Fighting Spirit

King Of The Kickboxers 2 | Karate Tiger 6
 •  , ,  •   • Dir.

Reviewed by   |  Mar 4, 2024

Action cheapie from one-time action cheapie specialist Teddy Page (‘Phantom Soldiers’, ‘Final Reprisal’, ‘Ninja Warriors’) and staring one-time ‘No Retreat No Surrender’ stalwart Loren Avedon, ‘Fighting Spirit’ has some energy and a surfeit of almost non-stop fights but is just a little too cheap, hokey, and grimy to recommend as silly fun (even for this B-movie loving reviewer!).

Avedon plays David the rich boy buddy of down on his luck but ace fighter Billy (Donahue). When Billy’s sister is attacked by a local gang and left with serious injuries, Billy vows revenge but must first pay off his debt to his local gang boss buddy Russell (Hourani) who paid for his sister’s medical bills, post attack. Forced into underground fights, Billy does ok for a while but when he loses an important fight, Russell retaliates by having Billy killed. Billy’s spirit (yes, spirit!) then comes back and asks David to train to be a fighter and get revenge for Billy. Thus, cue training montages, fight after fight after fight, and an alarming amount of dodgy acting.

There’s actually a lot going on in this cheap-jack shot in the Philippines (and not in LA as the makers try to unconvincingly sway us to believe on several occasions!) actioner, as the first thirty minutes of the film are basically Billy’s before switching to David as the main character. Billy’s sister’s main attacker also reappears (who just so happens to be the brother of main bad guy Russell!) and begins terrorising the poor woman all over again. Then there’s the “spirit” angle (sort of a la ‘No Retreat No Surrender’!) that is introduced and pretty much abandoned almost immediately. It’s kinda fun seeing Avedon in the first part of the film play a non-fighter but ridiculous (and hilarious!) when he literally has one training scene and becomes a better fighter than anyone else in the film!

There are plenty of fights and these are pretty decent if repetitive but unfortunately, on this occasion, they don’t carry the film with the wobbly acting, the poor mistreatment of the female characters, Avedon’s constant I-know-this-is-shit smirk (or maybe that’s one of the fun aspects!) and the overall grimy feeling to proceedings derailing any brainless action fun. Perhaps should have drunk more whisky while watching this one!

Teddy Page has made much more fun cheap-jack action quickies (‘Blood Chase’, ‘Ninja Warriors’) and the film’s alternative title, ‘King of the Kickboxers 2’, just makes you wish you were watching the film it’s pretending to be a sequel to, as that at least was some over-the-top Loren Avedon starring fun with some awesome fight action.

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