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A review of The Quest
by J. D. Rummel

Bad movies. I love them, God help me, I do love them so. The ones where things happen on screen and at the same time as I understand what they are supposed to accomplish, I also have the perspective to see them fall hilariously short.

Director: Jean-Claude Van Damme

Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Roger Moore, James Remar, Janet Gunn, Jack McGee

Rating: PG-13

Release: 04-26-1996

Time: 94 minutes

Buy Movie at Amazon.com They call him "the Muscles from Brussels." This week's Midnight Globe says he's gay and HIV positive. Well, there is only one thing of which I'm positive:

Mr. Jean Claude God Damn's movie, The Quest was really bad. Probably, because he aimed fairly high and missed. He directed from his own screenplay (there's money to be made in ghosting, I think) and although he had some nice moments, he more or less tried everything he had ever heard worked in a film:

The story starts in present-day New York where Jean-Claude Old Man beats up some punks, and tells his story in flashback.

Jean Claude was a 1923 street-clown Fagin type, who, in lamming from the mob and the cops, stows away on a slow boat to China. As he is about to be killed, Roger Moore, playing a pirate (yes, Roger Moore), blows up the slow boat, and maroons JC on a island full of Asians who are practicing for some kind of big fight called, I think, the "Poontang."

A title card flashes on the screen telling us six months have passed. Cut to Jolly Roger in a restaurant where he is trying to pick up this blond chick, who, as near as I can tell, served no purpose in the movie other than to look hot, which, as any guy will tell you, ain't so bad.

Roger, Roger's comic relief and pointless hot chick, go to a public fight and who should be competing but, God-damn!

God-damn allies himself with the three ciphers. Meeting the American boxing champ, Jean Claude stomps him in record time, prompting him to surrender his engraved invitation to the Poontang.

They all go to Tibet in a car, an elephant, and finally on horseback (the horses appear apparently because Roger wills it). At this ancient temple, a sort of international coffees assortment of testosterone types meet to pummel each other for the grand prize of a solid gold dancer, er, dragon.

The fighters include an African who fights to the accompaniment of drums, a Japanese sumo wrestler who looks like he is pinching a loaf every time he prepares to fight (looks a lot like the bm's in The Madness of King George), at least two spaz cases from appropriately exotic places, and a flamenco dancer from Spain. When the guy from Scotland (wearing his Braveheart skirt)loses due to the violent placement of a foot in his lower regions (hoot mon!), my fellow reviewer, Joel, said aloud: "He's been kilt!"

Anyway, Jean Claude overcomes his fear of his Mongol (or Mongoloid, the difference here is negligible) opponent, and wins honor, the hand of pointless chick, the book rights, and the lives of Roger and comic relief (they tried to swipe the gold dragon using the Kaiser's zeppelin).

Don't get wrong, I like Jean Claude movies. I don't think he's ever made a good one (maybe Sudden Death, or Time Cop come close) but I enjoy watching what he does do.