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- Published on Thursday, 31 October 2013 15:18
- Written by Tobias
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A Look at some the best from Jean Claude Van Damme
While the movie world has kind of distanced its self from the bad ass action star (well there is the expendables) some of us still have a fondness for some of the 80's and 90's action heroes. My personal favourite by a country mile is the muscles from Brussels Jean Claude Van Damme. For this list we will be looking at some of his best movies from the 80's and 90's only so no JCVD sorry.
This movie had to be on the list. This is one of the best 80's martial arts movies and it still holds up incredibly well to this day. Van Damme plays the role of military man Frank Dux who has been trained in martial arts by Tanaka since he was a kid. Now he is ready to enter the Kumite a no rules martial arts tournament held in Hong Kong. Frank goes AWOL to compete in the tournament and as a result he has two military agents on his tail.
Frank kicks major butt in the tournament and things are shaping up for a showdown with Chong Li who is played by the phenomenal Bolo Yeung. The tournament is heading towards a showdown between Frank Dux and Chong Li in the final. This really is a great movie that is just full to the brim with great fight scenes. It is based on a true story as well although if you read what the real Frank Dux has to say they did take many liberties with the story.
Hard Target (1993)
This movie would see Jean Claude Van Damme team up with Jon Woo for the first time which gained the movie a great deal of attention before it was released. Van Damme plays the role of Chance a drifter who is in New Orleans. He is hired by a woman called Natasha to try and find her father who has been sleeping rough on the streets and has gone missing.
Little do they know that their search will put them in the centre of an organisation that hunts people for sport on the streets of the Big Easy and to keep them quiet they want Chance dead. If you love really cool action movies then this really is for you. The movies two villains Emil and Pik are brilliantly played by Lance Henrickson and Arnold Vosloo. This is the one Van Damme movie that I would say even a person who would say they are not a Van Damme fan would probably still really enjoy.
Now this is what you call and 80's action/martial arts movie. It ticks all the boxes for a movie from this era. Great fight scenes, bad ass characters, a tournament, revenge and of course a training montage. Van Damme plays the role of Kurt Sloan who has gone with his kickboxing champion brother to Thai Land to take on their champion Tong Po. Tong Po is just an awesome villain and is played by Michel Qissi. He is just so nasty and evil that you really want to see him get his comeuppance.
Kurt's brother is crippled in his fight with Tong Po and as a result Kurt who is already pretty good at martial arts learns the way of Thai kick boxing in order to get revenge for his brother. This is one of Van Damme's best roles and this is a movie that should get the same amount of love that Bloodsport does.
The Quest (1996)
This is one of Van Damme's more forgotten about movies which is a crying shame as it is quite the spectacle. He plays the role of a guy called Chris who is caught by smugglers and then sold off. He is one tough warrior though and he finds himself in a tournament where only the greatest fighters in the world are allowed to compete. He has some help along the way from a gentleman called Lord Edgar Dobbs who is played by Roger Moore.
Many people write this off as just another martial arts tournament movie and while that is at the heart of the movie there really is so much more going on here. I really do not want to spoil it, but this is actually a great story. The movie is also beautifully shot and takes place in many exotic locations. Sadly when it was released in 1996 many people failed to see the movie for what it was and it really did not do to well.