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Gymkata is a classic 1985 martial arts movie directed by Robert Clouse featuring Kurt Thomas, Tetchie Agbayani, and Richard Norton. The plot of the movie follows Jonathan Cabot (Kurt Thomas), a talented gymnast who is recruited by the American government to compete in a deadly competition known as "The Game." The competition takes place in the fictional country of Parmistan and is being held in order to install a new leader. The catch is that The Game is a series of obstacles in which the competitors must fight to the death. Cabot's unique talents as a gymnast make him the perfect candidate for The Game as he is able to use his gymnastic training to navigate and avoid the deadly traps and obstacles. However, his mission is not just to win the competition, but also to gather information about the coups that are happening in the country since Parmistan holds a strategic position in the world politics. As Cabot meets Princess Rubali (Tetchie Agbayani), who is strongly against the contest, he quickly discovers that he has more to worry about than just the competition. The already complicated mission takes a whole another turn when Cabot discovers there is more at stake than just his life- Parmistan holds a secret that can change the course of history. The action in the movie Gymkata is fast-paced and thrilling, featuring acrobatic stunts seen through the eyes of a gymnast. Kurt Thomas' real-life expertise in gymnastics adds credibility to the movie's gymnastics-based fight sequences, with jumps, flips and wall clings being a highlight. The diverse range of fighting styles in different scenes, including hand-to-hand combat, sword fights, and whip fights, keep the audience engaged throughout the movie. The movie also provides some political context, showing the political instability in Parmistan and the negative impact of letting foreign powers and military organizations try to gain influence. It is interesting to see the capital's architecture and the elements of ancient Persia that the movie incorporates. The narrative, while having its own subtleties, includes commentary on political corruption and oppression in the context of foreign intervention. The acting in Gymkata is, for the most part, satisfactory. Kurt Thomas, while not having the most emotional range, provides a charming portrayal of a confident and determined athlete, driven to complete his mission. Tetchie Agbayani adds depth to the movie’s subplot, providing a foil to the cheesy-and-stereotyped portrayal of Eastern-European royalty. The movie's cinematography is impressive, with beautiful landscapes captured in the movie's location shoots in Italy and Nepal. The showcasing of Parmistan's architecture and geography helps create a sense of immersion and adds to the authenticity of the movie. In conclusion, Gymkata is an enjoyable 80s martial arts movie that puts gymnastics into the spotlight. The movie provides a good blend of action, drama, and political commentary with its stunning location, great stunts, and diverse fighting styles. While not without its flaws, like its average supporting cast and slow build-up to the action, it is a great watch for those who enjoy action flicks and are curious about the influence of mainly American cultural products in the 1980s.

Gymkata is a Action, Drama movie released in 1985. It has a runtime of 90 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it mostly poor reviews, with an IMDb score of 4.3. It also holds a MetaScore of 51.

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Robert Clouse
Kurt Thomas, Tetchie Agbayani, Richard Norton
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