The Quest
1996

A martial arts action movie starring, and directed by, Jean-Claude Van Damme. It is the only movie that Van Damme has directed thus far in his career, a fact that we should be thankful for -- because this movie really sucks.

Van Damme plays Christopher Dubois, a WWI-era American who, in a plot far too convoluted to describe in this space, happens upon an ancient Asian city which is hosting a fighting tournament. Each country is allowed one entrant, so Dubois takes the U.S. spot. Of course, he's the big winner.

Yes, it's basically the same plot as "Bloodsport." Except this time it's cheesier; the movie harps on the exoticness of the countries representated, as if to say, "Hey! Our screenwriter opened an atlas!" It also gives the bouts an Olympic feel, if the Olympics took place in a flaming pit and if the athletes wore ridiculous clothing.

The movie also has Roger Moore, strangely cast in a supporting role as a treasure-seeker trying to sneak off with some antiques. I think he was supposed to be comic relief; anyway, he's not very funny. (In contrast, he was quite funny in the otherwise-terrible "Spice World.")

The unstoppable evil antagonist (Khan, played by Abdel Qissi) represents the nation of Mongolia. He subscribes to the big-fat-guy-haha-you-can't-hurt-me style of fighting. He's no Bolo Yeung, that's for sure.

Really, I mean it: Don't watch this. It's not even bad in a funny way. It's up there with "Knock Off" and "Legionnaire" as the worst films in Van Damme's oeuvre. If you want to see a terrible Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, go rent "Double Team," the one co-starring Dennis Rodman and Mickey Rourke. Now that's entertainment.


Source: IMDB.com, of course

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