"Kickboxer 4" Commentary
Commentary done between myself (Neil) and "American Ninja" (ANM) from City on Fire on 2/9/08
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By the way, for the record, I just want to say that the reason I chose "Kickboxer 4" was because I didn't want to see the really annoying kid from "Kickboxer 2", "Kickboxer 3" is really boring, and just I watched like four Van Damme flicks in the last three days.
Neil: This isn't actually a bad movie.
ANM: Yeah, I think 'Kickboxer' is Van Damme's best movie. It’s certainly among my favorites, and "Kickboxer 4" is the second best of the series.
For some reason, the words “chap stick” seem very dirty now...
This opening scene is totally chesseball, though.
ANM: Well, this is where we get the best line in the entire film. The whole "Go Po!" is hilarious in its dementedness.
Neil: Apparently, it isn’t a problem for people in prison to get hair gel.
ANM: Is it just me or does Sasha Mitchell look a little more buffed up here? At least he's not like Keanu Reeves in this one, I mean that whole "Dude, I'm like totally a kickboxing champion" thing was quite lame.
Neil: His wife is not very good looking. I sure as shit wouldn't enter a death match to save her gangly ass. But, yeah, I like the more serious tone Sasha takes in this movie.
ANM: You just know that Sasha Mitchell would be in prison a couple years later from the last scene of "Kickboxer 3".
Neil: But the more serious tone gets flatlined by the bad bad BAD make up they put on the actor playing Tong Po to make him look like the guy that played him in "Kicboxer" 1 and 2.
ANM: My theory is that after his severe beatings from "Kickboxer" 1 and 2, he had to have plastic surgery -- surgery that actually made his face plastic.
Neil: If you're actually spouting theories about the "Kickboxer" timeline, you REALLY need to lay off the NyQuil and get out more.
ANM: No, man, this series was a childhood favorite. I mean, I loved "Kickboxer" so much, and enjoyed the sequels so much, that I actually had these all on VHS. Well, I have it on DVD now, but only because they made me buy "Kickboxer 3".
Neil: Okay, now we have the first fight scene. Pretty good, but the foley effects are shit. It sounds like they're punching sponges.
ANM: I just looked at the director for this and it's Albert Pyun. He also directed "Knights", "Cyborg", and "Captain America". The fact that this is probably one of his best movies really says something about his talent.
Neil: Hey, man, you can't rip on the director of "Brain Smasher: A Love Story".
ANM: Was that the one with Dice Clay and Teri Hatcher? When she was actually hot.
Neil: That it was, back when she actually ate a sandwich once in a while. I love how Sasha's orders are just randomly dropped by some biker here.
ANM: I personally love the backround music. And the bar fight coming is epic.
Neil: And now we have the first true action scene. AKA Sasha beats the hell out of random biker #1 and random biker #2, who puzzlingly both seem to know Muay Thai. This shit is straight out of "Pit-Fighter" for the Sega Genesis.
Your kung fu sucks.
I love the sequence where Sasha takes a stool, shields himself from darts, and then smacks the guy with the stool. That is great.
Neil: We're not there yet, we're still subjected to the guy in the pastel suit jacket talking on the brick cell phone.
ANM: By the way, "Kickboxer 3" should've had more stuff like that bar scene.
Neil: "Kickboxer 3" should have never been made. RANDOM VIOLENCE! Love when the guy gets run over by some random dude just trying to park his car.
ANM: Yeah, that's awesome. I like the part where the guy gets thrown into a table outside. That's cool. One of the weirdest things about the movie is that we never find out what happened between parts 3 and 4. I mean how did Sasha Mitchell go from being a champion kickboxer to DEA agent turned prisoner turned DEA agent?
Neil: It's not like this is "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles". I'm glad they didn't even mention part 3.
ANM: Speaking of which, could they have found a less attractive woman for the part of Sarah Connor? Plus "300" was lousy, even worse was the sex scene. Who in their right mind wanted to see that?
