Kickboxer (1989)

A key film in Jean-Claude Van Damme's career, this is the one that first gave an indication that the Muscles from Brussels could escape from straight-to-video hell and into the mainstream.

Plotwise, this is nothing special: Van Damme is Kurt Sloane, the brother of an injured kickboxing champion, who enters the ring seeking revenge.

However, the fight sequences are staged with such élan that it is easy to ignore the hackneyed script - Van Damme had a hand in that as well - and rather wooden performances.

After this, our hero moved on to bigger and better action vehicles, but the franchise continued without him, spawning several sequels.

Kurt Sloane
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Eric Sloane
Dennis Alexio
Xian Chow
Dennis Chan
Tong Po
Tong Po
Winston Taylor
Haskell Anderson
Mylee
Rochelle Ashana
Freddy Li
Steve Lee
Tao Liu
Richard Foo

Director
Mark DiSalle
David Worth