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Knock Off (1998)

Action star Jean Claude Van Damme plays a fashion designer who must join forces with a C.I.A. agent to combat terrorism.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Tommy Hendricks
...
Karen Lee
...
Harry Johanson
Carman Lee ...
Detective Ling Ho
Wyman Wong ...
Eddie Wang
...
Skinny
...
Han (as Michael Fitzegerald Wong)
...
Officer Fong
...
V-Six Secretary
...
Karl (as Raymond Leslie Nicholas)
...
Skaar (as Jeff Joseph Wolfe)
Michael Miller ...
Tickler
Steve Brettingham ...
Hawkeye
Mark Houghton ...
Bear
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Storyline

A Hong Kong fashion designer (Jean Claude Van Damme, if you can believe that billing) who had previously been involved in knock offs of major label merchandise, such as "Pumma" running shoes, attempts to go straight with the help of his new partner (Rob Schneider), who is secretly an undercover CIA agent involved in an investigation of the black market. Their main product, jeans, is involved in the knock offs, which brings a representative (Lela Rochon) of the American company to investigate. Paul Sorvino also appears as the head of the CIA operation in Hong Kong. However, just as Schneider is not as he initially seems, everyone in the film switches roles by film's end. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for continuous violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

4 September 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kontraband  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,516,231 (USA) (4 September 1998)

Gross:

$10,076,136 (USA) (30 October 1998)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hong Kong superstar and director Sammo Hung served as the film's 2nd unit director. The release print of "Knock Off" suffers from the removal of a lot of the martial arts action shot for the film, with a couple of sequences being very heavily edited. The final battle between Jean-Claude Van Damme's character and Australian actor/stuntman Michael Miller is less than half of the action shot for their fight, and upon careful viewing you can pick up the fact that the fight has raged across several different sections on the boat, while the fight between Jeff Wolfe's character Scar and Jean-Claude's is the most heavily edited with more of the action being shown in the "Making Of" featured on several of the DVD editions than in the finished film. See more »

Goofs

Near the end when Lela Rochon & Rob Schneider are tied up on the cargo ship, when their characters are being rolled around on the ship and slam into a container and fall over, Lela's stunt double's ropes become untied and he waves his arms around as he falls, yet in later shots, she is shown as tied up again. See more »

Quotes

Tommy Hendricks: You're the king of knock offs!
Marcus Ray: I was. But you're still a fake.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Samyy luchshiy film 3-DE (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Wind in New Orleans
Words and Music by Gabe Lee and Gary Justice
Copyright SOCAN 1997
Produced by Stephen Traub
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User Reviews

 
Avant-garde Hong Kong Action
23 March 1999 | by (Vancouver, BC) – See all my reviews

American audiences failed to appreciate one of the first serious attempts to bring pioneering Hong Kong cinematic techniques to Hollywood standards. John Woo's complete selling-out of originality to the lowest common denominator of American action films has emphatically NOT been followed by Taiwanese genius Tsui Hark. Twenty years from now, critics will look back and wonder in dismay how they could have ignored the MOST cutting edge film to be released in the 90's. "Knock Off" is this decade's "Blade Runner."

Jean-Claude Van Damme shows amazing acting range and comedic talent-at times he is reminiscent of Stoney Face Buster Keaton himself. Hark clearly learned from his weaknesses in "Double Team," this time willingly emphasizing them to get a laugh and then showing Van Damme's strengths as we've never seen them before. Rob Schneider manages to get some real acting in, a much superior sidekick role to the similar one he played in "Judge Dredd." Paul Sorvino literally chews the scenery as the mastermind Johanssen.

The camera-work is incredible. Arthur Wong takes us inside of a doll's eye, allows us to see from two angles at once, shows us x-ray shots of a sneaker's soles and utilizes freeze-frames to maximize suspense. At one point a tiny doll on a desk seems to be holding the two principles by their necks. Later their boss seems to grow to a superhuman stature as she chews them out for wasting company money.

It may take a while for this movie to be appreciated in the States, but word has it it was better appreciated in Asia. It's little surprise, this is one of the most Asian films ever to star Western actors.


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