Chris embarks on an odyssey of self-discovery that spans the globe. Kidnapped and enslaved by gun smugglers, sold by pirates and thrust into the murky underworld of gambling and kickboxing,... See full summary »
Chris embarks on an odyssey of self-discovery that spans the globe. Kidnapped and enslaved by gun smugglers, sold by pirates and thrust into the murky underworld of gambling and kickboxing, Chris' journey takes him to forbidding Muay Thai Island where deadly martial arts are taught, the colonial splendor of British East Asia, the dank back alleys of Bangkok, desolate deserts once trod by the warriors of Genghis Khan and finally, the ancient Lost City. There he must face the ultimate test of his manhood in the fabled Ghang-gheng, the ancient winner-take-all competition in which the deadliest fighters from around the world employ the most spectacular feats of martial arts skills ever displayed in order to win the prized Golden Dragon. But fighting prowess alone will not be enough for Chris to triumph over such daunting foes. He must reach deep inside and access all of the determination, strength of character and sense of selfless honor within in order to triumph over this final obstacle... Written by
Tim Kroll <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Quest is an odd mix of martial arts and epic adventure. Its running time is too short for it to be deemed a true epic, but the panoramic worldwide locations hint that Van Damme was trying to give it the flavour of an epic.
It's a painfully simplistic story. Young American pickpocket Chris (Van Damme) has to flee from New York in the 1920s after a botched robbery. He ends up on a pirate ship headed for the Orient. Soon, he is rescued by another ship (another pirate vessel, this time captained by gentleman buccaneer Roger Moore). Moore drops him off on a Thai island where young men are trained as fighters, and before long young Chris is a very handy fighter indeed, with aspirations to win an ancient golden dragon in a fighting competition. The final third of the film is comprised entirely of fight sequences in which competitors from various nations combat each other in an effort to take the ultimate prize.
The film marked Van Damme's directorial debut, and he gives it a lovely sense of scale and period but can't wring much out of the thin and obvious story. The backdrops pictured in the film are beautiful. Some of the martial arts moments are well choreographed. Roger Moore gives a surprisingly thoughtful and moving performance. Beyond that, it's very childish and simple-minded and doesn't contain enough memorable moments to be anything other than a passable time filler.
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