ANM is gay.
Linda Hamilton wasn't exactly smoking hot anyway... and what the FUCK is up with the foley effects here again? And I will agree that "300" is incredibly overrated.
ANM: Linda Hamilton was kinda hot in the first "Terminator". You gotta admit that. Though it could because it was the first chick's boobies I ever saw. Or remembered I saw.
Neil: ...and the woman is totally ungrateful and throwing insults after being saved. Sounds like me last week at the bar.
ANM: Little trivia, said girl was in "No Retreat No Surrender". So at least more than one actor made more than one movie after that mess.
Neil: I noticed that while doing some reasearch for this. I come so prepared. Actually, I should have just stuck with slamming beers.
ANM: This is a five beer minimum movie. One should take a sip every time the sound effects are goosed up.
Neil: ...and now we have the WWE Diva... er... production value... er... promisng actress... Darcy. Gentlemen, give it up, on the side stage.... DARCY! DARCY!
ANM: It escapes nobody's attention that the best movies in this series have the most nudity in them. "Kickboxer" had that scene in the Thai strip club and "Kickboxer 4" has that sex scene.
Neil: What the hell? The "evil" guy looks totally like the waiter who brought me burritos and beer earlier this evening. What is Michael Dudikoff's twin brother doing in this?
ANM: By the way, that's Thom Mathews! The guy from "Return Of The Living Dead" and "Friday The 13th Part 6: Jason Lives". The first is a great movie, and the second is my favorite "Friday".
Neil: Seriously? I noticed Henry Manifredi, the guy who came up with the "Jason theme", did the music on "Kickboxer 3".
ANM: As a heart attack. Thom Mathews is a Albert Pyun regular. He was in "Nemesis", "Bloodmatch", this one, plus many more. "Nemesis" was actually pretty decent as well. Also, I must admit I like the swank music score. I mean, it sorts of adds some atmosphere to the ass kicking.
Thom Mathews just realised that his only claim to fame is a couple of geeks on the internet bringing up his name. You’d cry too.
Speaking of swank, you gotta love how Sasha thinks he's Solid Snake and can sneak around just because he's wearing sunglasses.
ANM: How about the dialouge between him and Darcy... "Some of the world's hardest men are here. Just how hard are you?"... "Uh, hard enough". Why didn't they cast Darcy as his wife? She's pretty hot. She's at least better than the chick they did hire.
Neil: The interaction here between Darcy and Sasha's sidekick is just fucking painful.
ANM: That's because they are both hopelessly inept actors. The only decent acting comes from Sasha Mitchell, Kamel Krifa in spite of the bad make up job, and Thom Mathews. Everyone else, inept. Painfully so. But in a good way.
Neil: How great is it that the band at the party can't fucking play the music on the sheets? And Tong Po comes out to talk about the "greatest competition in the world"... that takes place at some shithole in Mexico.
ANM: And we thought Sasha Mitchell has changed since the days of his kickboxing. Tong Po has become a "board certified shrink and visionary record producer". Can you imagine going to counseling with a guy who wears that much make up?
Neil: How the FUCK could Tong Po not recgonize Sasha? It must be the power of those Blublockers he's rockin'.
Straight cash, homie.
Well, remember his alias is "Jack Jones", because "Jim Jones" would be a tad too suspicious. Plus, it's possible that under all that make up Tong Po just couldn't see anything.
Neil: No shit, in hi-def it looks even more cheesy -- if that’s possible. No wonder I drink so much.... I invested in a HD set and player and I'm stuck watching shit like this.
ANM: It bears without repeating, "Go Po!" is the best line ever uttered during a rape. Even topping "Squeal like a pig" from "Deliverance" and "I will own you and you will appreciate it!" from "Showdown in Little Tokyo".
Neil: I don't usually keep track of things like that. But thanks for bringing it up.
