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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.25%
Worth A Look: 5.8%
Average: 4.35%
Pretty Bad: 8.7%
Total Crap73.91%

3 reviews, 51 user ratings

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Knock Off
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Ryan Arthur

"Steven E. De Souza, I'm callin' you out."
1 stars

Another stinkbomb from the Belgian Waffle.

It boggles the mind as to why a stylish Hong Kong director like Tsui Hark would make not one but two movies (in a row!) with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Admittedly, Knock Off looks slick, and it's got the definite Hong Kong look to it (not in terms of location, but how it's shot and other technical aspects, such as the generous use of slo-mo), but it's a dog of a movie, thanks in no small part to the star.

Van Damme's popularity is on the wane and has been for some time. This movie should only continue him on the downward spiral. He's not completely lifeless (like in 1997's Double Team) but his acting just plain sucks. When he's in his action sequences, he looks like a martial artist going through (fast-paced) motions. When he's forced to act, he's almost too earnest. He overplays the part to the hilt, where it's past comical and more into a feeling of pity for him. It doesn't help that the film is an uneven blend of action and semi-comedy. The blame for that lies where it has often lied before: in the lap of writer Steven E. De Souza.

If you're not familiar with De Souza, you're no doubt familiar with his work: he wrote Die Hard (and Die Hard 2), and 48 Hours. What's wrong with that, you say? I like those movies, you say? Well, nothing's wrong with those, exactly. But he also wrote Judge Dredd, Beverly Hills Cop 3, Ricochet, and Hudson Hawk, not to mention wrote AND directed Street Fighter. He's probably the most directely responsible for five of the most horrible action movies of the 1990's, complete with mind-numbing action and scripts loaded with one-line quips rather than an actual story or plot. The guy's a hack.

It's that aforementioned blend of action and comedy that causes Knock Off to stumble and ultimately not be able to right itself. Van Damme and partner Rob Schnieder have scenes where they're absolutely giddy in front of police and Lela Rochon (although, who wouldn't be giddy in front of Lela Rochon), making wisecracks and jokes that aren't the least bit funny. Normally pasable action seqeunces and stuntwork are overshadowed by a too-cute script that constantly tries to beat you over the head with its one-liners and then winks at you after you've been clubbed. Oh, and every line in this movie has been dubbed. Badly. It makes the dub work in Jackie Chan's Mr. Nice Guy seem spectacular by comparison.

Van Damme is practically comatose and Schnieder is doing the same role he did in Judge Dredd, just as badly. Only Rochon escapes the idiocy unscathed, looking quite yummy as always.

It ain't no Double Team. Take that however you want to.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 09/09/98 23:17:11
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User Comments

