Saturday, December 26, 2015

Bloodsport (1988)

It was with BLOODSPORT that Jean Claude Van Damme burst onto the scene and became a superstar pretty much overnight. I think the reason he became a star was a combination of his charming personality and having a very good vehicle to show it off.

Supposedly based on a true story, how much is really true has been debated over the last 3 decades BLOODSPORT is the story of Frank Dux the first American to win the Kumite a martial arts competition that one fights essentially to the last man. The film follows JCVD when he disobeys order and goes AWOL from his military job to fight in the competition. He is tracked by two government agents (Norman Burton and a young Forrest Whitaker) and falls in love with the one American woman in the place. Will Dux be able to survive the battles and avoid the agents trying to arrest him?

Of course.

Cleverly plotted the film is not. On the other hand it expertly charts a course to hit all of the action movie clich├ęs so that they work their magic for maximum effect. The fights are well done and despite knowing that Dux wins, the film manages to create enough suspence that you don’t know in what condition he’ll be in when that happens.

And of course JCVD is a charming rogue. While he never approaches Oscar territory with performance (that would come more recently) he is charming enough that you genuine like him and his character. Its not hard to understand why he became the superstar he did.

One of the most enjoyable action films of the 1980’s BLOODSPORT is an absolute must see

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