Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Polished Turd or Hidden Gem: Knock Off

Welcome one and all to Polished Turd or Hidden Gem Week. Quick question: What is the single easiest genre to numb your mind and just carry your woes away? Nope, not a Romantic Comedy. Nice guess. Horror? Well if you are rooting for the slasher/vampire/werewolf/zombies then I suppose but I am speaking of the genre that takes all stereotypes, tropes and cliches, churns them like butter and tries to make a new spin on an old thing. Yup, action movies are the correct answer or at least the answer I was looking for. Whether it is buddy cops working out their differences in ethnic,age or sex, femme fatales, jiggly girls or bad ass women with cheeseball lines and a villain so over-the-top Jeremy Irons from Dungeons and Dragons would say, “Oh be a good chap and tone it down a bit.” So we combine the martial arts of the Muscles from Brussels, some Chinatown damage with moves and melee weapons, some explosions and a few hot girls to go with? Well this is Knock Off.

Oh God... I fell... right on my keys.

Marcus Ray (Jean Claude Van Damme of Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Double Impact, Universal Soldier, Double Team and Expendables 2) is feeling things are finally going his way. After being a designer fashion impostor giving nearly the right look to a low end piece of dog crap, he is off to start his new company with a designer jean label. With his contacts, his all-female staff and his equally sexist partner Tommy (Rob Schneider of Saturday Night Live, Judge Dredd, Down Periscope, The Hot Chick, Shark Bait and Norm of the North), a slick weasel with a head for figures they are on their way to bask in fortune..buuuuUuuuuut... imagine if you will a fine looking insurance agent Karen Lee (Lela Rochon of Boomerang, Gang Related, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Waiting to Exhale, Brooklyn's Finest, Blood Done Sign My Name and Supremacy) tells the boys that the last shipment of their jeans were not only cheaply made but frauds to begin with (Yeah I am already tired of writing knock off) and unless they get their cargo manifests fixed they will owe the company close to 5 million.

Getting with his mischievous, underhanded brother from another mother Eddie Wang (Wyman Wong of Who's the Man, Who's the Woman, Gang xing sian sheng, United We Stand and Swim, Bit luen, Love Undercover and 12 Golden Ducks) who tells Marcus that he was paid a lot to move some shipments around and make a batch of bamboozlement and no one is the wiser.

In Soviet Russia, bullet sales buy blue jeans!

Did I mention Soviets have developed a micro bomb about the size of a watch battery that can be set off by any electronic chirp or motion of so much as turning it on and off?? So Hong Kong police not thrilled with our duo dupers, Chinese gangs and street punks and finally the Soviets want their balls as well.

Can Marcus and Tommy make it out alive?? Will there be more explosions than a Michael Bay flick? Will poor Lela have to suck face with either of those two jackholes?

A few comments to register about this flick now. I am not expecting life affirming significance from my action movie nor do I expect it to usher me into the plateau of a higher learning. That being said I dropped “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot??!!” far too many times in this flick. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is Paul Sorvino doing in this? Why are these cars so easy to engulf in flame?? Are they running on a mildly stable nitroglycerin? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is with all the jiggly girls??!! Actually I know the last one, that panders to the chauvinist in all males sadly.

Our plot is already flawed when you put the name actor in a “EVERYDAY” scenario or workplace and not even attempt to make it feasible. I will buy the CGI in The Hobbit before I think Knock Off has any place in reality. That being said, this is exactly what you expect of an action film. Fist and gunfights, car chases and crashes, objectifying of women and pervs that enjoy that. This is not a bad film in the sense that it is choppy or poorly made. I spotted a few film flubs. An assault rifle turning into an SMG, back and again but nothing too horrible. Okay so I saw a dead guy in a boat tossing himself overboard as he was “kicked” over but nothing that terrible. Not brilliant but dammit you came to the Van Damme for some ass whippings and a few one-liners. Is it a polished turd or a hidden gem?

Got to be honest, I don't see it standing in many minds as that “one flick” with Van Damme. Mildly diverting, easy to entertain and most likely quickly forgotten is this writer's verdict. Feel free to see for yourself.

Shh...let the symbolism wash over you...