Kickboxing cinema, is a subgenre, that in the west, beyond Scott Adkins, or the horrendous remakes of Jean Claude Van damme´s Kickboxing, seems already dead and buried, but the vast and wide chinese VOD market, seems to have become a paradise for this type of productions. There are hundreds of them every month, and in most of them, local popular fighters have their appearance, getting their ass kicked but whoever the star of the flick is.
In this film from 2017, we have a dimwit, Daniel Larusso style, who finds to his particular sensei Miyagi with tragic past, who finds in the kid an opportunity, to achieve his dreams of youth that never came true. Although this I am telling you, is more an assumption of mine because the development of characters is quite null.
The truth is that, this is basically a story of honorable martial artists, who are forced by a local ruthless Kickboxing promoter to sell their honor and take dives in underground local kickboxing tournaments, in some lost warehouse in the outskirts of beijing. Our hero, will stand against that evil fight promoter, paying the consequences for it.
Despite of the visible low budgt and lack of variety in the locations, the film displays very good choreographed fights, with spectacular movementes, and powerful blows, that makes you tremble from your couch but always adding a really realistic touch, adding so much emotion to the key moments of the story. The final scene was probably shot in a real Kickboxing event, although in the final fight, we suddenly return to another warehouse full of extras and with a larger ring that tries to make us believe that we are in the previous Kickboxing event, however the final fight it’s pretty damn cool and makes us forget that awful trick.
Out of nowhere, there´s also a forced love story, because since Tong Po kidnapped Van Damme´s girlfriend in “Kickboxer” (1989), every good villain from this type of movies, must kidnap the heroe girlfriend to destabilize him, and thus granting himself an easy win, so in that way, the heroic deed of the hero when he gets victorious over the villain will always be bigger.
Definetely, this flick are 60 fun minutes of good kickboxing action, that would please and entertain to lovers of this type of flicks around the globe. So if you have the opportunity, give it a chance.
The film is available with English subtitles on Chinese streaming platform IQIYI