In last year’s Creed, Sylvester Stallone returned to the screen as an older, more grizzled version of boxer Rocky Balboa, who was tasked with training a promising young fighter. Now, another legendary action icon is mimicking that strategy in a remake of one of his early genre classics. And as the exclusive first trailer above indicates, he’s bringing along a serious Hollywood heavyweight with him.
The icon about whom we speak is none other than the “Muscles From Brussels,” Jean-Claude Van Damme, who’ll take on the teacher role in Kickboxer: Vengeance, a faithful re-do of his 1989 bruiser. As before, the story concerns a mixed martial artist named Kurt Sloane (stuntman-turned-actor Alain Moussi) who seeks revenge after his brother dies in a match in Thailand against bruising Muay Thai champion Tong Po, here played by Guardians of the Galaxy’s Dave Bautista with the same long-ponytailed hairstyle that the character boasted in the original. Haywire’s Gina Carano also factors into the proceedings, which promise to be a nostalgia-tinged throwback to JCVD’s heyday. (And at least according to this trailer, the star will be wearing his hat and sunglasses in every one of his punching-and-roundhouse-kicking scenes.)
Directed by John Stockwell (Blue Crush), Kickboxer: Vengeance probably won’t attract serious award-season attention like Creed did, but for those interested in no-nonsense beat-‘em-up action — much of it coming courtesy of the enduringly awesome Van Damme — the film seems primed to satisfy when it elbow drops its way into theaters on Sept. 2.