KICK­BOXER: VENGEANCE

Empire (UK) - - ON SCREEN - DJ

RATHER THAN giv­ing 1989’s cheesy-but en­ter­tain­ing Kick­boxer a Tony Jaa-in­spired 21st-cen­tury update, this re­make is a lum­ber­ing re­tread, star­ring one-time Hugh Jack­man stunt-dou­ble Alain Moussi. He’s the new Kurt Sloane (pre­vi­ously Jean-claude Van Damme), des­per­ate for pay­back against Muay Thai champ Tong Po (Dave Bautista) for killing his brother. So he needs to be trained by the un­ortho­dox Du­rand — aka Van Damme, re­cast as the men­tor. JCVD’S in­volve­ment proves this film’s smartest move, as he fills the charisma cav­ity left by the blander-than-beige Moussi. But, de­spite his best quadri­cep-stretch­ing ef­forts, the ac­tion vet­eran can’t res­cue this charm­less, meat-ten­deris­ing pa­rade.

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