Bloodsport (1988)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Bloodsport</strong> (1988)

(In French, On TV, March 2018) What is there to say about Bloodsport? In one way, it’s a mildly famous film for introducing Jean-Claude van Damme to a wider audience, showcasing his martial skills in a film designed around such showcases. As such, there isn’t much to say about the film’s narrative qualities: They have been plenty of movies about martial-arts tournaments, and Bloodsport doesn’t reinvent the wheel. It’s all about providing a narrative excuse for fights, and if fights are your thing then the movie will deliver what you expect. As for me, I felt my attention wander away through most of the movie—I’m not a fan of that particular kind of martial arts, and there is little to complement the fighting. (Other Asian martial arts films usually have better plot or stronger visual/cinematographic ambitions. Not here—Bloodsport is as straightforward as it can be. This being said, I did like the short walk through the authentic pre-destruction Kowloon Walled City—that’s special, and unfortunately it’s roughly the only special thing about Bloodsport once you discount van Damme.

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