ⓘ Knock Off (film)

Knock Off (film)

ⓘ Knock Off (film)

Knock Off is a 1998 action film directed by Tsui Hark and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Rob Schneider. The film was released in the United States on September 4, 1998. The title is a double entendre, as the term colloquially refers to both counterfeit goods as well as targeted killing. The film is one of the last in the world to feature Kai Tak Airport still in use; the airport closed in 1998.

It was Harks second and last American film; he returned to Hong Kong after Knock Off, feeling unsatisfied with his work in the United States.


1. Plot

Marcus Ray Jean-Claude Van Damme, a sales representative for "V SIX" jeans, and his partner, Tommy Hendricks Rob Schneider, are about to be busted for selling "knock off" jeans a low-quality imitation of well-known products. Their American contact, Karen Leigh Lela Rochon, who is not only their employer but a CIA agent sent to find the mole in their operation, is threatening them with a jail term if they do not prove their innocence. Meanwhile, Ray and Hendricks meet up with Harry Johannson Paul Sorvino, who is a CIA agent that just happens to be a double agent for the Russian Mafia and a ringleader to the terrorists. He tells Ray that Hendricks is really a CIA agent and that they need Rays support. Ray and Hendricks then learn that Skinny Wang Glen Chin is involved with the knock off jeans and they seek him out; which results in the death of Wang and the pursuit of angry workers, who are loyal to Wang and who are under the impression that Ray and Hendricks killed him. Ray and Hendricks then learn that these knock off jeans are laden with nanobombs, which were developed by former KGB operatives who are in league with international terrorists that are utilizing a Russian Mafias scheme to bring this deadly technology to the black market and extort $ in monthly revenue from the world super powers. This particular order is to be shipped to the U.S. Furthermore, we discover that the CIA headquarters, in Hong Kong, is located on Lantau Island inside a huge Buddha statue, which is later blown up. In the end, Hong Kong is safe and so is the rest of the world.


2. Cast

  • Carman Lee as Ling Ho
  • Mike Ian Lambert
  • Wes Wolff as Dinger
  • Wyman Wong as Eddie Wang
  • Paul Sorvino as Harry Johansson
  • Lela Rochon as Karen Lee
  • Moses Chan as Officer Wong
  • Michael Fitzgerald Wong as Han
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme as Marcus Ray
  • Rob Schneider as Tommy Hendricks
  • Glen Chin as Skinny Wang

3. Release

Knock Off opened in the United States on September 4, 1998. It took the 4th spot and grossed in $5.516.2311 at 1800 theaters, at an average of $3.064 for the weekend. From there it grossed a total of $10.3 million in US ticket sales.


4. Reception

Knock Off holds an 8% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 39 reviews. The sites consensus states: "Muddled plot; stiff acting." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "D+" on an A+ to F scale.

Joe Leydon of Variety called it "an exuberantly cheesy action opus" that is made worth watching by Tsui Harks directing despite its confusing and formulaic plot. Paul Tatara of CNN wrote that it is "the most incomprehensible mess Ive ever had to sit through", and Jeff Vice of the Deseret News called it "incompetent in almost every aspect of filmmaking". Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times, however, called it Van Dammes best film to date and said it has crossover appeal due to its humor.