Bloodsport-- Directed by Newt Arnold/starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Donald Gibb, Leah Ayres, Norman Burton/screenplay written by Sheldon Lettich, Christopher Cosby and Mel Friedman, from a story by Sheldon Lettich—based on the true life story of martial artist, Frank Dux/ rated R/92 mins.
by Ageless1der Barbara Rich & The Other Guy
(B) This type of action film is not my usual cup of tea. I honestly have not ever watched the entire film, from beginning to end, though I have viewed most of it, in pieces. However, I love a great “against all odds” story and am aware of and appreciate certain important elements in this movie, and the impact that it has had on the martial arts genre. This is basically a Rocky or Karate Kid story, with an important difference. While we all appreciate a story of hard work overcoming obstacles to accomplish great feats, this story is slightly different because I know the real Frank Dux, and I think that reality element has made all the difference in how people view this movie. I also saw, by comparison that this film did not rely much on special effects--like the two movies I mentioned above and unlike most other martial arts films. My favorite scenes are not in the fights themselves, but are those that show interaction between the young boy and his teacher, or the concern of the fighters for one another. We don’t often grade an older film by today’s standards, but since this is the 25th anniversary of the release of this film, I’m going to give it two binoculars.
(OG) Naturally, I have a personal love of this film because I know and have worked closely with Frank Dux. That is not usually the case for me when reviewing a film. Frank Dux is a great person, ahead of his time in many ways. Even this story (which takes some liberties as it strayed from the facts in several aspects) was ahead of its time in a sense, because it melded reality and fiction into an inspirational film that was the catalyst for many young boys and girls to get involved in martial arts. Since I know from first hand experience how being involved in martial arts can often change the lives of individuals from all walks of life for the better, I am glad that I was there to see the positive effect this film has had on many. People everywhere I go, know the name Frank Dux and the film Bloodsport, even though 25 years have passed. He has inspired many to try new things and achieve at a high level, so for that I thank the filmmakers. I give the film three binoculars and put it in the same category as Enter The Dragon, Karate Kid, and Billy Jack, they are not great, but they are memorable.
To read the entire transcript of Barbara’s Bifocal Reviews Podcast of Frank Dux, the namesake of the Jean-Claude Van Damme character in the classic martial arts film, Bloodsport, and to hear, in his own words why the Variety story about a remake will not be happening without his input,
GO TO THE FULL TEXT AND VIDEO AT: