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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Retro Review: Kickboxer 3: The Art Of War (1992)

Kickboxer 3: The Art Of War
Cast: Sasha Mitchell, Dennis Chan, Richard Comar, Noah Verduzco, Alethea Miranda, Ian Jacklin
Genre: Direct-To-Video Martial Arts

Plot: A Los Angeles martial artist travels to Rio for a kickboxing exhibition, only to save a girl from a drug lord

'This Art Of War Was A Martial Arts Bore'

After finding Kickboxer 2 to be an affable and modest effort, I had reasonable hopes that the third instalment in the long-running Kickboxer martial arts drama based series, would provide similar enjoyment and more of the action I've endured throughout the earlier films. Sadly, however, this entry is more of a carbon copy of the previous Kickboxer film, but overdoing it with the dramatics with a story that fails to impress. But also, whilst moving it to a different location it may seem like a sweet deal, in actuality, it has made Kickboxer 3: The Art of War to be not all that for an action flick, which makes the mistake of being a centrally- driven drama set in South America. And plus, it is wretched in places as well. 

David and his trainer, Xian head off to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil to compete in an exhibition match. After landing in the city, David encounters some thugs who he beats up, meets up with two orphan kids. He comes across a promoter in Lane, who turns out to be running a sex slave brothel. David, Xian & Marcos head off to rescue Marcos's sister, who has been kidnapped. 

Kickboxer 3, however, was not a happy experience for director Rick King, who in an interview with Hidden, described the lead star, Sasha Mitchell as a 'nutjob'. 'The crew hated him & liked me', and that he was also very violent', which didn't bode well for Mitchell and his career went down the toilet, after that. The film also marked the beginning of a decline for the Kickboxer movies, as it started to go downhill. Kickboxer 2 became the breakout role for Mitchell, - yet no sooner is he in Kickboxer 3, the cracks were starting to appear for the franchise.

Sasha Mitchell's voice as David is so deep and he also sounds like a surfer dude, if you hadn't seen his pretty boy looks whilst sitting through this movie, one would mistake him to be 40 years old or something.

The two Brazillian child characters, Marcos & Isabella were such anonymity, the film could have easily done without them, the story, despite being set in South America is a bore and lousy to boot. It tries to be convincing, but mostly it is pure nothingness. It's just so routine and stripped to the bare bones, it's actually unexceptional. I wasn't too surprised to see the Argentinian character being made to be the bad guy, in a country that is full of Portuguese speaking Brazilians. 

40 plus mins into the film, it then turns into a completely different film with guns and ammo - which is so unheard of for the Kickboxer series and thus, it descends into an action flick and less so as a martial arts movie. The script is below-par, dull and whilst I tune into these films more for the martial arts fight scenes, even those here are not as good as I'd anticipated and despite the climactic fight towards the end, there is far too little kickboxing action to really call this a 'Kickboxer' movie. 

Final Verdict:

When the producers chose to distance themselves from this instalment and pretended this never existed, especially as it has nothing to do with the other films of the series, that clearly shows how in terms of being billed as a martial arts movie, it fails to live up to that promise. 

Kickboxer 3, is many ways, so bad and boring, surely, it cannot possibly get worse, right? Well....


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