Bullet Points: Bloodsport III
Previously on Bulletproof Action, we have reviewed the original Bloodsport starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bloodsport II and Bloodsport 4: The Dark Kumite starring Daniel Bernhardt.
In this edition of Bullet Points we will complete the series and take a look at Bloodsport III with Daniel Bernhardt reprising the role of Alex Cardo.
- The Premise: A rich and powerful businessman Jacques Duvalier (John Rhys-Davies of Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade fame) is bringing the Kumite back. Naturally he seeks out the last Kumite champion Alex Cardo (Daniel Bernhardt) to participate in his Kumite. But when Cardo refuses Duvalier’s generous monetary offer, Duvalier’s dark side comes out and he orders the death of Alex’s mentor, Master Sun (James Hong). Now Alex is out for revenge and looking to get even with Duvalier by defeating Duvalier’s hand picked Kumite combatant, The Beast (Nicholas Oleson), a notorious war criminal with a reputation of being lethal.
- Like a Day Without Sun: One does not just enter the Kumite. It requires a great deal of training, but with the man who was not only a mentor but a father figure to him now dead, Alex is forced to find a new teacher. Alex’s old acquaintance David Leung (Pat Morita) tells Alex of a man who may be able to help. Leung sends him on a journey to find Judge Macado. Macado was the head judge in Bloodsport II. Macado was played by Master Hee Il Cho but voiced by Gerald Okamura. On the surface Macado seems like a farmer, but in reality he is the brother of Master Sun and is more than qualified to prepare Alex Cardo for the fight of his life. Like any good action flick, when your hero is in training you need a good training montage and Bloodsport III has one… it includes arrow catching, Cardo performing the splits (a prerequisite of any Bloodsport movie), some snake charming and just to show off… some blindfolded arrow catching!
- Awkward Moment #1: Bloodsport III has a few awkward moments… the movie actually begins in the future, where Alex Cardo now has a 10 year old son. After learning that his son has been suspended from school for fighting, Alex decides to take him on a father/son weekend so he can tell him the story of how he won the Kumite. The segments with Alex and his son Jason serve as bumpers through out the movie. I wasn’t expecting this Princess Bride like aspect of the film, but when you get to the second sequel you have to change it up. I found it strange that Alex didn’t leave out the part where he was trying to get into a nightclub singer’s pants. (That nightclub singer is Crystal Duvalier, Jacques’ daughter).
- Awkward Moment #2: While relaxing after a tough day of training with Macado, Alex is soaking in a tub when Shari, Macado’s niece (aka Master Sun’s daughter), tries to seduce Alex by joining him in the tub… but Alex puts the kibosh on that quickly, since he considered Master Sun his father and getting it on with Shari would be unofficial incest.
- The Fights: As you would expect most of the action in Bloodsport III takes place as part of the Kumite. Bloodsport III delivers with some solid fight sequences with a cast of colorful competitors. Joining Alex Cardo and The Beast are guys like Max Omega (played by stunt coordinator/actor Chad Stahelski, who has had small roles in movies like Mission of Justice and Heatseeker), the huge Samoan Kimo Lima Lama (played by Sid Liufau of Deadly Ransom fame) and some guy named Sparx (Brad Martin) who gets extra points in my book for the spelling of his name.
Bloodsport III is leaps and bounds above the bastardized fourth installment of the franchise, but probably a notch below Bloodsport II. Daniel Bernhardt did a great job in Bloodsport III almost playing a dual role… the gambler/fighter Alex Cardo and the father Alex Cardo. John Rhys-Davies was a quality addition to the cast and it was good to see Pat Morita and James Hong back, even if they were glorified cameo appearances. If you were a fan of Bloodsport II and want to see the continuing adventures of Alex Cardo, Bloodsport III is a must.
Who is up for some Bonus Bloodsport III Bullet Points?
- From Parts Unknown: At the beginning of the film, Alex reveals to his son Jason that after winning The Kumite he became the Ultimate Warrior.
- If You Ever: …wanted to see Daniel Bernhardt ride an elephant, then this is the movie for you.
- The Beast Within: If The Beast looks familiar to you, then you are probably a Matthias Hues fan. Nicholas Oleson appeared in two Matthias Hues movies, Digital Man and Fists of Iron.
- How Did I Miss It?: I want to apologize to all the avid readers of Bulletproof Action for not mentioning the Mortal Kombat inspired “Rhythm of the Kumite” song that was featured in Bloodsport II when I did my write up for that movie… but I won’t make the same mistake twice. “Rhythm of the Kumite” returns for the end credits of Bloodsport III. Feel free to pump up the jam…