GYMKATA part 2

The Journey

Before playing The Game Kurt must get to Parmistan, which gives the US government plenty of time to show how little they care about his mission. He arrives on a tourist boat which can’t spell “Caspian” and the equipment they issue him is so tragic you'd swear they only trust him with legs because he brought his own. He gets it at the SIA’s Q-branch, which by Scrabble-score ranking of secret weapons labs should be E-branch, or >grunt, throw feces<-branch, and the princess says her first words when she’s impressed by a two-inch blade which fires out at her very first touch. Considering she was silent while he slept with her this is a very bad review of his bedroom–gymnastics.


Walking around Middleeastistan we do have the greatest moment of unintentional comedy (and prophetic satire) in cinema history.

For just a second you'd swear it was Hot Shots


They finally arrive and meet the king, Princess Rubali's father. 

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Father and daughter. Either Parmistanian genetics is as good as their dentistry or her mother was a new race of Double-Asian.

Unfortunately he wants Rubali to marry Commander Zamir, who couldn't more obviously be the villain if Darth Vader loaded his chest-piece with "cackling.mp3."  So we have an old man fathering a fully oriental daughter and then hang out with her almost all the time and propose deeply wrong relationships, meaning Woody Allen really missed out on a perfect part here. Every other shot in the country proves that Parmistantian air is apparently worse for your teeth than a diet of Skittles and ice hockey.

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The Game

For a fight to the death over the most important piece of real estate in the world, most countries seem to have sent Jeopardy contestants in track suits.

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You have to feel bad for Mr Killomoto, my name for the Japanese guy, who's clearly trained his entire life for what he's just now realising what is Athletic Open Mic night


We learn that the Game is an obstacle course including a lunatic asylum. We also learn that Parmistan's main resource is ninja, and that's construction resource, not military. Ninja are used as signposts, as furniture, the race starts with two Ninja holding the rope, Flag Ninja are used to mark out the entire course of the game, and all I'm going to say is don't use the toilet in a Parmistani home unless you're comfortable eternally insulting a pajama-clad man holding a bucket's honor.

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The bricks and ninja have about equal ranks here, but nobody's making the bricks hold a rope

After all the buildup, the movie burns through the Game like the Human Torch with a

packet of sparklers - really quickly and unimpressive considering the potential available. If the Running Man had been 90 minutes of the painful hostage-taking “jokes” and thirty seconds in the TV studio it’d still be a better movie, because Arnie can act, and that’s something you'll genuinely believe after watching this movie.

  Zamir runs after the contestants cheating more flagrantly Dick Dastardly with a syringe. You’d think cheating on an event course not only full of but actually made of ninjas would be a shorter-lived activity than swallowing a grenade and hiccuping up the pin, but the Flag Ninja stand in stoic silence as Zamir brutally murders both the rules and the competitors right in front of them. Probably because being forced to stand in full view in broad daylight actually holding a flag to clearly demarcate their position has burned out the part of their brains responsibly for ninjing.

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Yep, he’s still there

A world champion gymnast and a master of shadows and stealth.  Neither are really living up to their potential

The Flag Ninja are more tragic than amputee octopii. The Parmistan military deployed ninjas as visible objects – they’re is so bad at troop assignment they sent scuba divers to Desert Storm and deployed Bill O'Reilly to a Middle Eastern Peace Conference. And even then only to try to create a disaster horrifying enough to distract from their dental industry.


The Combat

The movie's fundamental mistake is the idea that mixing gymnastics into something could make it deadlier, never mind karate in the 80s. If you mixed 80s-karate with nuclear warheads that would be the less-lethal version because it was less karate.

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Kurt uses triple backflips in tasks most people wouldn't need their wrists for. Gymkata works fantastically against extras who read the part of the minion contract which says "Hold still and go down even if it doesn't touch you, because second takes are more expensive than you are."  I still wouldn't this fearsome martial art against a decent baseball bat. If Kurt Thomas could resolve a border installation dispute, Barry Bonds could have ended the cold war. 

The Finale!

This showdown is so stupid it got its own Cracked article [LINK] I assure that the other four entries were just so the author could talk about this scene. Let's put it this way: #5 was a martial art based on guns, and #1 was Kurt Thomas's Legs.

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This showdown is the ass-kicking Kurt’s been preparing for his whole life, and considering how they installed a pommel-horse in their town square and line up to get their jaws broken one by one, so have the villagers. This sequence showcases the other move named after Kurt Thomas, the “Thomas Flare”, and it’s so spectacularly lethal that if the US could fit tank treads to a pommel horse they wouldn't need a nuclear-warning satellite because Kurt would already be their Ultimate Weapon.

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The mob is composed entirely of people who EITHER have three-meter long pole weapons immune to gymnastery OR attack by running face-first into Thomas's feet, which are now a pajama-clad-blender rotating fast enough to deform space-time. It's the first binary error in the history of rampaging hordes. There are SO MANY poking weapons which are never used her it's like a pickup artist convention. They've got polearms, farming tools, Poseidon's trident and a couple of bizarre iron prodders I'd swear are used for long-range medieval gynaecology. 

But Kurt Thomas teaches them that male gymnasts aren't pussies.

The Dregs

A whole bunch of stuff happens after the finale, but honestly, who cares. The filmmakers certainly didn't.  The fight is immediately followed by a slow-motion sequence longer and more boring than a life in solitary confinement, then the population of Parmistan are casually inspired to throw off the yoke of impression more easily than you'd remove a coat just to get the damn movie over with.  Possibly because they realised that ninjas you can see aren't very good. 

The only notable moment is Princess Rubali suddenly becoming hot.  Which is due to the movie simulating beer goggles by killing your brain cells through sheer stupidity, or maybe because she puts on a catsuit and starts doing this.


And so it is that Kurt guarantees the destruction of the human race. 

Don't you remember?  He's not recovering a nuclear warhead or preventing a mad terrorist: he's allowing the US to install a nuclear-launch detection grid, guaranteeing that if the Russkies ever do start World War III we'll be able to strike back and exterminate ALL life on Earth in atomic fire instead of just half of it. Making Gymkata, the least threatening martial art since the "Here's my wallet" stance, the most lethal skill in existence.