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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars destined to become a cult classic
I just watched this foolish film on TV with the sound turned off and it's gorgeous! The beautiful colors and so-called "chaotic" camera work deserve better reviews. Who cares about the plot? I usually hate this kind of movie, but it's visually stunning, and deserves five stars for that alone. I just ordered a copy so I can watch it again. I wonder if I'll...
Published on May 8 2002

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A good de Souza script botched up by chaotic camerawork
"Great film. Lots of action... Lots of... what else?" - Jean-Claude Van Damme
Hong Kong movies often have impressive stunts and fighting scenes, and the better sort (e.g. Jackie Chan's *Rumble in the Bronx*) sometimes even have good camerawork and photography. What they almost never have, however, is a really good script.
*Knock Off* is precisely the...
Published on Oct. 29 2000 by Jean-Francois Virey


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars destined to become a cult classic, May 8 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Knock Off (DVD)
I just watched this foolish film on TV with the sound turned off and it's gorgeous! The beautiful colors and so-called "chaotic" camera work deserve better reviews. Who cares about the plot? I usually hate this kind of movie, but it's visually stunning, and deserves five stars for that alone. I just ordered a copy so I can watch it again. I wonder if I'll ever bother to turn the sound on?
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4.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 -4 stars for this above average Van Damme Entry!, Oct. 5 2011
By 
Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Knock Off (DVD)
Knock Off(Sept/98)is an above average Van Damme flick co starring SNL alumni Rob Schneider and Paul Sorvino.The action and laughs are plentiful in this romp in Van Damme's old stomping grounds of Hong Kong.
The plot involves one Marcus Ray(Van Damme)who manufactures and sells V-6 jeans along with partner Tommy Hendricks(Schneider);set behind the take over of Hong Kong by China from Britain(about 2 years ahead of the actual event).The two have gotten themselves involved along the way in selling knock offs,clothes and items like the real thing,but not.One of Marcus' closest friends gets kidnapped during a rickshaw race in the streets.To add to this chaos,the Russians come into the picture and are into the miniaturization of bombs made to look like buttons or watch batteries.They are planting these items in various knock offs leaving Hong Kong and Marcus and Tommy are the front dupes for it,but do not know it.It seems Marcus's close friend twigged onto what was happening and that is why he was taken away.
However the Police become VERY interested in the knock off trade and the two are hauled in for questioning.They haven't even got off the floor yet when they are stopped and interrogated by V-6 jeans American contact in Hong Kong,Karen Lee(Lela Rochon).She is onto the knock off scheme and warns about the trouble they are in and face.Both set about to clear themselves,and eventually they come across Marcus' kidnapped friend in a squalid section of town.When he opens the safe to give Marcus the proof of what the Russian' are up to an explosive rocket hurtles out and kills him.The locals think the two have just killed him and Tommy and Marcus flee for their lives. They get separated and Marcus comes upon Tommy talking to someone about their operation and thinks Tommy is part of the set up.After a few tense moments where Marcus has the two hanging precariously over the edge top of a building,the truth is revealed to him.It seems Tommy,his partner for four years now,is a CIA operative and is working with his cohorts Marcus has come upon,to crack the knock off/Russian connection.They are taken to the Tian Tan or Big Buddha,that sits overlooking Hong Kong(then only about 4 years old) where the CIA base of operation,led by Harry Johanssan(Sorvino),is.When the two leave there is a huge explosion and the CIA operatives are seemingly no more.
However not all is as it seems.As the movie progresses we find not only is Johanssan very much alive and working WITH the Russians,but V-6 jeans rep Karen Lee is ALSO a CIA agent.She has been working undercover,farther obviously than Tommy,in trying to crack the ring and now all three are working together.After alot of chases the final showdown comes at the Hong Kong docks where a large shipment of bomb laden material is heading out to the U.S.Tommy,Lela and Marcus battle the bad guys to the bitter end to finally foil all concerned.
