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This is where it all began for the Muscles from Brussels, but beyond Van Damme's athleticism, Bloodsport is a cliched, virtually plotless exercise in action movie recycling. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

U.S. soldier Frank Dux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) has come to Hong Kong to be accepted into the Kumite, a highly secret and extremely violent martial-arts competition. While trying to gain access into the underground world of clandestine fighters, he also has to avoid military officers who consider him to be AWOL. After enduring a difficult training and beginning a romance with journalist Janice Kent (Leah Ayres), Frank is given the opportunity to fight. But can he survive?

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Critic Reviews for Bloodsport

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (15)

Audience Reviews for Bloodsport

  • Sep 22, 2020
    ‘Bloodsport' earns 3 gold stars solely for the sheer god-like Van Dammeian displays of martial arts and athleticism. Well, that plus the fact that I want to blast the soundtrack in my fantasy work-out montages. Outside of that, the plot and characters are so emaciated, it's laughable. It's all played in earnest though, so it's difficult to be mad. And every second Van Damme is in motion? Gold.
    Marisol M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 20, 2016
    If you are a fan of martial arts action films then you'll understand why this movie has such a high rating. Van Damme's first starring role was played perfectly. Of course, it probably helped that he was trained by the real Frank Dux (the man he was portraying in the film) for a few months before filming. Great fight choreography and a surprise role for a still young Forest Whitaker. Classic lines as well. This film has a soft spot for many action fans and I am definitely in that group.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 20, 2013
    Jean-Claude Van Damme makes his starring debut as Frank Dux. Frank is an American soldier who goes AWOL from his army duties in order to enter the Kumite (also spelled Kumatai). The Kumite is an illegal underground Martial Arts tournament in Hong Kong. Dux is a skilled fighter, who was trained by Senzo Tanaka. There is a great deal of love and respect between master and student. Tanaka was originally more concerned with training his son, but after he dies Tanaka makes the difficult decision to continue to train Frank. Frank now wishes not only to enter, but to win the Kumite tournament to honour his master. However, Frank has more than just the tournament to contend with. The Army are unhappy with the situation and send two American officers to bring him home to the United States and there is also an attractive reporter involved who wants his help to get inside the Kumite in order to do a story on the tournament. Frank has his hands full, but is determined to walk away having done no less than his best. Bloodsport is not a movie of the highest quality. The cinematography, acting, script and obvious dubbing are all pretty poor. But having said that, I did enjoy watching the movie. As the story builds and you see each round of the tournament you cannot help but feel the tension increase. I have been known to make sexist comments from time to time and here comes a great example. I think it's very much a "man's" movie. Maybe it's the testosterone, maybe its traditional gender roles, but when men watch films like Bloodsport we cannot help but feel "pumped up". From the I.T. geek to the meat-head Bouncer, we are all united when it comes to fighting movies. When the biceps flex, the punches are thrown and the blood flies ... we like it. Coming back to the movie (before I get too carried away) I did feel excited as it came to its climax. I think what stops bloodsport from becoming a bad movie is the charisma of the actors. Don't get me wrong, no one in this film can deliver a line for toffee, but they have charm and charisma. This was Van Damme's first movie and I feel he came to grips with things rather well. He has started on the first rung of the ladder to becoming one of the big names in Action movies. The road will never see him become a great actor, but will see him become a star. The main bad guy in Bloodsport is Chong Li (Bolo Yeung). Bolo came to Bloodsport with a lot more cinematic experience than Van Damme. Although Yeung looks, well, young in Bloodsport he is actually 42 and has starred in over 60 movies by this point - most notably as Bolo in Enter the Dragon. Though Bloodsport was a breakthrough movie for him too as he had received little recognition outside Asia before this. He plays a good part in Bloodsport, he really does have the demeanour, swagger and face of a villain. Although he's quite short he is an ex-champion body builder (he held the title of Mr. Hong Kong for over 10 years) and is heighly skilled in mixed Martial Arts. Did I say short? I meant compact, sorry Bolo. Other notable actors include; Forest Whitaker (who plays Rawlins rather well), Leah Ayres (who plays Janice, the attractive journalist) and Donald Gibb (who plays Ray Jackson). Donald Gibb looks like a man mountain in Bloodsport, maybe that's because he stands at 6 foot 4, maybe it's because he appears in most scenes with Van Damme and Bolo Yeung, who are both about a foot shorter than he is. Bloodsport is your typical "man's" movie, my Dad would love it. It would look at home amongst other similar movies from the late 80's and early 90's like; Commando, Tango & Cash, The Last Boy Scout, Hard to Kill, No Holds Barred and Universal Soldier. Like these other movies it is not the acting, the script or the cinematography that makes them enjoyable or memorable but the cheese, the charisma, the energy, the bustle and the spirit. Ladies and Gentlemen ... welcome to the action Genre.
    James C Super Reviewer
  • Oct 03, 2012
    Fun and entertaining martial arts film, Bloodsport is not a perfect film, but is definitely an entertaining ride if you can get past the tongue in cheek moments and so-so acting. The reason that the film works so well is becauset of the great fight scenes that make up the film. Although the film relies on a decent script, the fights are great, and fun to watch, and make the film much better. The direction is effective enough to generate a film that is thrilling and exciting, and if you can forget that it's a corny action film with laughable dialogue, you'll most likely enjoy it. I didn't that this was a great film, and I felt it could have been much better, but it was entertaining. This is the first Jean-Claude Van Damme film that I've seen, and he is very good in his role despite the silliness of it all. If you enjoy martial arts films, pick this one up. The film's strength lies in the fight scenes and not the acting or plot. Expect an entertaining flick that is quite mindless and fun, but don't expect something great either. Bloodsport has plenty of flaws, which I already pointed out. Expect Van Damme doing lots of splits, which is awesome and pretty painful to say the least. The fights are wicked and that's all this film is, fights, fights more fights and even more fights. Bloodsport doesn't try to be great and memorable martial arts flick like Bruce Lee's short, but legendary filmography, but it has spirit and delivers awesome action despite its imperfections and lack of great story.
    Alex r Super Reviewer

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