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Knock Off (1998)

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0:31 | Trailer
A fashion designer who must join forces with a C.I.A. agent to combat terrorism.

Director:

Hark Tsui

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Claude Van Damme ... Marcus Ray
Rob Schneider ... Tommy Hendricks
Lela Rochon ... Karen Lee
Paul Sorvino ... Harry Johanson
Carman Lee ... Detective Ling Ho
Wyman Wong ... Eddie Wang
Glen Chin ... Skinny
Michael Wong ... Han (as Michael Fitzegerald Wong)
Moses Chan ... Officer Fong
Lynne Langdon ... V-Six Secretary
Ray Nicholas ... Karl (as Raymond Leslie Nicholas)
Jeff Wolfe ... Skaar (as Jeff Joseph Wolfe)
Michael Miller Michael Miller ... Tickler
Steve Brettingham 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

Taglines:

There is no substitute.

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony

Country:

Aruba | Hong Kong | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kontraband See more »

Filming Locations:

Hong Kong, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,516,231, 7 September 1998

Gross USA:

$10,319,915

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,319,915
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jean Claude Van Damme was held in custody by Hong Kong police for decent exposure See more »

Goofs

(at 15:25) Marcus (Jean-Claude Van Damme) tries to stop a black van by hooking his rickshaw onto its side mirrors. The driver starts off as a Caucasian male, then becomes an Asian male stunt driver in the next shot, before going back to being the Caucasian male again. See more »

Quotes

Harry Johanson: Once we have our little baby bombs all over the U.S., they'll be a monthly satellite bill that would make HBO green with envy. A hundred million dollars a month. And if they don't pay, we send the detonation signal... and good-bye, yellow brick road.
Tommy Hendricks: Good-bye, yellow brick road? Better buy some new CD's, Harry. It's pathetic.
See more »

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
See more »

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User Reviews

A work of genius
28 May 2003 | by jimbofletchSee all my reviews

I didn't expect Knock Off to be the film it was. I thought it would be another lame bit of Van Dammage, just like all the others, but wow! This is in a league of it's own. First of all, let me say this: it's not a good film: of course, it isn't! The script's diabolical, the acting is dreadful and the plot has got to be one of the silliest ever written.

Oh yes, but Knock Off works because it is truly bonkers. Truly out of its mind. Tsui Hark is a great director (check out the insane Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain, as well as the Hark produced A Chinese ghost Story, which is truly wonderful) and his irreverent approach works wonders here. Some of the camerawork here has to be seen to be believed: here, we have a shot from the inside of a shoe, the camera moving through a wall and through a computer...while, the action is wildly OTT and hilariously preposterous. Rough around the edges it may be, but the action is genuinely imaginative stuff. Like Van Damme's Hard Target, Knock Off has been blessed with a director who can stage great action, but unlike the irritatingly melodramatic john woo, Hark directs as though he's having a great time: even the dramatic (!) scenes border on intentional parody.

And then there's Jean Claude Van Damme, easily the funniest out of all the Schwarzenegger/Stallone/Seagal crowd. Funniest? Why? Cos he really looks like he's trying, bless 'im! The scenes where he gets all emotional (check out the bit when he confronts Hendricks on the roof top: 'YOU LIED TO ME!') are painfully funny because he just can't act at all. And because of his accent, lines like 'Don't you understand what you do....i-fax me?' (the 'i-fax' is supposed to be 'affects') sound highly amusing. Unlike that dullard Steven Seagal, van Damme's limitations as an actor are precisely what makes him watchable. Then there's the deeply stupid Rob Schneider, who plays EXACTLY the same role in everything he's ever done, and Paul Sorvino, who continues to destroy whatever credibilty he gained starring as Pauly Cicero in GoodFellas.

Plus, what's with the green explosions? The walkie-talkie dropping into the gangster's hand from nowhere? The bullet-shot that goes through the can of beans? Rob Schneider whipping Van Damme with a fish? The song at the end of the film? It's a complete mess!

Knock Off is easily Van Damme's best film, without a shadow of a doubt. It's utter rubbish, yet it's one of the funniest films I've ever seen. Of course, you need plenty of irony and an appreciation for stupid action movies to really get the most out of this. there are some people who will think that Knock Off is absolutely atrocious. And you know what, they're probably right too. But what's also correct is that in some deeply disturbing, dangerously perverse way, it is a work of genius.


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