5/30/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess Dumb, but kind of fun 3 stars
9/17/07 metellus cimber lela rochon is very beautiful in the movie 4 stars
4/21/06 Sugarfoot The worst Van Damme movie, and I saw Cyborg and Derailed. 1 stars
4/02/06 Peter De La Rosa Great hong kong action flick. 4 stars
3/29/05 chris campbell damn good movie 5 stars
3/04/03 Jack Sommersby Unwatchable Van Damme atrocity. 1 stars
7/19/02 Shams Huque Van Damme's worst film I think. 2 stars
12/20/01 voyeur well i liked it. 4 stars
10/10/01 Andrew Carden Jean Claude Van Damn I Hate Him! 1 stars
5/19/01 Thrillhouse yur my bitch is a jerk, so ignore him. JCVD can't even act squat 1 stars
5/05/01 yur my bitch rampage does his dog in the butt, so dont listen to anything he says 5 stars
3/30/01 Rampage whoever rates this higher is a goddam retard. That goes for Meatnut and Lavan! Dirtbags!! 1 stars
2/20/01 T. Sharif Tri Star Pictures is on drugs! 1 stars
2/05/01 Meatnut Van-Damme is a stud and could kick all of your asses so shut the hell up! 5 stars
1/24/01 Lavan Chandran So bad it's hilarious, don't take it seriously and you'll have a blast! 4 stars
11/29/00 Cristopher Revilla van damme, do some porno instead, your at least good in that, stay away from the big screen 1 stars
11/10/00 Trey Tucker I am a big Van damme fan and this was a major let! I expected way more 2 stars
9/23/00 Jacques Strap There has never been a bad movie. Ever. In history. Someone need to be shot after this. 1 stars
9/14/00 Ground Zero Like Kimberly said, this movie is a waste of time 1 stars
7/23/00 Digitalus goddam shit movie 1 stars
5/03/00 PJ The weirdest movie ever!! I didn't like this movie but you got to see it for its weirdness 2 stars
4/26/00 Pansy Glitter Berry, shut up. Somebody get rid of Van Damme, that no-talent jerk! 1 stars
12/01/99 Glitter Berry Are you people ON something?! Funniest movie of the year! Who could forget "foot-cam"? 5 stars
10/20/99 Lame-Oh Mike, your rating shows you're a dead set lame-o, Van Damme needs to quit as a actor 1 stars
9/03/99 Mike Best movie of the year! 5 stars
8/26/99 LushZero see this movie as a comedy, the first half is quite entertaining. being intoxicated helps 2 stars
8/26/99 Azimat SEE HIS CAREER DIE.....SEE US LAUGH!!! 1 stars
4/21/99 lucas jackson it is even worth the fucking dollar I spent on it 1 stars
4/08/99 Ah Dooey Total crap. Sucked ass more on those Pay-Per-View movie channels. 1 stars
4/05/99 Cool Thing Utter crap. Not even an effort went into this one. Schneider was awful. 1 stars
2/25/99 Viral Messiah Yawn. Van Dumb blew it with this one. 1 stars
12/24/98 Cartman's Symphatizer Waste of my time and money. Shit movie. 1 stars
12/14/98 Homer's Tulebox Oh great, this was dumb. What the hell is wrong with Van Dumb, I mean Damned? 1 stars
12/11/98 Scion of Graveheart Shoddy movie, great ad. Another botched-up Van Dumb movie. Need we say more? 1 stars
11/02/98 radhika nair fuck all 1 stars
10/24/98 Lord Of The Dunce There was a typo on the poster. Isn't it Jean-Claude Van DUMB?!!? 1 stars
10/18/98 Kwyjibo There's just nothing good to say about this movie. At all. Speed 2 with kung-fu. 1 stars
10/17/98 Mr Showbiz A shoddy, by-the-numbers martial arts movie. 2 stars
10/07/98 Korny Island A kung fu fashion designer? Like this could be anything but utter crud. Guess what? It is. 1 stars
10/01/98 fearo gomez i hated it but my bitch lov'z van dam.. so i dumped her and missed out on some good head! 1 stars
10/01/98 Paul Maki God help us all! What happened to Van Damage. 1 stars
9/29/98 katherine Oh, now THIS was dumb. 2 stars
9/16/98 Como Erectus Not even at the dollar theatre. Drink methylated spirits instead. 1 stars
9/15/98 Negatve Creep Ths filmw asnt so bad, I expected to laugh my ass off at a bad film. I was so dissapointedĄ 3 stars
9/14/98 Chip Taylor It's weak in plot but good action. 3 stars
9/13/98 Bruce Willis' mama. SEriously, I knew it would suck going in, but nothing else was playing here. Awful. 1 stars
9/13/98 Q What a Rip Off for a movie that made me Nod Off! I couldn't even get Half Off the price! 1 stars
9/12/98 Bart Barton the worst 1 stars
9/12/98 Bo Why don`t sombody shoot that asshole 1 stars
9/11/98 Matthew Malouf i have not seen the movie but i know it sucks 1 stars
8/30/98 {{{OZ}}} God awful Van Damme shit. He's become a benchmark for terrible films and this is the worst. 1 stars
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  04-Sep-1998 (R)
  DVD: 01-Mar-2005


  18-Mar-1999 (M)

Directed by
  Hark Tsui

Written by
  Steven E. De Souza

  Jean-Claude Van Damme
  Rob Schneider
  Lela Rochon
  Michael Wong
  Carman Lee

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