Review: Bloodsport (1988)

Best Bad Quote:

“You break my record, now I break you, like I break your friend.”

Before you crucify me for considering Bloodsport a bad movie, let me just say that it is my favorite movie about a secret underground  martial arts contest where the toughest warriors from around the world battle to the death.  That aside, Bloodsport is a bad movie, but man oh man, does it hurt so good.

Jean-Claude Van Damme (JCVD) plays Frank “put up your” Dux, an American martial artist who receives an invitation from his former sensei to compete in the “Kumite,” a underground martial arts tournament to the death.  Against the warnings of his Army superior officers, Frank heads to Hong Kong to compete in the tournament.  He must contend with the Army trying to track him down, a nosy female reporter trying to get a scoop on the elusive tournament, as well as trying to stay alive long enough to fight the ruthless favorite, Chong Li, in the finals.

There are so many great moments in this movie.  You get a cameo by a young Forest Whitaker, you get Ogre from the Nerds movies playing the other American hopeful in the “Kumite” (seriously?  Ogre?), and quite possibly the greatest use of slow motion ever as Van Damme is blinded by some mysterious powder during the final battle with Chong Li.  If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, this movie is also chalk full of ridiculous montages.  It’s as if every movie writer in the 80’s thought, “Hmm, well I need to move the story along but I don’t want to have to do a lot of work.  I got it!  MONTAGE!”  They’re everything you’d hope for from 80’s action movie montages.  Does anybody else notice how much it seems like Van Damme enjoys doing the splits?  We get it.  It’s your equivalent to the whore at a party who can tie a cherry stem in her mouth.  All I can imagine every time JCVD does this split in Bloodsport, is the self inflicted episiotomy I would give myself if I tried to do that.

It’s pretty obvious that every fighting game of the last twenty years, from Tekken to Street Fighter 2 to Mortal Kombat has borrowed heavily from Bloodsport, and with good reason as the fight scenes in the movie are epically outrageous.  From the blatantly stereotypical black fighter in a leopard loin cloth who jumps around the mat like a goddamn binobo to the ultimate ‘roided out nutcase badass, Chong Li.  Truth be told, Chong Li is one of the baddest motherfuckers in any movie.  He should lay off the HGH though, because he’s sprouted a pretty impressive pair of bitch tits.

Bloodsport is the ultimate 80’s martial arts movie, definitely my favorite of that decade, and quite possibly of all time.  It will undoubtedly leave you shouting “Kumite!  Kumite!  Kumite!” at the screen while JCVD makes all kinds retard faces in super slow-mo.

5 out of 5 Psychotic Chinese Martial Artists

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