The Clint Achilles Chronicles

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Van Damme-a-thon 2015: Knock Off

I want to go out with my reputation intact. I always made a quality piece of crap.


Movie Boiled Down To Brass Tax: Crank Zero Pre-Statham

Silver Tax Expansion: Alright, I’m going to do my best here because I’m a semi-professional, but this movie is so wacky and all over the place that I can’t guarantee any kind of concise explanation of it’s lack of plot. JCVD plays Marcus Ray, a clothing company higher up in Hong Kong. His partner is Tommy Hendricks, played by Rob Schneider, who is actually CIA trying to uncover a knock off ring that is responsible for smuggling Russian nano-bombs into the country(and I guess selling them to other countries). Meanwhile another CIA agent is posing as a member of their company trying to find out who the CIA agent mole is that is secretly working with the Russian mob. So it’s up to Van Damme to prove that he isn’t a knock off artist and to also stop the CIA from blowing up the world in a giant green flame cloud.

Golden Dragon Review: People love to hate on this movie, and I can see why, but to me it’s just a wacky action movie with a sense of humor about itself. Sure the plot is completely nonsensical and it has more swerves than a Vince Russo booked WCW PPV(Rob is Van Damme’s buddy cop partner, no wait he’s CIA, that chick is busting them, oh wait she’s the bad guy, no she’s not she’s CIA too, that guy that blow up is alive, and oh snap, he’s the bad guy, oh wait he’s still alive, oh nevermind not anymore), but it’s still a lot of fun. This movie is shot Sam Raimi style, in that there are all kinds of crazy camera angles and wacky edits(very reminiscent of Darkman and Army of Darkness). We get to see inside shoes, first person perspective, down the scope of a rifle, people turn into fish, frogs turn into explosions, guys legs are falling off, really how can you not find this entertaining? I also have to believe that this movie was a huge inspiration for Jason Statham’s Crank series, as all the signature elements are there(insanity abounds in a humorous way with nonstop action and all kinds of wild cinematography). I guess some people find that sort of film making jarring, but it’s all apart of what you’re signing up for when watching this type of movie. Of course the Statham movies had a bigger budget, better technology, and much better scripts(and think about that for a second), but this movie was it’s precursor. There’s a lot to like here, Van Damme displays some nice wink wink nudge nudge moments, because he knows what happened to his career at this point. I like to think that his character Marcus Ray had a drug problem and that’s why he started making knock off clothes, but the truth is that Jean-Claude Van Damme had a drug problem and that’ why he made Knock Off. Jackie Chan was starting to get really popular around the time this movie was made and it is very evident watching the action and fight scenes that they were really trying to emulate that Rumble In the Bronx Jackie Chan style. It works to varying degrees. It’s not the typical JCVD action but it’s a nice change up. There are some really cool action sequences, specifically when Van Damme is sliding around shooting people on a giant boat in-between those huge shipping crates. Obviously this isn’t his best work, but I still like this one, and hey, Schneider isn’t nearly as annoying as he can be.

Platinum Van Damme Rating: 3 Spin Kicks Out of 5.


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January 2015
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