Bloodsport (1988)

Movie Title: Bloodsport

Year Released: 1988

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 32min

Genre: Action, Martial Arts

Director: Newt Arnold

Writer: Christopher Cosby, Mel Friedman, Sheldon Lettich

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Donald Gibb, Leah Ayres, Norman Burton, Roy Chiao, Forest Whitaker, Bolo Yeung

Review: U.S. soldier Frank Dux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) has come to Hong Kong to be accepted into the Kumite, a highly secret and extremely violent martial-arts competition. While trying to gain access into the underground world of clandestine fighters, he also has to avoid military officers who consider him to be AWOL. After enduring a difficult training and beginning a romance with journalist Janice Kent (Leah Ayres), Frank is given the opportunity to fight. But can he survive? This 80's cult classic is a quintessential Jean-Claude Van Damme flick. Escape the military? Check. Underground martial arts tournament? Check. Montage set to an 80's ballad? Check. Doing the splits for no reason? You betcha. All that said, this movie is a cult classic for a reason. It's chock full o' classic one-liners, cheesy fight scenes, and a hulking villain in Chong Li (Bolo Yeung). Let's be honest, if you're sitting down to watch this movie, you probably already know what you're getting into. You won't see any Oscar-worthy performances, but you sure as heck will be entertained for an hour and a half! And remember, don't tell anyone about the Kumite, and beware of pocket sand.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Michel Qissi, who plays Suan Paredes, would go on to play the more more famous Tong Po, the main villain in Jean-Claude Van Damme's Kickboxer. He also knew Van Damme in his teens and the two traveled to the United States together to become action stars.


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