"A gymnast? A fucking gymnast? What am I dreaming?"

- American Ninja Man

Gymkata (1985)

Director: Robert Clouse

Writer: Dan Tyler Moore, Charles Robert Carnes

Producer: Fred Weintraub

Cast: Kurt Thomas, Tetchie Agbayani, Richard Norton, Edward Bell, John Gilbert Barrett, Conan Lee, Bob Schott, Buck Kartalian

Running Time: 90 min.

Plot: World gymnastics star Kurt Thomas is trained to carry out a deadly mission. With his combination of gymnastic and martial arts skills, he beats up every opponent he meets.


AMERICAN NINJA MAN'S RATING: I'm not sure how the meeting went for these coke sniffing green lighters but we do know that someway, somehow someone figured that the next heir to the Bruce Lee throne would be none other than Kurt Thomas. Now keep in mind we were getting American Ninjas, Ninjas who could die 9 deaths and of course no way to retreat or surrender from such. However the Clouse is in my heart and I can smell the stink, and when I watch his movies I can only curse his name. (Yeah, I ripped off Six Pence None The Richer's Breathe Your Name to insult Clouse, wanna make somethin of it!) Clouse had already given us the equally dreadful Big Brawl (Easily Jackie Chan's worst film next to The Protector) However because some dumbasses like it, Clouse was given the oppurtunity to give us this little classic. Make way for Mister Gil's Ageless Gymkata!

The movie starts with some old guy, who's I guess supposed to be the best the U.S has, probably because the American Ninja and Chuck Norris were booked. Anyway the main bad guy is Richard Norton, who didn't kill Mary Louise Weller off in Forced Vengeance, but does sport a giant mullet and hence that's where this aussie's talent lies. He kills the schmuck as he cheats at the game and voila we are introduced to our gymnast hero, Kurt Fucking Thomas!

I have to get this off my chest, I'm a former kickboxing champ. State gold medalist in 1998 and 1999 and I must admit that this movie was so bad and such a disgrace, not only to legit martial artists like Bruce Lee, Jet Li and the Bruce Lis of the world but a personal disgrace to me, so to score some honor for the genre of martial arts, I went to a gymnastics class, kicked the asses of all the male gymnasts for sheer principle and had an orgy with the female gymnasts. Those weenies tried to claim assault for me giving them a good kicking (No complaints from the women though, cause the ninja orgy caused them to score perfect 10s on their next acrobatic challanges.) but once the cops heard my story, they cleared it as justifiable. Take that! As happy as it should've made me, This didn't make me feel much better until I heard Chuck Norris was so disgusted that he drove to L.A (With a diaper, because we all know that pit stops are for pussies, right on Lisa Nowak!) and raped Kurt Thomas repeatedly. (Why else does Thomas appear in Chuck Norris' Total Gym informercials not for money and certainly not because it works but out of fear that he take a workout in his ass. ) Unfortunately this still didn't make me feel much better because the movie was begging me to believe that against ninjas the best man for the job would be a gymnast.

A gymnast? A fucking gymnast? What am I dreaming? I can just picture MGM discussing the topic "Hmm let's see here, I don't like the script for Amadeus but I do feel somewhat intrigued over the aspect of a gymnast who kicks ass to save the world." It's no secret that Gymkata turned out as terrible as one would expect but did we really need the one-two punch of not only a gymnast hero but also having it directed by Robert Clouse? Well suffice to say I walloped myself in the head with a tireiron when I witnessed Kurt Thomas do backflips and mimic dialog because the princess refuses to speak to him. Just a tip, it could be the mullet. Also our dumb ass hero is only a couple inches taller than a midget and that mullet makes him look, well not very manly. He also tries to tell would be hilarious one liners despite the fact that "I know, I'll out sleep them!", " Keep your hardware in your pants" is not the making of an action hero.

Oh but Richard Norton is in this clunker, he's the main bad guy and he has a showdown with Kurt Thomas and it's here I really felt sorry for the fucker, not because he was in this movie, Norton has always been a quality source of shitty movies so it's hard to feel sorry for him, I mean his movie Kick Fighter is awful beyond compare. No, I felt sorry for him because he gets to get his ass whumped by what is easily the wussiest protagonist that would be the wussiest until Lorenzo Lamas joined the scene in 1990's suckfest known as Final Impact. Still as lame as Thomas is, I admit that I was often fascinated by the sheer ambition of this production, and by that I mean, how many bad ideas are contained. A princess who goes all the way with our gymnast hero on the first date. Check. A completely unnecessary action sequence for no reason other to pad out running time. Check. A hero who has to play a game, all so the U.S Government can place a satelite before the Russians. Check. A hero very low on charisma. Check. A hero who relies on sheer chance to prevail in tough situations. Check. A king who shouts "Yakmallah!" and at least a 100 mullets. Check, Check, Check!

By the way, the sheer luck factor means that during the action sequences are moronic gymnast star finds a bar, does various back flips and even finds a pommel horse to beat up people on. Holy crap this movie is terrible. With all the directing style of a substandard porno knock off of Enter The Dragon. (Which I imagine would be called, "My Dragon Enters you") But it's from Robert Clouse so what do you expect? Coherence, a narrative structure, decent action sequences and some okay acting? Well it's about a gymnast who kicks ass only because the bad guys are dumb enough to leave pommel horses around. So right there describes what level of stupidty we are at.

So who is the one to blame? The moron who thought of the idea, the moron who thought to cast Kurt Thomas, the moron who hired Robert Clouse, the moron who directed this, and of course the moron who watches this. In other words there's enough blame to go around, and hey even Milli Vanilli doesn't blame the rain on Gymkata. Thats how bad this movie is.

Laughable. Ridiculous. Stupid. Incompetent and of course hilarious.