Best of the Best

Best of the Best Movie Poster

"This time, it's the fight of their lives."  The original Best of the Best martial arts flick, which was not popular with critics, hit the scene in 1989.  The movie starred Eric Roberts as Alex Grady, Philip Rhee as Tommy Lee, and James Earl Jones as Frank Couzo, their coach.  There were a number of sequels released post 1989, including Best of the Best II in 1993 (which also featured Eric Roberts).

In the original, Alex Grady and Tommy Lee are chosen to represent the USA at an international martial arts tournament against the mega-talented team Korea.  The USA team members struggle, initially, with personal issues, personality conflicts, and daily life issues as they learn to come together as a team. During the tournament, Grady wins his match, even though he is injured, but a couple of the other team members lost.  Tommy's Korean opponent is the captain of the Korean team, Dae Han, who had killed Tommy's brother in a previous tournament.  Tommy's proves his skills, and is in with 1 point of winning the tournament for team USA, but that one point would likely kill Dae Han, so coach Couzo ended the match, and team USA forfeited the win.  The movie ends with Dae Han apologizing to Tommy Lee, becoming his friend, and the entire Korean team giving team USA their medals.