The good news is that it was a delight to see JCVD back in front of the camera, playing a super-cool "trainer" and showing off perhaps the world's most dangerous 55 year old.
The difference between a true star and a wannabee is that JCVD not only steals his scenes, but actually gives the impression that HE could win a fight with the dreaded Tong Po, age or no age.
Other than that, the film is fun but forgettable.
Gina Carano is also oddly cast as a promoter who throws tantrums but never a punch.
George St. Pierre sort of haunts the film as an odd character we never really get to know. (If nothing else, these sorts of excursions give GSP a reason to learn English, and get paid for it.)
The love interest is played by an actress named T.J Storm who (I am guessing here) took the part for less money on the condition that the name of her on-screen character is also .... "Storm." A strange kind of advertising for future roles? Also very easy on the eyes, I hasten to add.
This film is no Warrior or Forbidden Kingdom. It is not going into the annals of MMA film history.
But overall not too bad.
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