This is a typical Van Damme movie full of great fight scenes and lots of action.Schneider comes off quite well as a kind of foil and sidekick for Van Damme,never getting too silly.Van Damme surrounds himself with some solid acting and stunt talent to enhance the proceedings.There are also quite a few humorous moments.A good example would be the scene during the rickshaw race where Van Damme pulls Schneider vicariously through the streets of Hong Kong.Of course there are alot of mishaps,drivers colliding and general chicanery in order for some to win the race.During the race through a narrow street Van Damme/Schneider knock a fish vendor into his trough but Schneider ends up with a large eel in his hand.There is a shot of Van Damme's butt and you know what Schneider is thinking.Van Damme gets his butt slapped a few times,like a horse from a rider,and his reactions are priceless.The film was directed by Tsui Hark and like many Hong Kong directors they are not one for explanatory pauses.That is,take a scene where Van Damme is chased through the streets after his friend is killed.At one point he comes upon a moped.There is a shot of Van Damme looking down at it.Next shot has the motor revving and he is whisking his way down the street on it.Not that this is a bad thing,in fact it moves the film along.I'm just saying,it,and other such moments,can be a bit disconcerting or confusing to those not used to these types of films.The continuity is another issue that didn't get the attention it needed sometimes.For example,watch for the final fight at the docks.In one shot it is dull but dry,in the next there is a downpour,in the next it is wet but not raining.To add to this is actor Paul Sorvino(playing Johanssan)and his apparent nine lives,as in a cat.We see the Buddha get blown up that he was inside of which,somehow he miraculously survived.But most notably at the end of the film during the dock fights we see agent Karen Lee throw some button bombs near Sorvino,just as he presses a detonator and the ship he's on blow up in a green fireball.We see the green on his face as the flames surround it.Note that detonator because at the end of the film Van Damme has the charred relic in his hand and for fun presses it.And who is a street away putting mini bombs into a toy dinosaur....Sorvino!!!??? That's a head scratcher for sure,don't you think?
Technically,and NOTE,this DVd is in a FULL SCREEN a/r,and NOT the w/s a/r that is promoted on Amazon's web page.I don't know why that is.Nor in the w/s ratio it was originally SHOT in!Extras include the trailer and it is in Dolby 5.1 sound if wanted.The film is grainy at times,other imes pretty good but could use a good remastering when all is said and done.
All in all a half decent Van Damme entry sure to please his fans out there.Don't look too closely at the continuity but concentrate on the action and the fun Van Damme and company bring to the table.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Can I give it negative stars?, July 19 2001
By 
"maskedmonk" (San Luis Obispo, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Knock Off [Import] (VHS Tape)
knock'off', n. 1. an unlicensed, cheap copy of something, esp. fashion clothing. 2. when somebody makes the exact same movie several thousand times and nobody notices 3. a really stupid movie with Van Damme in it
Knock Off is the exact same movie that Van Damme always makes. He enters, is followed around by some groupies, there's some action, there's some comic relief, then more action, then a finale where he jump kicks someone off a building, or into a fire, or into someplace lethal. I have a problem with all of these bits because they are all so incompetently done. I especially have a problem with someone so stupid as Jean Claude Van Damme having groupies. If Van Damme can have easily excited young women follow him around and scream "eeeeee!" in high pitched voices, anybody can.
This particular movie follows Van Damme's attempt to foil a super-evil Russian plot to make fake cheap fake blue jeans that are so badly made they are easily torn in half by Deuce Bigalowe, Male Gigolo. (gigolos are defined as being male, so specifying that a gigolo is male is extremely stupid, but I'll insult that movie later, after I see it) The previously mentioned evil Russians will then flood the market with these cheap jeans, thus putting all rival blue jean making companies out of business, until Russia controls all of the world's blue jeans and will then be able to rule the world somehow. There might be super advanced microchips involved somewhere. Other than that, it's a really bad movie. The best part of the movie is the high speed rickshaw chase. Really, there's nothing more I can say after that. Don't see this move. Ever.
