Bullet Points: Virtual Combat aka Grid Runners
Don “The Dragon” Wilson is regarded by many as the greatest kickboxer in the history of the sport. “The Dragon” was even inducted into the 2015 International Sports Hall of Fame.
As an action star, Don “The Dragon” Wilson could be best classified as one of action entertainment’s unsung heroes. The man has starred in numerous movies over the years, but doesn’t get the attention that many of his contemporaries do.
It is time to give Don “The Dragon” Wilson some attention here on Bulletproof Action…
In this installment of Bullet Points I’m going to look at the 1995 film, Virtual Combat aka Grid Runners starring Don “The Dragon” Wilson.
- Level 10: The Dragon plays David Quarry, a Grid Runner (that’s a cop who polices the VR world). One of the perks of being a Grid Runner is you get unlimited VR credits. While David’s partner uses all his credits to have cybersex, Quarry spends his time playing Lethal Combat. Quarry breezes through the game, making it all the way to Level 7, but then he gets cocky, jumps to Level 10 and is defeated by the ultimate VR fighter/killer, Dante.
- Taking It To The Next Level: Quarry isn’t the only one trying to take things to the next level in this movie. Dr. Cameron has the bright idea to take some of the women in the cybersex VR program and turn them into actual living and breathing beings known as “A Lifers”. Greedy businessman Burroughs loves the idea and soon he gets out of Vegas with Greta the dominatrix and Liana, played by Athena Massey… but during the creation of Greta and Liana, but before the tank that creates them is shut down, Dante from Lethal Combat also becomes an “A Lifer” and he must have loyalty built into his program, because he has a grand plan to turn all the fighters/killers of Lethal Combat into “A Lifers” which would not be a good thing.
- This Time It’s Personal: When Quarry’s partner John is killed by Dante while tracking Burroughs, Greta and Liana, Quarry takes it very personally. Despite his chief’s warnings, Quarry is going to handle this himself and avenge the death of his fallen comrade. He also ends up getting very personal with Liana… if you know what I mean.
- World Kickboxing Champion: Under Don “The Dragon” Wilson’s name in the credits it says World Kickboxing Champion. I am not sure if this was a contractual demand of Mr. Wilson, but it is definitely the first time I’ve ever seen a credit quite like that. I don’t recall any Academy Award winners being listed as such in movies they star in after they win the coveted Oscar, but I also don’t know if any Academy Award winners can kick people quite like The Dragon. There are plenty of opportunities for Wilson to do his thing and he hand picked Michael Bernardo to play Dante after seeing Bernardo compete in a martial arts tournament.
Virtual Combat was among the plethora of films in the mid-90’s that tapped into the world of virtual reality. In fact, I’d like to do a Movie Kumite and pit Wilson’s Virtual Combat against Michael Dudikoff’s Virtual Assassin.
The actual reality of Virtual Combat is that it is a movie that never pretends to be anything more than it is. Sometimes you just want to watch good triumph over evil and in that respect Virtual Combat delivers. Nobody can argue that Wilson is not a great fighter. You don’t get to be regarded as the greatest kickboxer of all-time by accident. His fighting skills are definitely one of the highlights of the film and here are a few more things that Virtual Combat has going for it…
- Skinemax Levels of Nudity: The whole cybersex angle opens the door for a more gratuitous level of boobage than you’d get in a typical action flick.
- Familiar Faces: Larry Poindexter, from American Ninja 2: The Confrontation fame, has a small role in the movie. You may also recognize Loren Avedon of The King of the Kickboxers fame as well.
- Familiar Voice: While Michael Bernardo plays Dante, his voice is actually done by Michael Dorn of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame. Trekkies will recognize Worf’s voice as he repeats Dante’s catchphrase “Everyone loses to Dante!”.