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Knock Off [VHS] 
Set in Hong Kong during the 1997 handover to China, this thriller stars Jean-Claude Van Damme as Marcus Ray, a CIA agent caught up in a Russian plot to bombard America with thousands of tiny bombs smuggled into the country via Hong Kong.
Having based so much of his career on the films from the region, Jean Claude Van Damme heads to Hong Kong itself for his film Knock Off. Set in the 72 hours running up to the British handover to China (and released a mere year after the actual event), the film's action centres around the colony's thriving bootleg business, tied in with a rather convoluted plot concerning the CIA, Russian Mafia and an attempt to hold the United States to ransom through covert attacks. The opening section unwisely tries Van Damme's hand at knockabout humour with partner Rob Schneider but merely proves that the star is severely lacking the sort of humorous touch that Arnold Schwarzenegger has so successfully utilised. Once Knock Off descends into more familiar Van Damme territory, the film--and its leading man--are on surer ground. There are a good deal of spectacular fight sequences, some amazing stunts and a feisty female sparring partner in the form of Lela Rochen. Even the always-reliable Paul Sorvino pops up. Director Tsui Hark hits upon some interesting and initially invigorating visual effects but soon overdoes them, actually highlighting the lack of decent story rather than enhancing it. There is an incredible film to be made about this period in history but this isn't it. Knock Off is merely another undemanding, high-kicking, high-octane vehicle for Van Damme. --Phil Udell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Fashion designer Marcus Ray (a camp but pumped Jean-Claude Van Damme in career meltdown) has been selling knockoff jeans in Hong Kong and living the high life with partner Tommy (Rob Schneider). However, things get complicated when Marcus discovers 'ol Tommy is not all that he seems.... Thrown into the mix are Marcus' boss, Karen (Lela Rochon) who is threatening to tear him a new one too if he doesn't go straight. However, this is just the beginning of a topsy-turvy ride that has Russian double agents, rickshaw wrangling and all manner of bad acting rolled out infront of your very eyes. Suffice to say, sparks are gonna fly and bad guys will have a full roundhouse kick to the head in no time at all... aah, thank the lord for Jean Claude!
To begin with, this movie is mental. Not 'pretend crazy', I mean full on looney tunes. Director Tsui Hark (he of the awesome 'The Blade' and previous JC [masterpiece] 'Double Team') has somehow managed to convince a major Hollyweird studio to fund a movie about bombs being hidden within counterfeit jeans in an effort to threaten the entire world. Yeah, that's the story. Thank my lucky stars for whoever greenlit this baby must have been stoned into next week and I applaud you. Thankfully, even though the screenplay is 100% bonkers - the action certainly isn't. Hark gets to ply his trademark visuals accentuating Van Dammage's physicality to great lengths and we are treated to some wondrous feats of adrenaline pumped choreography.
Columbia Tri-Stars DVD release sports a solid transfer with fine audio, although no extras which is a shame. All in all, the movie is very slight taken on its own terms - but if in the right mood, the sheer lunacy and devil may care attitude of the filmmakers ensure this is a B-movie delight: Van Damme is on fine form (even though it seems this was sadly the end of his mainstream career) and even Schneider looks like he's game for a laugh, too. Don't go in expecting 'Bloodsport' and you will be rewarded with a visually exciting and totally off the cuff actioner that delivers the goods. Recommended.
I absolutely love this film, so many great comedy moments mixed with great action from jcvd. The chemistry between jcvd and Rob snieder is amazing they work so well together. The story is even funnier to say the least but a great twist thrown in for good measure.
Feel good comedy actioner
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