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1.0 out of 5 stars This is without a doubt the worst film ever!, Feb. 15 2001
By 
This review is from: Knock Off (DVD)
...I actually paid eight bucks to see this in the theatres! Hey, I know Van Damme is an awful actor and frankly I don't find him that great of an action hero but at least, sometimes, he's somewhat entertaining. But when I saw this, my thoughts on van damme sunk to an all new low.
So many problems witht this movie. Let's start with the small things. It is horrribly done. The camerwork is horrendous and the special effects are extremely cheesy and pointless. Those of you who may think that Rob Schneider is going to help this film on many levels...sorry, you're wrong. He's a very funny guy and, unfortunately, he got this horrribly written part. Van Damme, he's just awful!
The worst part of this piece... is the story! WHAT THE HELL? That's what I was saying the whole time I was watching this bomb! Something about selling products that are knock offs and Van Damme is a big cheat or something. Suddenly, there is all sorts of action and baddies and it turns out that everyone that Van Damme thought he could trust...he can't. WHO CARES? So Van Damme starts runnning around town, fighting people for no reason and screaming lines like "YOU LIED TO ME!" in that horrid French accent of his.
So, to finish up, Knock Off is an awful film. Don't pick this up. Please listen to me, I'm trying to save you here. We only live once, so don't spend any of that precious time on this! Knock Off makes Batllefield Earth look FANTASTIC! Van Damme, you have got to stop making movies!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Van Damme is still going strong, Jan. 7 2001
This review is from: Knock Off [Import] (VHS Tape)
"Knock Off" is set in Hong Kong and Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as a fashion designer who is unwillingly selling knock off clothes which easily tear. Van Damme and his sidekick (Rob Schneider) are up against enemy marketeers who are trying to cause a worldwide catastrophe by using tiny explosive devices in items such as jeans and toys and then shipping them all over the world.
"Knock Off" definitely proved that Van Damme is a better fighter than ever and that he can still make exciting movies. This movie has the best special effects, action sequences, and even the best fighting out of all of Van Damme's movies so far, and that's saying a lot because Van Damme has made many great fighting and action movies such as "Hard Target," "Bloodsport," "Sudden Death," and many others. I didn't like the movie's plot or story that much, but the action and fighting sequences are GREAT! If you like exciting fighting movies and if you like some of the other Van Damme movies, I recommend getting "Knock Off."
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good de Souza script botched up by chaotic camerawork, Oct. 29 2000
By 
Jean-Francois Virey (59500 DOUAI France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Knock Off (DVD)
"Great film. Lots of action... Lots of... what else?" - Jean-Claude Van Damme
Hong Kong movies often have impressive stunts and fighting scenes, and the better sort (e.g. Jackie Chan's *Rumble in the Bronx*) sometimes even have good camerawork and photography. What they almost never have, however, is a really good script.
*Knock Off* is precisely the opposite: it was written by one of Hollywood's best action screenwriters, Steven E. de Souza, the author of the first two *Die Hard*, among other classics. De Souza knows what drama is about, and if you try to abstract from what you see to what the original script must originally have looked like, you'll realize that behind *Knock Off* is a really good story involving fake designer jeans, Russian nanobombs, a CIA traitor, Hong Kong cops and enough twists and turns to make a highly entertaining story, livened up by a wacky, tongue-in-cheek attitude reminiscent of the author's *Hudson Hawk*.
However, seeing that might require much more effort than the ordinary movie-goer is capable of, for visually, the movie is completely spoiled by its director, Tsui Hark, who had done a much more decent job on the *Once Upon a Time in China* series. In the making of, actor Michael Fitzgerald Wong says of Tsui Hark that he "loves chaos". As for Tsui Hark himself, he explains he "tried to make the camera as free as possible", so as to give the impression of a "lunatic rushing through everything". This gives you an idea of his style, which is so epileptic and full of mannerisms that the action often becomes virtually incomprehensible, and that it is sometimes hard to understand who is doing what to whom where.
