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Review Bloodsport (1988): True life story of Frank Dux or not the movie is a martial arts classic. And one of Van Damme's best.

genre: martial arts, action, sports






Bloodsport is supposedly based on true events that took place in the life of Frank Dux. The first Westerner to win this highly secretive martial arts tournament held in Hong Kong called The Kumite. This was a big deal since only the best of the world could compete in it. And for a while people actually believed Frank Dux as did the people involved in the film since they mention some "true" facts at the end of the film. However as it turns out Frank Dux is liar and fraud. None of his claims are true. And yet there are still people defending him. Whether the story is true or not it has given us a classic where Jean Claude Van Damme still can be proud of.

The story is unbelievable simplistic and cheesy. The introduction to Frank Dux is done with so much drama and sincerity it becomes laughable. They even found a kid with the same French accent as Jean Claude Van Damme to portray the younger version of Frank Dux. Which I found completely hilarious. But you know what even knowing that most of this stuff was fake I completely bought the whole vibe of the story. In the end it's just about a guy trying to be the best he can and isn't that what most of us aspire to do. I think this is one of the reasons why this movie still works. That and all the different styles used in this Kumite.

One of the highlights are the many different fighters who all have their own styles and for me that simply is a feast for the eyes. Especially the one with the monkey style. He is jumping and hopping like he is one and is able to perform quite some cool moves. I have no idea if this is a real style and if it is effective or not but it looks awesome. So who cares? Van Damme's style of fighting in comparison falls a little short but it's compensated by the drama surrounding him and adversary Bolo Yeung as Chong Li. Bolo is magnificent. He doesn't need much to scare the hell out of you. He barely speaks but he sure could put up a face to terrify you.

After all these years this little movie still holds up. It's so superior to the crap Van Damme has made over the years it simply is not funny anymore. So if you have not seen this before then do so. It's a must watch for action fans and it offers all kinds of B movie goodness including a well done soundtrack.




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