Five-time world kickboxing champion Dale “Apollo” Cook and kung fu expert Evan Lurie team up in this so-called “sequel” that has absolutely nothing to do with the 1991 John Barrett film. Instead, it is a typical B-grade buddy action film that barely has highs and a series of lows.
Mike Clark (Cook) is a policeman trained in the martial arts. His ex-wife, Lillian (Kathy Shower), and her new husband Howard (David Graf) have informed Mike that Lillian’s daughter Susie has been kidnapped by the evil Xavier (Ted Markland), who is asking for a ransom of two million dollars. Mike’s world is upside down when he learns that someone else has learned of the kidnapping. Enter David (Lurie), a martial arts instructor who is the reason why Mike and Lillian ended their marriage. When Mike confronts David, the two come to blows at a local parking lot.
Disguising themselves at first as gardeners for Lillian, the rivalry between David and Mike continues to escalate until Lillian finally puts her foot down and tells the two they have to stop their fighting. There is one little twist to the story: Mike or David is actually Susie’s father. The two bicker about who is the father, but as they get closer to Xavier and his goons, they soon realize that they must put aside their differences and work together if they ever hope to get Susie back to Lillian.
We’ve all the seen the buddy action film before, like LETHAL WEAPON (1987), TANGO AND CASH (1989), and THE LAST BOY SCOUT (1991) to name a few. This standard B-grade film is nothing out of the ordinary, but our two heroes both were involved with the same woman. One is a hot-headed cop who seems to be more about busting the bad guys with his fists and feet and even at one point, admits to beating his wife when he learned of her affair with hero number two, a suave martial arts instructor. These two bicker more than a married couple, even when they do actually work together and despite this trying to be some comic relief, it just looks pretty bad.
To be perfectly honest, there is no reason why this film should have been called AMERICAN KICKBOXER 2. First of all, it has nothing to do with the original film that starred John Barrett as a former kickboxing champion on a road to redemption. Most likely, the filmmakers wanted to cash in on the AMERICAN KICKBOXER name but the fact that this is nothing more than a low-grade buddy action film with some okay (and I say that loosely) martial arts fights, but more firepower if anything.
Don’t get me wrong. Dale “Apollo” Cook was a five-time world kickboxing champion who got his start in Hong Kong with DEADEND OF BESIEGERS in a small fight against Yu Rong-Guang but definitely compared to that film, this film has cheap fights as if the stunt coordinator figured to let the two leads just go for it. Evan Lurie, an expert in various styles of kung fu, looks like he has better moves than Cook but his role of a playboy seems to somehow make him feel a little “cheap” at times.
Overall, the movie is just pretty bland and standard. Even the action isn’t satisfying enough despite the appearances of Dale Cook and Evan Lurie. AMERICAN KICKBOXER 2 is definitely not an anticipated sequel. For the real sequel to the original AMERICAN KICKBOXER, see another film that came out in 1993, TO THE DEATHREVIEW: American Kickboxer 2 (1993),
American Kickboxer 2 (1993) • Dale Cook • kidnapping • martial arts • playboy • police • sequel