ANM: Yeah, well, I've never seen such madness in an opening scene. Besides, I'm still not as fucked up as wongcheungleung [aka Gwailo, from City on Fire's forums], because he likes his rape scenes well done. I just like a funny quip.
Neil: Okay, then, Sasha has the Blublockers on again, so you know he's being SNEAKY! I think I saw those shades sold by the Arab guy down the street for like $4.99.
ANM: Those are pretty cool shades. That's like ten percent of the budget of this movie. Back when this movie was made, said shades adjusted for inflation would make them worth at least $6.99.
Neil: More painfully bad exposition scenes here. Hint to film-makers... when you have martial artists that can't act, then don't have them act, dammit. BOOBIES! And then they're covered up. Bah.
ANM: I think this is the main reason I miss R rated action flicks.
Neil: Yeah, I miss the mandatory boob shots. That's quality right there.
ANM: Do you notice nowadays that when breasts are shown you never see a nipple? What's up with that?
Neil: You can't really show a boob without the nipple. And now we get the best of both worlds with Sasha dressed up like a NINJA and some major BOOBAGE!
ANM: That is a good sex scene because those blondes have great quality. And Sasha Mitchell's ninja suit is great, especially with the pooper scooper he fights with.
Neil: I love how he’s supposed to be some kind of big secret agent and that's all he has to fight with.
ANM: This is the first movie I've ever seen where a guy beats up people with a pooper scooper. I don't know if that's what it really is, but I do know that when I worked as a lifeguard, I had to scoop out turds with such, and that was why I only worked one summer as that.
Neil: BABY RUTH!
ANM: Every person I tell that story to always brings up a “Caddyshack” joke.
If liberty and equality, as is thought by some are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.
Awww, now is the "touching" part of the movie, I guess. I want to smack that chick in the cooch.
ANM: It's been awhile since I've seen "Married With Children", but she kinda reminds me of Peg Bundy. Peg Bundy was hot.
Neil: What words of wisdom Sasha doles out... "when a guy goes high, you go low". Wow, thanks, sifu.
ANM: Yeah, up there with "Don't get hit" or "movement without spirit is nothing", which we got such from “Kickboxer 5”.
Neil: Now we have the best part of the movie... aka "when random scrubs get their asses beat". RANDOM VIOLENCE!
ANM: Speaking of "Scrubs"... Elliot Reid... she's hot.
Neil: I hate that fucking show. Zach Braff is a culmination of the pussification of American men.
ANM: John C. McGinley's performance is always hilarious, but Zach Braff is irritating. Still, I stand by the fact that Elliot Reid is hot.
Neil: No more "Scrubs" talk unless you want your man card taken from you.
Okay. Speaking of sitcoms, our very own Sasha Mitchell here came to fame from a sitcom. Compared to said sitcom, his "Kickboxer" movies are Shakespeare works. Even "Kickboxer 3".
Neil: Hey man, Suzanne Somers... plenty good. TGIF indeed.
ANM: I must admit, I watched "Three’s Company" only for Suzanne Somers and Priscilla Barnes. They were what you used to have to toss one off to when you couldn't buy porn in the pre-internet days.
Neil: Speaking of scrubs, why the hell is the the bad guy just dressed up in them? The costume budget on this looks like it was made for a case of returnable bottles.
ANM: At least they cut corners on the costumes and not on the fights. Tong Po actually looks okay here.
Neil: Yeah, this part is where this movie makes up for a lot of the cheese that proceeded it. The fights are surprisingly solid.
ANM: I like the fact that they choreograph with a more realistic approach and they don't force it as much as they did in "Kickboxer 2". For instance, there was, as your review said, just way too much camera angles and way too much slow motion. Which was sad cause Benny Urquidez did a good job choreographing such fights in other movies.
Neil: Shhh.... be quiet... I'm looking at BOOBIES. YAY! What were you saying again?
