By: John M Jerva
The past few weeks have been hard on everyone but I’m not here today to talk about any of that. Today, I’m here to entertain and it is Friday so everyone knows what that means. It’s Foot Fist Friday! This week it’s my turn and I have picked a lesser known movie that people might not know about and that’s the 1996 sequel to the Jean-Claude Van Damme classic Bloodsport which introduced action genre fanatics to Daniel Bernhardt. It was a simpler time back then and the films from that time radiate that.
Bloodsport 2 is basically a carbon copy of the first film with the only difference being that Bernhardt plays a new character named Alex Cardo who is a thief and gets sent to prison. There he learns how to better himself from a kind and gentle master and fellow inmate played by James Hong and upon getting out of prison he enters the deadly and brutal Kumite Championship where he wil take on the best of the best to redeem himself. The sequel even features the return of Donald Gibbs’ sidekick character of Ray “Tiny” Jackson to give the sequel some street cred so that was a nice touch.
I have chosen the final and climatic fight from the film where Cardo takes on the main bad guy Demon played by Ong Soo Han who starred in a few lower budget action films during that time. It may not be the classic first film but this one has always been a favorite of mine and it’s this week’s edition of Foot Fist Fridays! Enjoy!
Now don’t even compare this film to the original fight classic but just enjoy it as it has some truly entertaining action scenes for that era and Bernhardt is charasmatic in the lead role which he would reprise for a third film that I will talk about another day. A fourth Bloodsport also was made starring Bernhardt but he played a completely different character then Alex Cardo.
Bernhardt is a natural in the role and he has some awesome technique and definitely has the kicks due to his longer legs and he looks phenominal in slow motion and can scream and give JCVD a run for his money. It might not be as flashy compared to the fight action we get nowadays but the choreography is bone crunching and all the actors including martial arts wiz Ron Hall who is lighning fast and crazy good excel in every scene. This film has always been one of my favorites and I constantly break it out on occassion.
Just like the first film, you get ample scenes of Cardo training to enhance his fighting prowess and Hong is mystical as ever as the Xian type master who helps Cardo on his path to redemption.
The final fight just screams the first film where Cardo eventually squares off against the Kumite’s lethal champ Demon who is a rip off of Bolo Yeung’s Chung Li and he doesn’t even come close to filling Yeung’s shoes but he does an admirable job as the vile antagonist for the movie and he looks the part.
The finale is only over 4 minutes in length but it features all the moves that should satisfy martial arts enthusiasts and like I said Bernhardt is a natural when it comes to the fight choreography. He would eventually go on to make a host of action films in that decade and I will eventually get around to talking about a few more of them especially the John Woo inspired True Vengeance which is my favorite from his filmography.
In the realm of classic fight scenes there are better ones but for me, Bloodsport 2 holds a special place in my heart and it was my introduction to Bernhardt who I have been a fan of ever since. He’s the real deal in beating people up on screen and he always brings an aura of James Bond to each of his roles.
Now in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan The Destroyer, “Enough Talk!” It’s time to watch Alex Cardo and Demon center the ring in Bloodsport 2! As always, stay safe and long live action!
As an added bonus, I have included another fight scene compilation from the film where Bernhardt takes out the competition one by one in an epic display of fists and fury so indulge in the awesomeness of Daniel Bernhardt below to take your mind off the real world!