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 »
A renegade general and his group of U.S. Marines take over Alcatraz and threaten San Francisco Bay with biological weapons. A chemical weapons specialist and the only man to have ever escaped from the Rock attempt to prevent chaos.
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 <email@example.com>
There's a reason why JCVD and James Bond haven't worked together again - 43%
Scrolling through the TV schedules as I often do, it's a rare film indeed that makes me stop and think about recording it. But how can anyone not be intrigued by "a period action adventure with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Roger Moore" - sure, it wouldn't be likely to change the world but what a line-up! My masochistic side pricking my conscious, I duly recording this and settled down today to watch what must be the strangest piece of casting I think I've ever seen.
The Muscles From Brussels plays Chris Dubois, a ragamuffin street thief operating a child gang on the streets of New York in 1925. But after one daring escape from the police too many, Dubois inadvertently stows away and finds himself far from home and at the mercy of vicious pirates. Eventually, he is rescued by dashing British adventurer Lord Dobbs (Moore) and his partner-in-crime Smythe (Jack McGee) and they agree to help Dubois return to America. But Dobbs betrays Dubois and leaves him stranded in the Muay Thai Islands where his adventures really begin. He soon finds himself thrown into a global fighting tournament against the best in the world but as his paths cross with fellow Americans Maxie Devine (James Remar) and journalist Carrie Newton (Janet Gunn), Dubois realises he must win the tournament or risk all their futures...
I can't comment on this film's similarity with the earlier "Bloodsport" because that film has somehow passed me by. What I will comment on is the alarming similarity to another Van Damme flick, the frankly forgettable "AWOL: Absent Without Leave". I can't help but feel that for his directorial debut, Van Damme should have stretched himself a bit more beyond the tired "fighting tournament" plot. He probably was too busy dominating proceedings - once the film's second half begins, the fighting takes over completely and dialogue fades into the odd shout and macho grunt. Yes, there are odd bits and pieces of plot to get through such as the moment when an opponent makes an enemy of Dubois and we then know who's gonna get beaten up last. It's as though JCVD felt that the cast weren't trying and decided to run the rest of the film himself. And to be honest, he may have a point - other than Moore, the rest of the cast disappear into the background like early morning fog. As does the plot - can anyone tell me why Devine hung around for so long or what exactly was the story Newton felt she had to chase? I couldn't find one to last the 95 minutes of this movie, let alone a Pulitzer prize.
I could go on but you get the picture. "The Quest" is an unremarkable and deeply formulaic martial arts movie that reminds us why JCVD now spends his days selling Coors. It's poorly directed with lots of needless slow motion, incoherent and offers little surprises other than the bizarre combination of its two lead stars. It also feels very dated and that's nothing to do with its period setting - this film comes five years after the likes of "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" which is a quantum leap ahead in terms of story-telling, set pieces, special effects and performances. Van Damme has made decent enough movies in the past - I recommend the likes of "Universal Soldier" or "Sudden Death" - but this really isn't one of them. A Damme shame, then.
And just what was the point of the whole thing being a flash-back?
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