Review: Bloodsport (1988) Director: Newt Arnold (15)

Continuing the 80s muscle men theme, we checked out Jean-Claude Van Damme's Cannon classic Bloodsport again. A movie we were slightly obsessed with in our childhood, it's still a cracker where you believe from the start it's in the SO BAD IT'S GOOD category but later on actually register NO, THIS IS GOOD. It's just loads of people fighting each other, like an early version of Tekken. You'll have your favourite fighters, you'll be booing the panto villain Li and air punching along to the inspiring '80s motivational soundtrack. Fight to survive!
It's a good old fashioned quest film; Van Damme is Frank Dux, an Army Captain trained in the art of Ninjutsu by mentor Senzo Tanaka. He agrees to fight in the illegal Kumite martial arts tournament in Hong Kong, taking the place of Tanaka's deceased son. To get to Hong Kong he has to go AWOL (also the name of another excellent JCVD movie!) so two CID officers are sent to arrest him for desertion.
In Hong Kong, he meets fellow American fighter Ray Jackson - played by Donald Gibb, the legendary Ogre in the Revenge of the Nerds franchise - who brings some brilliant comic moments to the film. Chong Li (Bolo Yeung) proves to be their nemesis in the contest, all snarls and bad ass moves AND HE KILLS A MAN IN THE RING. Real talk.
The acting is corny, the first 20 minutes are painful, but get through it and you'll really find it very entertaining. There's some ace JCVD splits of course - do you remember when he used to go to Cannes and steal the Festival just by doing the splits and kicks? - and a love interest who wears a nightie in bed. It's pretty tame, but such good fun.
INTERESTING FACT - Frank Dux is real life martial artist and fight choreographer. It's a true story (ish) folks!
4/5 cheeky JCVD ass shots

Comments

  1. Ah, brings back happy memories of a traditional weekenf trip to the video store to hire the latest JCVD film. Lots of splits and slo mo head kicks to overcome a seemingly unstoppable baddie.

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