Director: Newt Arnold
Star: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bolo Yeung, Donald Gibb
“The secret contest where the World’s greatest warriors fight in a battle to the death”
The Kumite. A secret annual tournament held in China, invite to only the greatest martial artists in the world. Full contact. Full bad-assery. We get a great intro, setting up the whole deal before we meet our hero. There are scenes such as Chong-Li pointing out that he’s seen Karate Kid Part II, as he busts up huge blocks of ice, just in case that tricky bastard Sub-Zero has found a way into the tournament.
Frank Dux is currently a soldier in the army, and we’re introduced to him as he’s spin-kicking the shit out of a speed-bag. He’d like to practice on fans of E! Channel’s reality TV shows, but they’re too stupid & unqualified to stand there and get kicked. Oh well.
He’s told that he’s wanted by the higher-ups. Frank’s cool with that, but he’s gotta hit the showers first. Right then it’s obvious that the private who came to get him is an idiot, because Dux is a real man, and real men shower every hour.By shower, I mean rent hookers. So, it’s obvious this shower business he’s speaking of is a ruse to escape. Oh, and escape he does.
So, the higher ups know he’s headed to Hong Kong. To enter the secret tournament that nobody knows about, The Kumite.
We then find Frank at the house of some old Asian lady. When I first saw this, I assumed he followed her home because she cut him off and continued to drive like shit in his lane, because she’s a woman. I eagerly awaited him to give her a receipt in the form of a broken collarbone, but it turns out his Sensei lives here. We will still assume that she can’t drive worth shit, and that’s why she’s home instead of out getting her man some steaks.
At this point, we get the obligatory back story and training montage. As it goes, Frank broke into this house with some friends when he was young, his friends saw a bitching sword and wanted to play with it. Welp, the family came home so the friends ditched the sword and ran. Frank, having no problem with breaking in, just won’t allow a sword to be cast to the ground. So, he picks it up, puts it back, and some tiny Asian kid runs in and kicks him in the gut. Once again confirming that all Asian people know martial arts. The kid’s father, Tanaka, likes the way Frank gets kicked, so he makes a deal. No cops, and in exchange Frank helps Tanaka train Shingo, his son, which in turn will also train Frank. And so, another movie begins to piss me off because I never had a cool, older Asian dude to teach me martial arts when I was young. Of course in this day in age, instead of training in kung-fu, it’s training in penis touching. Anyways…
We get an awesome scene that shows these young ruffs beating the hell out of Tanaka’s son, so Frank runs in to help. He clears house, and helps Shingo up, who then just blurts out “One day I will win the Kumite [the secret tournament] and make my Father proud”. Not a thank you, not a how you doing, just that. Is that what he says when he answers the phone too?.
Anyways, Shingo dies because he wanted to make Evil Knievel proud because someone asked him how he was doing. So, Frank wants to be trained to the max in order win the Kumite. Tanaka gets the training montage on. We get splits training, meditation training, the ol’ blind-fold training, and maintaining a boner while watching two guys rub sand paper on their nipples training. He’s finally ready.
So, we’re in China, at a motel. In the lobby there’s an American reporter chick, asking fighters about the super secret tournament, Kumite.
Meanwhile, Frank walks into another part of the motel and we see an ultimate man named Ray Jackson playing Karate Champ. You know he’s a fucking man because he’s got a beard, and a lazy eye. Fuck yeah. So, he asks Frank if he wants to play. They go a few rounds, and Frank kicks his ass. Ray then says if Frank likes this kind of fighting, he can come and watch him fight in The Kumite, the super secret tournament.
Finally, the first day of the tournament nobody knows about is going down. The judges aren’t really buying Frank’s act, so he does this thing where he punches a stack of bricks, but only breaks the one on the bottom. Yes! One time I stacked three chicks on top of each other, and only fucked the one at the bottom. I was so cool.
At this point, Chong Li, the uber-bad-ass and undefeated champ, looks at Frank and says “brick, don’t hit back!”. Which, is a bit of a shout out to real men like myself, because that’s what Bruce Lee said to O’Hara in Enter The Dragon, and Chong Li is all up in ETD.
We get some fights goin’, and it’s gravy baby. Ray fights a guy, but pretty much doesn’t even know the guy is there until Ray let’s his nose bleed onto the guy’s fist. He was probably too busy thinking about eating endangered animals to deal with the guy in front of him. So then he just clubs the guy in the face and ends it. Rock on. Chong Li steps up, blows some boogers out, and takes the dude out so fast he gets the new world record. Frank is up, and he gets the new record.
