When I re-upped on this the other day it made me realize how goddamn fucking huge and ridiculous the setup is. Lyon (Van Damme) has to break out of the French Foreign Legion in northern Africa (Djibouti to be specific), travel across a desert by jeep and eventually foot, stowaway on a ship, when he gets to the edge of Manhattan he jumps out and swims the last bit to actually reach land, he enters and wins several underground fights so he can get some money and finally fly to LA to see his sister-in-law and niece. It takes him a full thirty minutes of running time to make it to his ultimate destination.
I mean look at the shit the filmmakers felt they had to go through to explain why our main character is French (or Belgian). If he were American there wouldn’t be any of this. He would just have to break out of some army base near or in California and then do underground fighting to help support his sister-in-law and niece.
You should check out Lionheart not only for the setup that goes the extra mile but also because it’s one of Van Damme’s best and it’s also one of the best tournament fighting movies. I love the different locations they use for each fight and there’s some heavy drama during the last brawl with more than just money on the line. See it.