In case anyone was wondering I did watch some of the Oscars but quit about halfway through to watch Bloodfist.
Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson stars in his breakout role as some fighting guy that avenges his brother’s death. To be fair his brother did have it coming because he reneged on a deal to take a dive in a kickboxing match and ended up killing his opponent. So really this death is avenged first by the bad guys which would make things even. In fact I’m glad they killed the brother because he was gloating like an asshole after he beat that other guy to death. But The Dragon still wants to dish out a comeuppance so he flies to the Philippines and enters a tournament to find out who the killer is.
Now I know why Don Wilson never caught on and became an A list action star. He has no presence. He’s not physically intimidating or has an interesting face or a fierce looking fighting style or anything. Wilson just looks like some average guy and has a bland personality to match. I didn’t ever believe that Wilson could kick major ass or that he was a formidable hero. It feels like he wins because that’s what’s supposed to happen in the film and not because he really does look that much better at martial arting than his opponents. Sure he’s won something like eleven championship titles in kickboxing in real life and that’s incredibly impressive but he doesn’t translate well onto film. As far as Wilson’s acting ability goes it’s fine for a B action picture. He shows some drive to find his brother’s killer and some tenderness when he falls for the love interest. I couldn’t really ask for more.
But for a movie that’s all about kickboxing and fighting in general it doesn’t deliver. I mean there’s plenty of it but it’s staged poorly, not shot particularly well and just unexciting overall. It’s nice that they got real championship fighters to be in this (we know this because when their names come up in the credits their real life credentials are listed, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before) like Rob Kaman, Billy Blanks and Kris Aguilar. But I feel like all of these guys’ talents are wasted because the fights are so weakly put together. You can tell that they’re holding back their kicks and punches most of the time which obviously doesn’t make the fights very convincing.
There was one element that I thought was pretty cool that has to do with Wilson’s fighting coach but it’ll give shit away if I go into it. It’s also another thing that I don’t think I’ve seen before in a tournament movie.
Who would’ve thought that this one movie would’ve generated eight sequels. Although I think Bloodfist II is the only one that has a direct connection with this one while the rest have nothing to do with anything except that it stars The Dragon. And there may be blood on fists, there was in this.
Unless tournament pictures are your favorite type of movie there’s no need to see it. Although if you guys know if any of the sequels are better let me know and I’ll check it out. Anyway, there are much better versions of the same film out there like Lionheart. Yeah, see that. It dishes out some fucking great Van Damme.