Knock Off

on September 04, 1998 by Dwayne E. Leslie
   A knock-off is a low-quality product that copies a name brand and tries to capitalize on its success, and "Knock Off" is a low-quality film that copies action formulae to little success. Marcus Ray (Jean- Claude Van Damme) represents a company that sells knock-off designer jeans in Hong Kong. Things are going well until he finds out that someone is smuggling micro-sized bombs in his jeans. To add to his worries, he is under investigation by local law enforcement over a murder and by the CIA because the books don't add up. With the help of his partner (Rob Schneider), he sets out to clear his name, save his company and stop the bombs from reaching their destination.
   A typical Van Damme film, "Knock Off" has some fight scenes that are very exciting to watch, but the rest of the film leaves a lot to be desired. The story runs out of steam quickly, and uneven pacing strains patience. Van Damme's co-stars ultimately save this film from being a total waste: The beauty of Rochon and the wit of Schneider help keep the audience tuned in. Sorvino's talents, however, are completely wasted. Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lela Rochon, Rob Schneider, Michael Fitzgerald Wong and Paul Sorvino. Directed by Tsui Hark. Written by Steven E. De Souza. Produced by Nansun Shi. A Tristar release. Action/Adventure. Rated R for continuous violence and brief language. Running time: 90 min
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