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The 100




Knock Off
(1998)
Reviewed by Russell Lutz
Rating: 8 Beans

hat a joy to be the first reviewer on BMN to get to write about this cinematic feast!

No one goes into a Jean-Claude Van Damme film expecting much. And throwing Rob Schneider into the mix didn't help "Judge Dredd" and it doesn't help this film. Lela Rochon and Paul Sorvino seem almost to be afterthoughts as well.

I was prepared to give this film some slack. Even though the opening (a wildly implausible ricksaw chase) is ultimate kookiness, I thought it was interesting kookiness.

But then they tried to insert a plot into the swooping camera moves and claustrophobic editing, and they did a poor job. I believe it had something to do with bombs and a blackmail plot against the ENTIRE United States, but who really knows.

Even more confusing is the presence of two local Hong Kong cops whose actions suggest they are important, though in the final cut they are merely ciphers. (I'm forced to postulate that this was a local production that was somehow co-opted and populated with "American" actors.)

The viewer's confusion steadily mounts until the final confrontation on a barge in Hong Kong bay on the day of its transfer back to China (a plot point which was basically never used). The meaning of the sliding, shooting, kicking, and exploding is anybody's guess. And the now ridiculously inept editing just transforms what might have been a reasonably interesting camp piece into the latest piece of mock-Hong Kong garbage.






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