In honor of "Bloodsport" being shown for the 500th time on Versus right now, I'd like to list my top five favorite Jean Claude Van Damme movie cliches.
5. The viewer is regularly reminded throughout the film that despite his thick accent, JCVD's character is actually American. The reason is usually made clear through a backstory at the beginning, explaining how he has an accent but has resided in America most of his life, and has red, white and blue flowing through his veins. This is reinforced throughout the movie by lines like "He is American shit head who make trick with brick" or "I cannot train you. You are American, and Americans have swelled heads...Especially when hanging upside down for too long."
4. He swears to avenge his brother or close friend that was killed or grievously injured, establishing a motive for massive amounts of ass kicking other than "because he can". His love interest cries and tells him he's an idiot, making his character more of a lone wolf that the audience can sympathize with.
3. JCVD insists an opportunity to show his ass is somehow included in the script. This can be achieved by skimpy clothing being required during a fight, a brief shot during or after a love scene, a secondary charcter walking in on him bathing, or lack of modesty, because his character's actually a cyborg.
2. JCVD's character trains, doing pointless tai chi moves (that any martial arts enthusiast will tell you he just made up) while doing a split. Sythesizer music swells in the background, usually with very artificial sounding voicing that is supposed to sound like Asian instruments, but ends up sounding more like the tape recording you'd hear while taking a mud bath at day spa, while an overdubbed, soothing voice tells you "All is well. All is calm".
1. JCVD's character engages in a climactic final fight, and lets his opponent batter him to the point of having exactly five trickles of blood down his face; One from the temple, corner of the eye, edge of the mouth and two from the nose. A large bruise will also form around one eye, but never both. Once all of these injuries are achieved, JCVD makes a stunning comeback, making his opponent understand that he was better all along, and would have never taken such a beating had the opponent not cheated by throwing dust in his eyes or holding a loved one hostage. Love interest cries and claps on the sidelines.