Posts Tagged ‘Jean Claude Van Damme’

I don’t know how many more complete thoughts my brain can put together after watching this not-so-fine piece of Van Dammage but, here goes the truncated review:

  • Van Damme cannot even play the part of an emotionless reanimated corpse correctly.   Worst. Actor. Ever.
  • Dolph Lundgren is seriously scary.
  • I do NOT want to see Van Damme’s butt ever again…especially that many times in a row.
  • Reanimating dead soldiers and submitting them to mind control so they’ll be perfect soldiers?   Yawn.
  • I say there’s not enough Van Damme dancing in this one.
  • Ice being used as a Band-Aid by the reanimated soldiers is so stupid.
  • Bloodsport was way better.   The soundtrack was especially better.

Did I love it?

OF COURSE.   If you took out all of the Van Damme butt scenes, though.   That just makes me want to vomit.

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Wow, so you guys were ready for some more Van Dammage, eh?

I’m using Netflix’s summary here, because they do a better job than I can:

When kickboxing champ Eric Sloane is crippled in the ring by the evil Tong Po, Eric’s younger brother, Kurt (Jean Claude Van Damme), seeks vengeance. But if he’s to vanquish Po, Kurt must first learn a martial art known as Muay Thai, so he seeks out the expertise of fight guru Xian Chow. Thanks to Chow’s unconventional training methods, Kurt becomes an expert kickboxer. But is “the muscles from Brussels” good enough to defeat Tong Po?

I’m beginning to notice some remarkably consistent motifs among Van Damme movies; or at least, among Kickboxer and Bloodsport. It seems to be a requirement that you have a few things mixed in. Bad ’80’s synth music for the soundtrack is absolutely necessary. The “kumite” song has nothing on Kickboxer‘s soundtrack, which I’m convinced Matt Stone and Trey Parker must’ve listened to on repeat to write the songs for Team America: World Police. Seriously, if you’re watching, put the subtitles on so you can get the full brunt of the lyrics. It’s chock full of stuff like, “Time to be the best, oooh yeahhhhh” and so on and so forth. Everytime I hear the soundtrack to a typical Van Damme movie, I imagine some guy with a mullet rockin’ out hardcore on key-tar.

Secondly, it’s like Van Damme has it written into his contract that he must face some sort of psychotic Asian bad guy who’s morally bankrupt. Chong Lee and Tong Po aren’t that far off of each other. In Kickboxer, it’s JCVD’s brother that gets mangled, but in Bloodsport, it’s his devoted and dumb friend. Huh.

Training montages are definitely a requirement as is the idea of the old, snarky Asian fight master. Then you’ve gotta have the girl who always knows what’s best for Van Damme and for everyone else and has an opinion on everything.

Really, Kickboxer and Bloodsport are practically interchangeable. I guess Kickboxer’s the lesser of the two in my opinion, simply because the “kumite” song overrides everything for me, but there you go.

What I don’t get is how the dialogue in Van Damme movies could get any worse. I mean, we’ve all established that there are tree stumps and telephone poles that have more charisma and acting talent than Jean-Claude Van Damme, but seriously, that scriptwriting isn’t giving Jean-Claude Van-Wooden anything to work with in the slightest. Part of you really can’t blame poor old Jean-Claude because he’s as earnest as can be to win you over, but ends up being endearing in an over the top, comical fashion.

Oh, the bug eyes, the random “Hooahhhs”, the unnecessary emotional scenes in your movies, how they make me love you, Jean-Claude Van Damme.

But the dialogue is so terrible, so godawful, that you want to hurt yourself to make it stop. Lines like, “I’m the best there is, little brother, stop worrying!” delivered by a beefy dude that has no place pretending to be an actor, let alone JCVD’s “older brother” make you want to eat broken glass. (Also, note to that actor: Your jeri-curl is not helping matters either. Ick, a thousand times over.)

But in the end…isn’t that why we love these movies? They’re so bad they’re good? It seems to be a running theme here on 1,416 and Counting but I can’t help but love these crazy, goofy-bad movies.

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Kumite, kumite, kumite!

Whaaa? Have I lost you already?!

Bloodsport tells the real life, OMG it’s so totally true story of Frank Dux, the first Westerner to win something called the Kumite, an underground, oh-so illegal martial arts match that’s held in Hong Kong.

This also the movie that made Jean-Claude Van Damme…a STAR!

Bloodsport captivated me. I don’t know how, I don’t know why. I’ve seen beach balls with better acting skills than Van Damme; seriously, his ideas of “emotion” are not my ideas of emotion, that’s for sure. But then again, this is one of those movies where the priorities for the movie looked like this:

  1. Asskicking;
  2. Suh-weet set;
  3. Get some other dudes who can ass-kick besides Van Damme;
  4. Have some totally rad ’80’s music (kumite! kumite! kumite!);


1,001: Have some touching scenes and teach Van Damme how to act.

So, you can see what the movie focuses on right there. I’m not going to analyze the plot — because the plot doesn’t freaking matter — I’m going to focus on the martial arts. Bloodsport has been praised for portraying mixed martial arts years before it hit the “mainstream”, so take that for what it’s worth. And the fight scenes are kinda cool, despite some miscues from the stunt coordinators and directors (there’s a couple shots where it’s blatantly obvious that a hit was pretty fake, but you know.   You get what you pay for, really.

It also has this utterly atrocious soundtrack, where the main theme song has a refrain where some intense sounding dudes chant “Kumite!  Kumite!  Kumite!” repeatedly. I’ve had it stuck in my head for three days now.  Ick.   Eww.   Badness.

Add in the fact that JCVD has some of the worst “WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA” martial arts faces ever, and you’ve got yourself a pretty freakin’ awesome Friday night martial arts movies.   Ladies and gents, I present Exhibit A to you:


Seriously, I’m strongly considering buying this movie.

What in the goodness have you done to me, Jean-Claude, you bizarro Belgian, you?   It was the kumite song, wasn’t it?

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