Although it has aged quite badly (as most films of this type from the eighties have), Blood Sport is a favourite from my youth and is one of Van Damme’s best early efforts. There are no strings and no CG here so the fights are all the more impressive, and it is always refreshing to return to those days. The plot and characters may be simple, some of the acting may be amateurish, and the music may be dodgy but Bloodsport remains an enjoyable no-brainer for fans of the star or genre. Van Damme stars as Frank Dux, a soldier in the US Army. He has been trained by Tanaka all his life in martial arts, and wishes to travel to the infamous Kumite tournament in Hong Kong to avenge his friend’s death. The Kumite is a tournament which attracts the best and most vicious fighters from around the world, many of whom are seriously injured or killed while taking part. Dux breaks orders and travels to Hong Kong, but two soldiers follow him in an attempt to bring him back. There he meets Ray Jackson, a fellow fighter and Janice Kent, a reporter trying to get an inside scoop on the tournament. From there we see many fights as Dux progresses in the tournament whose defending Champion Chong Li (Bolo Leung-50 years old and looking awesome) is a deadly killer. Naturally they meet in the final. Once the plot devices of revenge and honour are put in place all we have to do is sit back and watch the fights. They are well-staged, there is a fair amount of violence, some humour, and the main cast do as well as could be expected. This is a must for Van Damme fans, but there will be little for anyone who does not watch martial arts movies.
Feel free to leave any comments on the movie- is this one of Van Damme’s best?