Monday, April 9, 2012

THE WEEK OF HONG: BLOODSPORT 2

Hong Kong

Chances are, you know longtime Hollywood "character" actor (read as: Asian guy) James Hong as either David Lo Pan in Big Trouble In Little China or Cassandra's Dad in Wayne's World 2. But the man is a prolific icon in the biz, working well over 500 roles in his 50-year-plus career, spanning from the original Godzilla movie in 1956 to Blade Runner to Call of Duty: Black Ops and beyond. Did you know he auditioned for the part of Sulu? It's true, and more than 40 years after losing the part, he faced off against the actor who won the role, George Takei, in an episode of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. This is just one in a series of fascinating factoids that make Mr. Hong not only a fan favorite, but a film legend and enigma unto himself.


In the spirit of utter and total Hong-worship, our very own Seth Goodkind (via his excellent blog Lost Video Archive) has instituted the multi-site WEEK OF HONG, in which but a few of the manifold films Mr. Hong has appeared in will be discussed and venerated, starting right here on good ol' IllCon with the mind-blowingly underwhelming Bloodsport 2. Similar activities have been perpetrated by Mr. Goodkind in honor of Linda Blair and Yaphet Kotto, needless to say it is an honor to once again be included in this mindless Uroboros of cinematic masturbation.

So where the fuck do we start with total lack of ideas and inspiration that is Bloodsport 2? I mean, there's just SOOO much to mock and so little time, I guess we just need to hit a couple major bullet points and get the fuck out before it gets depressing. Sound fair? OK.

A) Bloodsport 2 (released in 1996--8 full years after the original) stars NOT A-list action star Jean-Claude Van Damme as you might suspect, but Swiss impostor Daniel Bernhardt, whose laughably accurate JCVD impersonation runs deep enough as to include an innate ability to drop into full splits in any and all situations (see Exhibits A and B).

JCVD: Suffering stoicly the filmic martyrdom that is Bloodsport 2.

Right: Exhibit A.

B) The only actor with the balls (i.e. low account balance) to appear in both Bloodsport and its sequel was one Donald Gibb (read a full IC post on him HERE), who you know not only as lovable sidekick/doofus Ray "Tiny" Jackson but also as lovable villain/doofus Ogre in Revenge of The Nerds. I also saw him playing a Viking in a credit card commercial recently, but such issues are moot in reference to the subject at hand.

C) Mister Miyagi is in this movie for about 2 minutes. He is billed second. (Shades of Ozzy and Gene Simmons in Trick Or Treat?)



Left: Exhibit B.

D) James Hong is the highlight of this dismal cash-in, appearing as Bernhardt's trainer and mentor (PS Bernhardt's character, "Alex Cardo", is NOT in fact a continuation of JCVD's "Frank Dux"--despite the confusing quasi-Eastern-European accent, physical similarities, and aforementioned compulsory splitting). Hong's wizened "Sun" displays all the qualities that made him a star--a sense of dignity and knowledge spiked with a healthy dose of Eastern mystery, a command of his craft and natural grace both powerful and sublime, and an ease on screen to rival the very masters themselves.
But hey, everyone needs to work. Bloodsport 2 stands as an abysmal reminder that even the Gods of Cult Cinema need to pay their bills, and James Hong is no exception.

Brutal, just brutal.

Now watch the whole thing:




MORE HONG HERE:

Monday April 9th
Fist of B-List - The Dynamite Brothers
From the Depths of DVD Hell - Big Trouble In Little China

Tuesday April 10th
Direct to Video Connoisseur - South Beach Academy
Lost Video Archive - Teen Lust

Wednesday April 11th
She Blogged By Night - Seventh Sin
Lost Video Archive - Cyber Bandits

Thursday April 12th
Booksteve's Library - China Girl
Lost Video Archive - Gladiator Cop
From the Depths of DVD Hell - Balls of Fury

Friday April 13th
Direct to Video Connoisseur - Caged Fury
Lines That Make Things - The A Team (TV episode)

Saturday April 14th
Illogical Contraption - Bloodsport III
Explosive Action - Ninja III: The Domination
Lost Video Archive - Blade in Hong Kong

6 comments:

Jason said...

Hong is exactly how I picture my wise Asian uncle, if I had one. I can easily picture him giving me advice on young man problems with parables. And then we would eat dim sum.

The Goodkind said...

Ha, well done sir. Despite the warnings I very nearly want to watch it. If I do it will be in the tiny window you so kindly provided.

Anonymous said...

Braddock killed his commie ass good.

Crankenstien said...

once more I'm invading you territory whether you like it or not haha
http://crankenstien.blogspot.com/

Robert said...

Totally loving The Week of Hong. Have you seen The Jitters? It's great. It was directed by John Fasano, who also directed Black Roses and Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare.

The Jitters was unique in that it was one of the few (maybe the only?) American "hopping vampire" movies. And, of course Hong is great in it!

Keep it up!

Shelby Cobras said...

Whoa, I didn't know the U.S. had ever ventured into the "hopping vampire" genre.... Interesting...