"Even the producers pretended this movie didn't happen as the 4th movie neglected any tie in to this particular sequel. A wise decision."
- American Ninja Man
Kickboxer 3: The Art of War (1992)
Director: Rick King
Writer: Dennis A. Pratt
Producer: Michael D. Pariser
Cast: Sasha Mitchell, Dennis Chan, Richard Comar, Noah Verduzco, Ian Jacklin
Running Time: 92 min.
Plot: David Sloan travels to Rio to save a young girl and stop an international terrorist.
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
AMERICAN NINJA MAN'S REVIEW:
"How could this happen?"
After an enjoyably dumb Kickboxer, and a dumb yet mildly enjoyable Kickboxer 2, we got Kickboxer 3. An abortion of a movie that the producers thought "Hey let's make this into a character driven drama about the downside of Rio! As the worst of the series, it stands to reason that this particular sequel would end paving away for Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor which would use "The Quickening" approach in pretending this sequel didn't happen. Considering the results here this wasn't such a bad idea.
"Next week you fight to be the best!"
The movie starts out with David Sloan (Sasha Mitchell) and Xian (Dennis Chan) traveling to Rio, to fight against a ruthless kickboxer named Eric Martine (Ian Jacklin) who is so tough he... Actually that's why this movie is such a failure, we don't know what this fighter is capable of because of the complete lack of screen time. Anyway Sloan is here to fight against this guy and along the way he has his camera stolen by a local street kid which leads to the first action sequence in this deadly dull movie.
"Come on kid, don't do anything stupid!"
The kid apparently has connections because David Sloan gets into a fight with three guys and it's here which explains the problem with the movie because we have a kickboxing champion beating up poverty stricken drunks who live in Rio. A step down if there ever was one. Anyway David gets the camera back and takes a switchblade away from the child thief. However the kid comes back and introduces his sister and bonding begins between David, Xian and these two street kids. Boring.
"This guy needs a beating!"
At a kickboxing charity event, which apparently people pay tickets to watch kickboxing champions roundhouse paper cups of people's heads, sits Martine's promoter Frank Lane (Richard Comar) who is in the business of selling Rio street kids to the highest bidder. In other words he doubles as a pimp. Now see if you can follow this, this is a movie in which we are supposed to believe that a kickboxing promoter who's fighter is going for the championship, doubles as a pimp. Anyway he spots the street kids at the fight and kidnaps the sister after some lengthy "character development"
"How many did you kill in the kitchen?"
David and Xian catch wind of this from a hysterical kid, who begs the kickboxing champ to aid in finding his sister, of course being that David is a good guy, he agrees. So it's here where David and Xian interrogate people, go to jail for a day and blitz the wrong guy's house before finding out that it's Lane who has the girl in question. Of course, right here is a prime example of why this movie is so lame. A kickboxing movie should have lots of kickboxing. Say what you will about the rest of the series, they at least deliver what's expected. However Lane is ready for the dynamic duo and he offers them a deal.
"Have you ever gone water skiing? How about without skis?"
Things grow pretty ridiculous here. The deal that Lane offers isn't that David throws the fight (Which any bad guy worth his weight in evil, would do) he rather forces David to train. And by training, I mean torture. David is forced to go water skiing without skis. David is forced to run up cliffs with a backpack filled with rocks. David is dropped in the middle of the ocean and forced to swim back and David digs a ditch. This is all supposed to deplete David of his energy and make him weaker, therefore, easy to beat. However when compared against the vigorous training of the first film, David's sadistic training is a cakewalk. I mean he wasn't forced to do the splits or kick palm trees. Also Lane makes a bet which basically consists of everything he owns, he bets it all on Martine. A move he will live to regret.
"I'll let you know at the fight"
David and Xian are finally dropped off at the hotel, where David catches up on his beauty sleep. This gives Xian time to go out in the rain forrest, find snakes, various leaves and make a recovery potion which will restore health. Xian also wraps David completely in mud which I assume for mainly homoerotic reasons. Still David drinks the snake venom and voila it's fight time!
"I'll see you in the ring, punk!"
David in his weakened state manages to pretty much clean the floor with Eric Martine. (Oh yeah, by the way, the main bad guy fighter) In what is essentially a one sided match. David does get smashed in the family jewels although it's because of cheating on Martine's part. Also while David continues kicking the crap out of Martine, Xian rescues the sister and although Lane tries to go back on his deal, Xian and David prevail and the girl is now safe from the evil streets of Rio.
"They had a doctor examine to see if she's a virgin!"
David and Xian decide to use some of their money to put the kids in a good school and help out various street kids of Rio. Of course they don't want to take care of the kids (and who can blame them) so that's what they decide to do. However David and Xian find out that Lane has more girls and they had a doctor examine if the girl was a virgin. (She is, persumably because she's not very attractive) So David and Xian blitz Lane's beach house and set the hookers free. Oh and this leads to a one on one between David and Lane, because nothing makes for suspenseful entertainment quite like pitting a kickboxing champion against a lanky, snivelling, wimpy pimp. So a fight breaks out and David is almost shot until the kid saves the day and in the most painful moment has a heartfelt i'm so sad I killed someone moment. Movie ends with David, Xian and the police chief getting drunk. Which sadly equals the most exciting moment.
"Killing people never feels good"
This is an actual line uttered by Sasha Mitchell, you see he explains that it's wrong to kill people, despite the fact that he broke into the wrong guy's house and killed his henchmen. So this goody-goody moralizing makes for some eye rolling moments. Also for a movie called Kickboxer 3: The Art Of War there's very little kickboxing or for that matter action. In fact most of the movie consists of is Sasha Mitchell walking around Rio taking in the sites. Once again this entry is the only one that doesn't have Tong Po in it and the reason is because it's so bad that audiences hated it. I did too, and I loved Kickboxer 1 and 4. Still the main problem is that there is hardly any action and when a movie is called Kickboxer 3, the lack of such, only guarantees a one way trip to the land of sleep. Even the producers pretended this movie didn't happen as the 4th movie neglected any tie in to this particular sequel. A wise decision.
"Sometimes what you see is what you get, almost never"
The trailer hinted at some cheesy action fun, sadly this potentional was sadly unrealized and worst of all it hardly has any kickboxing. All i'm saying is, if you call yourself Kickboxer 3, have the decency to put lots of martial arts action in it. Or don't bother.
AMERICAN NINJA MAN'S RATING: 2/10