Knock Off

Bomb Rating: 

I feel bad for Jean-Claude Van Damme's proctologist. If his actingis any indication, it must take a lot of time and several hydraulic tools to get that guy's ass cheeks to separate. He walks around like he's some kind of frozen treat: Jean-Claude on a stick. You could sharpen a pencil if you got close enough to jam one into his rear end. The only thing stiffer than the guy's strut is his personality, which has all the flexibility of Margaret Thatcher at a rave after five double espressos.

Jean-Claude's latest film is an incoherent mess. Director Tsui Hark actually utilizes some interesting camera work, but only to distract the audience from the narrative, which produces seizures in those who try to actually follow it. My sources tell me that in secret screening tests, laboratory rats placed in front of "Knock Off" for more than five minutes at a time simply exploded.

In each of Van Damme's films, there's a new, ridiculous explanation as to why he's been allowed out of Belgium. In "Knock Off," V.D. has an adopted brother who's Chinese, which explains the geography but not the accent. V.D. runs a business with his buddy, Rob Schneider. Rob is a CIA agent. V.D.'s brother is somehow ripping off the CIA. The Russian Mafia is involved along with the head of Schneider's CIA unit (Paul Sorvino). After two hours, that's about all I was able to walk away with.

The Russians fight it out in the finale wearing hoods which seriously impede their peripheral vision (a handy allegory for their current economic situation when you think about it). After Jean-Claude dispatches them, he removes his shirt, pointedly repelling those pesky rumors of a third nipple.

There were two things that occurred to me while watching this heinous piece of crap. First: Somebody should toss Van Damme in prison for crimes against cinema and do a sequel: "Knock Up." Second: If only Jackie Chan had emerged to kick Van Damme's wimpy, pretty-boy ass into his next film, this movie might have had some redeeming social value.

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