The best part of Bloodsport, besides Chong Li’s natural showmanship, is the fact that Van Damme’s character—Frank Dux—is supposedly based on the life of a real-life guy by the same name. Van Damme fights in the “Kumite,” a secretive martial arts tournament where only the world’s finest fighters compete. According to the real Dux, this actually happened. Now, if I could improve on the Wikipedia entry, I would, but I can’t. It’s perfect: “The accuracy of many of Dux’s personal claims have been disputed, including his martial arts background, fighting in the “Kumite”, and prior military service. According to the Los Angeles Times, the organization that allegedly staged the Kumite had the same address as Dux’s house, and the trophy he claims to have won was bought by him at a local trophy store.
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“His name? Kurt Thomas. His title? Three-time World Gymnastics champion. His assignment? A secret mission from the United States government.” And so begins the greatest gymnastics-kung fu adventure of our time—perhaps of all time. Thomas is sent by America to infiltrate a secret tournament known only as “The Game.” Uneven bars and pommel horses are conveniently placed around mountain villages. Honestly, this is a terrible movie, but the trailer and the film poster are two of my favorite things on the Earth.