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‘Bloodsport’ shines the spotlight on Van Damme so strongly that everything else pales in comparison

Bloodsport

Written by Christopher Crosby, Mel Freidman and Shedon Lettich

Directed by Newt Arnold

USA, 1988

Every year in Hong Kong, an underground martial arts tournament is held in secrecy. The Kumite (a term given to a specific type of karate) is where the world’s best fighters come together on invitation to prove their worth in full contact fights, no questions asked. United States Army captain Frank Dux (Jean-Claude Van Damme), having been trained under the auspices of Senzo Tanaka (Roy Chiao), has received his invitation to this year’s tournament and, against the orders of his immediate superiors, slips away from detection and travels to the Far East for the fight of his life. Once there, he meets fellow American fighter Ray Jackson (Donald Gibb) and nosy reporter Janice Kent (Leah Ayres), who wants a scoop on the action. Hounding Frank are two officers, Helmer and Rawlins (Norman Burton and,
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