Being fundamentally superior does not necessarily make something the best in its realm. Previously, “Kickboxer 3” made several remarkable upgrades in terms of film score and acting. It’s better than it has any right to be. While I’ll totally cop to the fact that it is probably the best of the series, it’s certainly not my favorite entry. Best in terms of quality does not necessarily always translate into entertainment value. Comparatively, “Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor” is a total piece of shit. It looks cheap. It sounds cheap. It feels absolutely cheap. But it is obnoxious, loud, and fast in the best possible senses of these terms. The previous entry’s most redeeming quality was its momentary excursion into “Deathwish” style urban revenge. However, the weirdness is snugly book ended by business as usual. Albert Pyun's fourth "Kickboxer" film is a high flatline on the EKG when it comes to weird! There is no apprehensive moment at the tip of the diving board. This movie starts IN the deep end. At the beginning, we are violently THRUSTED into the cervix of the bizarre. There is no origin rooted in the ordinary world. There isn't even a brief gasp of normalcy. It’s like opening your eyes first thing in the morning to a freeze frame of a fist laying into your face. In fact, it feels more like a beautiful dream than a movie.
Director Albert Pyun holds nobody’s hand. He defies you to just figure it out, which is what makes a lot of his films so enjoyable. Most of Pyun’s movies feel more like a fight to make sense rather than simple entertainment. The perfect metaphor for his films is like playing that annoying fucking Milton Bradley game, Perfection, where you only have a limited amount of time to fit the pieces into their corresponding slots before it all blows up in your face. This is not because Pyun is a bad filmmaker. In fact, Pyun is a total genius. Pyun seems to be a guy who is rarely blessed with an easy task. Anybody who knows the history of his productions knows that he often works with soul crushing budgets and meddling producers who should have been more accurately credited as saboteurs. If someone gave James Cameron Auschwitz and told him to turn it into
Sasha Mitchell is back one last time as David Sloan, and once again he’s playing a completely different character, which is logical given his character’s circumstances. Some undisclosed amount of time down the road, we join David in a federal penitentiary, where he’s been rotting for several years after being framed for a crime he didn’t commit BY MEXICAN DRUG LORD TONG PO!
Holy shit, yes. I feel this.
The film starts right off with a badass flashback as David writes his wife a letter briefing her on the history of Tong Po.
Before going any further I must take some time out to tell you all that Tong Po—er, excuse me, MEXICAN DRUG DEALER TONG PO, is the best thing about this entire movie. Here,
After several years of wrongful incarceration, the government approaches David Sloan behind bars with a proposal that really doesn’t make much sense. Tong Po is holding a lethal million dollar tournament at his compound in
Sloan is released and immediately enters into a qualifier for the tournament, which he wins. His victory scores him an invite to Tong Po’s pleasure fuck palace, and makes way for the border. On his way, he enters a roadside diner and gets into a fight while defending the annoying Michele Krasnoo. It is here that an action sequence so stupid it is amazing takes place: Sloan kicks a dude out of the front window in bar room brawl tradition. The dude gets up, and is HIT by a van that’s pulling up, which knocks him through ANOTHER window and back into the bar. Awesome.
The rest of the plot is mostly ripped off from “Enter The Dragon,” with Sloan showing up at this grand tournament with a bunch of other fighters, and then sneaking around the compound after dark in search of his blown out wife. Po's reaction to the blood sport is absolutely hilarious, as he sits on his thrown, jangling his legs like an excited kid on Christmas.
Eventually, Sloan is captured much to
Throughout the film, Po is depicted as a megalomaniac and rapist with an insatiable appetite for underage girls. However, for some strange reason, Pyun decided to give the character a tender side, which almost leans toward redemption. Before the finale, we learn that Sloan was part of a raid on Tong Po's compound that resulted in the death of his wife, whom the tournament is named after. I can't decide if this is stupid or awesome, but it certainly gives Po both purpose and a reason to hate Sloan even more. Not that he needed more reasons, but it's a more noble reason I guess. As I've said before, it sure is a shame we never got a movie that squarely focused on Tong Po, as it certainly almost seems like Pyun laid some ground work for one here. It's not too late, Albert!
The one thing that sets this particular film apart from the others is that there’s tons of nudity and an extremely gratuitous soft core sex scene. The various fight scenes throughout this film might also be amongst the best out of the entire series. Of importance to me is also the fact that Pyun-favorite Thom Mathews (“Friday The 13th 6,” “Return of the Living Dead”) stars as Tong Po’s disheveled, satin-shirt wearing henchman replete with horrible neck tattoo. Mathews plays the part of total sleaze to perfection here, delivering perhaps one of the more memorable quotes during this film. As Po begins to force himself upon Sloan’s weird looking wife, Mathews mutters with a smirk, “go
Overall, this movie is totally over the top, and the entertainment value far exceeds its budgetary constraints. This would have been an incredibly high note to go out on, but unfortunately someone had to fuck it up. Few people even know that there’s a fifty entry, but those who’ve seen it regret the experience. A year after this film was released, “Redemption: Kickboxer 5” was released. The film starred Mark Dacascos ("Iron Chef"), and we learn that David Sloan was killed off by some greedy corporation trying to monopolize champion kickboxers. Fucking stupid. The movie was directed by a woman. Go figure.
I couldn't find a trailer, so instead I will leave you with a brief selection of Tong Po whipping some goofy white boy's ass. GO PO!