is a 1988 martial arts action film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme
and Very Loosely Based on a True Story
. The inspiration comes from the life of martial artist Frank Dux, who claims to have entered a secret bloodsport
in the Philippines called the Kumite and is the first westerner to have won the tournament. note
Starting with his childhood he accidentally earns the (mild) respect of an Asian martial arts master, Senzo Tanaka, who uses him merely as a living practice dummy for his son. When the son dies in an accident, Dux convinces Tanaka to teach him his secrets. As an adult Dux grows into a very talented, precise and flexible warrior. Learning of the Kumite, he skips out on some military obligations to participate, bringing him into conflict with his superiors.
This film provides examples of:
- Mighty Whitey: Yup.
- Mr. Fanservice: Van Damme is topless for much of the movie, and then there's the hotel room scene...
- Old Shame: Why yes, "Bumbling Government Agent #2" is Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker.
- Open Shirt Taunt: In a legendary example, Frank Dux baits Paco this way, during the climax of the semi finals of the Kumite. Begins with, "Come on! Come on!!"
- Pec Flex: Chong Li does one to intimidate his opponent and mug for the crowd. This was actor Bolo Yeung's specialty.
- Rated M for Manly
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Dux does double duty as the blue half to both Jackson and Chong Li's red.
- Replacement Goldfish: With some convincing on his part, Dux becomes one to Tanaka after Shingo's death.
- Stout Strength: Ray Jackson.
- Technology Marches On: Time was not kind to you, Karate Champ.
- Title Drop:
Ray Jackson: That's why they call this thing Bloodsport, kid.
- Token Romance: Janice could've been written out of the film entirely without any real impact, qualifying her fling with Dux as this, especially when you see just how serious she was about it; growing friendliness aside, she shows up on the arm of one of the high-roller audience members after Dux tells her off just so she can stay and continue covering the Kumite.
- Training from Hell: Dux suffers a few insane training moments including having his legs stretched out in the air while hanging on rope from the limbs.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Dux. Between the fight scenes, training scenes and bedroom scenes it's easier to count how many times you see him with a shirt than without. On the villains' side, the most clothing Chong Li wears is a cooldown robe.
- You No Take Candle: You can tell English likely isn't Chong Li's first language from some of his taunts:
Chong Li: Very good, but brick not hit back.