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Bloodsport (1988)
The true story of an American ninja.
Director: Newt Arnold

U.S. soldier Frank Dux 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, Frank is given the opportunity to fight. But can he survive?

Bloodsport (1988)

No Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee invented a genre; Jackie Chan invented a genre; Sly Stallone invented a minigenre, all with various approaches to personal combat. But these guys deeply understood how film works so they could tap the relevant pressure points.

Van Damme did not invent a genre here, despite the best efforts of his agents. Its not because he is stupid, after all we tolerate Arnie. No, the problem here is that this lug has no understanding of the distance between the screen and us, and if he did, no tools to help span that. Actually, I like the “sequels” I have seen better, if only because they had a better “Raging-Bull-like” mastery of photographing the ring.

Posted in 2003

Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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