Do you know what's really fucking cool? Fighting dudes. Do you know what's even fucking cooler? Fighting dudes in an underground, competitive, non-sponsored, unregulated, illegal tournament…TO THE DEATH! They should make a movie about that and name it something like "Blood Competition" or "Blood Fight Club". Oh they already made a movie like that? And it's called Bloodsport you say? Fucking awesome.
Bloodsport was a feature film (Talkie) made in 1988 which starred Jean Claude Van Damme, who was named that year's sexiest man alive in a close contest with George Burns. The basic plot of the movie is that Frank Dux (Van Damme) plays an army officer who goes AWOL and enters a secret and illegal fighting competition called the "Kumatai", which I believe is Mandarin for "Belgian Douchebag". During this competition, Dux has to not only deal with physical pain, but he has to deal with the emotional pain of losing his Sensai, which I believe is Japanese for "Mr. Miagi".
This movie is the true and unchanged (fact) account of the real life story of the real life Frank Dux, who broke the world record for kicking. He kicked like…a whole motherfucking lot of people really really hard and really really fast. So lets examine why this Labor Day weekend, after you're done watching cartoons and touching yourself, you should sit down and waste the best 132 minutes of your extremely valuable life.
Training and Fighting Montages
Bloodsport has at least 100 training and fighting montages. In the beginning padawan Van Damme goes to train with his master who tortures the hell out of him in typical Karate Kid fashion. During the training, Sonny Chiba Pat Morita beats Van Damme with sticks, makes him kick trees (that will be important later on), and ropes him to said trees in order to show that his physical prowess is improving along with his mental discipline. The movie also features some pretty cool fighting scenes laced with generic "80sian" music. So, there's this random guy who loves tormenting children…but it's ok because later on, Teacher Dude dies of some sort of old age sickness or something, which causes Van Damme to get extreme butthurt.
It's good see Vannah flexing her acting muscles FINALLY! Vannah plays a reporter named Girl McNobodreallycares who secretly infiltrates the Kumatai tournament in order to…I guess write a story about it? She's sort of like that other Vannah White in Crocodile Dundee, but instead of following and writing articles about an adopted Australian Aboriginal, she writes about (fucks) an adopted Belgian Douche. Her character is pretty pointless in this, and only seems to serve the purpose of giving Van Damme someone to bang…just like most women in Van Damme's life. I'm pretty sure that back in 1988 she thought her career was going to win the proverbial Showcase Showdown after doing this blockbuster for the ages. How'd that work out for you, Vannah? Wait…this…this isn't Vannah White? Whoops…
Since Van Damme's character goes AWOL in order to compete in the Kumatai, the army sends some agents after him to bring him back to the United States of 'Murka. Forrest Whitaker plays the young and brash agent who is fresh out of the academy, looking for the fight of his life, while some old dude plays Judge Reinhold in a Bea Arthur mask. There is a sweet chase sequence through the streets of Hong Kong where the two agents chase Frank Dux (Van Damme) around in a cheesy and fun romp. Wait…don't they hang people for going AWOL? Uh…
These buddy cops serve as some comic relief in what is an otherwise extremely serious movie (fact). Forrest Whitaker at one point doesn't know how to use chop sticks…because he's an American. GET IT?! In the end, the agents attend the Kumatai and realize how important it is for Dux to defeat all comers and be the best at kicking dudes in the face…and apparently decide not to hang him.
That One Bad Guy
Like all great fighting movies, Bloodsport has an extremely bad ass bad guy named Chong Li, played by Bolo Yeung. Chong Li is a ruthless and heartless fighter who no longer only enjoys beating other fighters, but killing them with his bare hands. At one point Chong Li kicks the shit out of Van Damme's BFF, Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds, and sends him to the hospital, adding to Van Damme's extreme butthurt. To demonstrate how tough he is, Chong Li often flexes his pecks (man tits) in a display sure to get even the most heterosexual man (me) aroused.
At one point Chong Li shatters some poor guys leg, giving him a pretty severe compound fracture. Seeing this as a kid, this caused me to almost pass out. It also caused me to fear Bolo Yeung. Later I would learn that he fought the Kung Fu God, Bruce Lee, which only added to my extreme fear of his rock solid, undulating, perfect, man tits…sigh.
Van Damme, Baby
Jean Claude Van Damme has never been better. His acting is as crisp and clean as his English. What can be said about him that hasn't already been said or witnessed by his tens of fans? In Bloodsport, he demonstrates that he can do some crazy awesome splits and not break his nuts (unconfirmed), as well as kick people without making it look like he actually kicked them. There is a scene where Chong Li blinds Dux with some karate sand and we really get to see Van Damme's acting prowess. He uses the force to not only sense where Chong Li is…but also sense where he is going to be…think about it. The scene lasts for about seven minutes, five of which are of Van Damme freaking out and screaming like he's Van Damme's wife after Van Damme beats her…
Van Damme must have been going for the Oscar on this one since there is a nude scene where he showcases his finely tuned and chiseled ass. See ladies…this is a good movie…because I said so.
You can find Bloodsport on DVD in stores that sell such wares…also on Netflix. I recommend this movie to anyone who wants to watch a great fighting movie without thinking…at all. This is a classic and is well worth a Saturday afternoon viewing. If you wait long enough you'll probably see it on your local terrible Saturday afternoon movie channel.
Final Synopsis: 3,030 Van Damme Butt Shots out of 5
Josh Henderson is an actor/writer who wants to feel safe forever in Bolo Yeung's muscly arms…
Special Thanks: Mike Sadorf, Sean Curran, and Zane Bauer