Back at the hotel, there’s a bunch of fighters in the lobby, talking loudly about the super secret tournament, The Kumite. The reporter is there and wants to know about it. The fighters are thinking more like, rape. Hey, who is she to bawk at a culture’s customs? Typical, stuck up American. Frank makes the save, and then they have the sex. And, very much to my shock, he talks about The Kumite.
It’s fight time again, and we get more burly awesomeness. Chong Li beats a dude, and then finds out he’s one of those “Go Green!” assholes that don’t shut up about all that bullshit, so he straight up breaks his leg until the bone is poking out. It’s rad. Now that asshole is gonna have to use a wheel chair, and drive every where, and waste gas and all types of shit. Ah ha. Ray is aaaaaaall about wanting to fight Chong Li, Frank tries to cool him on it, but Ray is just way too man to listen.
Back at the motel, Frank and Ray are chilling in the lobby, when the Cock-Blocker Crew comes up [the dudes sent by the Army to get Frank]. They try and coax Frank into coming back, and he explains that he’ll be at the airport when he’s done at the super secret tournament. Even with the threat of tasers that are as big as Chong Li’s leg, Frank bolts as Ray tackles them for the sole reason of busting heads.
We’re back to fight night, baby. Ray finally gets his wish, and gets to face Chong Li. Frank tells him to watch for Chong’s stomach, that he leaves it open, and it’s his weak spot. Sure enough, Ray gets his dig in, and Chong goes down. Being a real man, Ray gets his hot dog on. He then decides he’s a bit tired of busting heads, and wants to just get drunk and eat buffalo wings instead. So, Chong gets the upper-hand and fucks Ray up, stomping on his skull. Frank, is a bit pissed. Ray owes him $10, and if he dies, he’s out.
At this point, the interviewer chick begs Frank not to fight, because this Chong Li dude is a killer. However, Frank is a man, as we’ve established, and a man never listens to a woman. Unless she’s giving him praise, and to be honest, there’s really no other reason for a woman to be speaking, you know?
It’s game time, baby. Chong Li and Frank have it out, and it’s a gnarly battle. Frank starts getting the upper hand, and Chong, being the sneaky-pete, throws powder into Frank’s eyes. But oooh shit, Chong doesn’t know that Frank is a master of serving his Sensei dinner and tea while wearing a blind fold, so it’s go time, baby. Frank is now the Undisputed Kumite World Champion. Too bad you can’t go bragging about it on TV, because you know, it’s a super secret tournament.
In the frame of the last scene, we get these facts about Mr. Frank Dux;
From 1975 to 1980, Frank W. Dux had 329 matches.
He has retired undefeated as the Heavyweight class Kumite champion. He still holds records to this day.
Quickest knockout: 32 seconds.
Quickest punch in a knockout: 3.2 seconds.
Fastest Kick in a knockout: 72 MPH.
Total knockouts: 92.
Man Movie Encyclopedia Tally:
Guys Beat-Up: 30
Guys Killed: 1
Swear Words: 12
Slow Motion Scenes: 43
Car Chases: 0
Foot Chases: 1
Broken Bones: 2
Fight At A Motel?: Yes
Guy Get Girl?: Yes
Guy Smoke?: No
Chong Li: You break my record, now I break you, like I break your friend
Chong Li: But brick not hit back!
The movie apparently details the life of Frank Dux between 1975-1980. He’s been amidst a bit of controversy in the martial arts community. He’s made a lot of claims regarding his status as the undefeated champion of the Kumite, but doesn’t have any substantial proof. He claims to have a trophy, while a reporter from Los Angeles claims to have seen a receipt for the trophy. Regardless, he has created his own form of Ninjitsu called Dux Ryu Ninjitsu, and is the reason behind one of the manliest movies of all time.
Released by Paramount Pictures, along with Cannon Pictures, Bloodposrt was created on a tiny budget of only $1.5 million, released February 26th, 1988, in only 124 theaters. It started out at #19 at the box-office, with a weekend total of $4,192.
Despite the slow start, it made almost $12 million at the box office.
C’mon Bennet, Let’s Party!:
This movie along with Kickboxer, set the world of martial arts film on fire. You couldn’t go to a video store, or turn on Showtime with out seeing at least 15 movies about a martial arts tournament, or a guy having to fight a bunch of people out of revenge, or both combined. Not all of those were as good as the original, though. Which is understandable, Bloodsport is one fucking awesome movie. You get a nice, basic story with great fights, awesome bad guys, and a fantastic buddy team of Frank and Ray. There are few movies more fit for watching alone to entertain yourself, or to watch when you and the chaps are cold gangster chilling. Some people claim it’s Van Damme’s best, I disagree, but it’s in the top 3. Goddamn, is this movie great.
5 Out Of 5 Head-Butts