Moreover, the actors obviously lack proper direction, and if Rob Schneider and Paul Sorvino have enough experience to compensate for it, a less trained actor like Van Damme, left to his own devices, becomes a caricature of himself (though, admittedly, this is partly intentional.) Moreover, since the last twenty minutes are just a mindless, uninterrupted Tsui Hark action scene, the film is very likely to leave you with a bad impression, as most of the plot is resolved by the time it begins, and all that is left is for the good guys is to shoot (or blast or crush or dissolve in acid) the bad guys.
In my opinion, *Time Cop* remains Van Damme's best movie to this date. But with a better director, *Knock Off* would not have been far behind. I just hope Hollywood will not blame de Souza for the failure.
(Hong Kong movie-buffs might be interested to know that the second-unit director on this movie was Sammo Hung and that apart from Michael Wong, there's also a small role for Jeff Joseph Wolfe, who played a sympathetic cowboy in the Dr. Wong movie set in America.)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fun Van Damme action..., Oct. 2 2002
By 
L. Varnau "nerff20" (Indy) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Knock Off [Import] (VHS Tape)
Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of those actors you either are a fan of or you despise. Me? I'm a big fan, so that makes me a little less qualified to rate this film, but I'll review it nonetheless. It takes place in Hong Kong, where the market for "knock offs," or imitations of an original product, is blossoming. Van Damme and Rob Schneider play two business partners who are caught up in a nasty circle with the Chinese mafia, renegade CIA agents, and big bad guys. The action and direction from Tsui Hark is awesome, especially a scene where Van Damme slides around on a boat while beating up bad guys. Rob Schneider is not too annoying in this film, which is a good thing. The bad guy, however, was a bit underwhelming, but his demise works. Van Damme films are never any cinematic accomplishment by any means, but they can be, and usually are, plenty of fun. This is no exception.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An Underrated Action-Fest. Van Damme�s Still Got it., March 18 2001
By 
Bradley Tobin (Penrith, Sydney NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Knock Off (DVD)
"Knock Off" seems to be Too Hong Kong-ised for English Speaking Audiences, but not for me. Van Damme's somewhat Comical Performance is a Breath of fresh air, and his Jackie Chan-ish flare for dangerous escapes makes this a must for his fans, he really is trying to stretch himself here.. well.. as much stretching as he (and we) can handle.
Rob Schneider gives more Professional Comic Relief as Van Dame's Wimpy Offsider. Paul Sorvino also has a small role as a Shady Government Official.
Tsui Hark's Direction is up there with John Woo's. His Visual flare is Revolutionary. The Final Action Set Piece is Jaw Dropping, I was "Oooohhh"ing and "Aaaahhh"ing like a kid seeing fireworks for the first time.
"Knock Off" is a Hong Kong flick in an American flicks body. Real Action fans and Real Van Damme Fans should love it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great action in spite of a silly plot!, March 18 2000
By 
Mr N Forbes-warren "author of RESURGENCE and ... (Newport, South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Knock Off (DVD)
And cheesy special effects! But this movie held my attention throughout! Van Damme, playing a fashion tycoon's right hand man, helps the CIA track Russian terrorists who are using counterfiet goods to smuggle explosives(nano-bombs according to the script) to the US to cause a massive terrorist bomb plot. And the action comes thick and fast, including a rickshaw race, a van demolishing a supermarket and a great fight scene in a cargo ship. Van Damme displays his martial arts skills well, but this isn't his finest moment(that's reserved for SUDDEN DEATH and KICKBOXER!). Overall, well worth seeing, especially for tha cinematography.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the worst movie....EVER, Oct. 1 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Knock Off [Import] (VHS Tape)
I have never seen anything this bad before. I mean watching water boiling has more plot than this. I don't know what this is, man I feel sorry for the poor sap who produced this movie and didn't know what he was getting. The only good thing about it I think was the camera shots which is imperessive work....for the camera man. The acting is so bad it's almost funny. The computer graphics is laughable, actually it really is (especially the part with the exploding Buddha). Van Damme has his first hit comedy, even though it's really a serious movie.
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Knock Off
Knock Off by Hark Tsui (DVD - 1998)
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