Scene of the Week: Bloodsport Training Montage
Do you like watching Jean Claude get his ass kicked? What about seeing a grown man beat up a young guy with a blindfold on? How about massive rope pulley systems engineered to develop a person into an incredibly flexible version of themselves? None of those interest you? LIAR!
We all love training montages. They reinforce the idea that anything worth fighting for must first be trained to fight for. And in order to do that one must first spend a considerable amount of time doing so without losing the focus of the viewer or the momentum of the film. Thus, the training montage has become a staple of many fighting films. As Lincoln Hawk said, “The world meets nobody halfway”. That means the other part of getting what you want consists of getting beaten up by an elderly Asian man while the neighbors watch and surprisingly do not call the police. Imagine if the trainer had been black. There would have been a SWAT team there in 8 minutes flat!
You could argue that Bloodsport is the greatest tournament-style martial arts movie of all time and you’d find yourself with very few detractors. It’s the film that gave Jean Claude Van Damme his first taste of stardom and not only did he “take the ball and run with it”, he dunked it so hard he shattered the backboard and made the other team crap in their pants. Chong Li, played by the menacing Bolo Yeung, pec danced his way to multiple victories in the Kumite before Frank Dux showed up. Unfortunately for Li, he had never faced a man with the amount of skills nor the type of humbleness that comes with being tied up to some sort of rope sex machine for hours in your mentors backyard. It was a marriage of skills that would prove unbeatable!