ANM: Darcy reminds me of Peg Bundy. She just does. Of course, I haven't watched "Married With Children" for a while, but she kinda looks like her. That or it's because both of them try really hard to get laid. My favorite show ever. Peg was the ultimate MILF.
For him, it was like throwing a hot dog into a hangar.
A fat lady walked into the store today and told me to put a shoe on her hoof.... I miss that show. Is Sasha's sidekick seriously named "Lando"? What the hell?
ANM: Yeah, "Lando Smith". Tax dollars are going to waste when they hire agents who come up with names like Jones and Smith as aliases. Getting back to "Married With Children", I would've also done Marcy as well... at least before 1996.
Neil: You know she bats for the other team. She’s in a club in LA called "Dykes on Bykes".
ANM: She was still hot before '96 though. Well, not hot, but attractive.
Neil: You don't even need to say anything about Kelly. Christina Applegate inspired many a dirty sock back in the day.
ANM: Oh yeah. Indeed. Indeed. Though not so much anymore.
Neil: Back on point... uh oh, Tong Po is getting nasty here.
ANM: Don't you notice the evil one always plays the mandolin? And badly may I add.
Neil: And the ninja hood... fails. DOH.
ANM: Bad make up again. Geez, was he wearing a plastic mask?
Neil: How is Darcy still breathing even after she's dead?
I'm gonna be famous, daddy! Really! I'm gonna take on the whole wide world. No, really, I am. Don’t mind that white crust on my chin. Okay, just make sure not to get it into my eye...
Yeah, I noticed that just now!
Neil: That's some good production value.
ANM: How did Tong Po get a hold of the trunks Sasha Mitchell wore in "Kickboxer 3"? I actually had trunks identical to such when I was kickboxing, except the orange print said NIKE on it.
Neil: This part’s cool. NECK SNAPPING!
ANM: Even better is the way Tong Po handles the pussies that refuse to kill in action. Neil: YO GO NOW!!!! That sounds like the last time I went to the Chinese buffet on crab leg night.
ANM: That is pretty bad ass.
Neil: Do you know who the judo guy is?
ANM: No, but he sort of looks like James Lew. We’re talking about the asian guy with the long hair, right?
Neil: No, I was taliking about the guy that puts the armbars on everyone.
ANM: Oh, okay. No idea. Didn't catch his name in the film either. By the way, does it say "Dacascos" on the black guy's shirt?
Neil: Yeah, it does.
ANM: This is actually very well done fighting. Sasha Mitchell can fight pretty well.
Neil: Yeah, it's pretty obvious that a lot of the people involved here had skills, but they couldn’t show them. This end fight coming up in particular is awful in that regard. You can totally tell when doubles are used.
ANM: The climax? I think the climax is alright, though anti-climatic.
Neil: Um, isn't the point of a climax to have, you know, a climax? Anyway, you can just really see through the make up they used to make the guy look like Tong Po. And the guy that taks the big bumps for him is like 20 pounds smaller.
ANM: I mean, it's choreographed reasonably well, it's just the blocking and surrounding -- it’s based around picnic tables. Stomp Tokyo called it in a discussion with said film with me "Bar Mitzvah kickboxing."
Neil: Yeah, yeah, the gimmick with the tables is just lame. Plus Tong Po's wig almost comes off. And it ends up being kinda undewhelming since Tong Po just ends up running off anyway.
ANM: Though I do love the hiss Sasha Mitchell uses. Also you note that Tong Po looks much taller than Sasha Mitchell, and then shrinks sometimes. I think what they should've done was had Tong Po and David duke it out as the last ones, much like Bloodsport. The whole everybody standing up thing kind of renders things anti-climatic. Plus given that they never did finish the storyline... such things in the story suck.
Neil: Ohhh, a knife to the cranium. A classy way to end a classy movie. Any final thoughts?
ANM: Yeah. I gotta crap, you know, cheap beer and nachos. See ya.
ANM's POV right before he’s enjoying the sweet taste of curb. God bless America.
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