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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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hong kong | cia | undercover | market | van | See All (72) »

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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

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Country:

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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

The film is one of the last in the world to feature Kai Tak Airport still in use; the airport closed in 1998. See more »

Goofs

(at around 18 mins) Jean-Claude Van Damme tries to stop a black van by hooking his rickshaw onto the side mirrors of a van whose driver is a Caucasian. In the next shot (15:25), the driver turns into a Chinese stunt double. See more »

Quotes

Tommy Hendricks: I sign things too. In private.
Karen Lee: Oh, things like that falsified document?
Tommy Hendricks: Oh, no, no, no! Ray signs all the false documents.
Karen Lee: Oh, I agree. And I think you two have spent your time in Hong Kong getting drunk, chasing ass and getting massages in stead of taking care of company's business.
Tommy Hendricks: Look, the massage industry in Hong Kong is going through a really tough time right now. I'm just trying to help out the local college girls!
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Connections

Featured in Dans la peau de Jean-Claude Van Damme (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Crazy Mood
Words and Music by Caroly Larson and Gabe Lee
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.


23 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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