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on July 14, 2007
I have seen this film so many times, and every time I think I love it more and more. Sure its a Van Damme movie which means its not up to par with most of Hollywood and it may be cheesy with its title and story, but I find it to be an original Van Damme story, with a very involved and entertaining martial arts tournament, even more enjoyable than that in Bloodsport.

The Quest is about a young man named Christopher Devoir (Van Damme), living homeless in NYC with a group of homeless kids. He gets caught stealing, and leaves the country sneaking onto a ship, promising the kids he will return. He then escapes the ship onto another, a last ship of the Buccaneers led by Lord Edgar Dobbs (Roger Moore, from the James Bond films). Immediately, he is sold secretly to the Thai on an island to be trained as a Muy Thai fighter. Months later, he runs into Dobbs again, and requires Dobbs to repay him for his dishonesty towards him. The Quest therefore begins, to find the golden dragon, awarded to the greatest fighter in a martial arts tournament held at the Lost City. The plot still unfolds with some more twists, right until the very end.

The best part of this movie is the tournament, which takes up about the last half of the film. It consists of the greatest fighters from around the world (oddly enough, quite similar to that of Bloodsport). I actually found this tournament to be more enjoyable than Bloodsport, with a lot more unique fighting styles. The arena is also much larger than the Kumite arena in Bloodsport, and sets the tone well for the fights. The camera work and sound effects make the punches and kicks seem quite hard. There are many fighters in the tournament that are from many other martial arts movies including Bloodsport 2, Bloodmoon, Shootfighter 2, and Lionheart.

As with most tournaments, there is always a big, bad villainous fighter. Chong Li was the charcater in Bloodsport. In the Quest, it is an unnamed Mongolian fighter, who is the same guy Van Damme fought at the end of Lionheart. They fight a huge 8 minute final fight, that is kinda like a no holds barred fight. It begins on the arena platform, but eventually extends beyond the gates and outside at night time.

Made in 1996, this is probably one of the last of the great Van Damme films, and one of the last times he performs his famous high split kicks, also seen much of in Bloodsport. A different but original storyline for Van Damme. Its quite interesting, but can be slow at times. The tournament is the real fun and excitement, and keeps the last half of the movie moving along nicely. Any fan of great martial arts tournament style movies should definetly check this out.
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This Motion picture does have a plot.The movie has alot of action. It is a combination of a bloodsport, and kickboxer, but a better version I believe. The fight scenes are fantastic. Their is alot of fighting, and there is a lot of quality acting from Van Damme, and Ex-bond of the past Roger Moore[both are superb actors]. The only disappointment I have is that Janet Gunn did not play the hot babe who was after Jean Claude. The chemistry looked so so, it was there, but that magic was missing, the chemistry! I recommend this movie to all the old and new fans who like and admire Jean Claude-. A great motion picture!
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on June 5, 2002
Van Damme, the genius, is now the director. Yes. He has pretty much recycled "Bloodsport" and released "The Quest". Even though people may not like it because of the lack of originality, this movie rules the animal kingdom. Forget the ridiculous food chain, this movie eats up the competition. Oh yes! Van Damme enters a sacred tournament and devours all of his competition and slowly digests the huge Mongolian dude at the end. This movie is self-explanatory and you must buy this immaculate piece of art.
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on June 15, 2013
Big fan and this was a good one. almost like, "BLOODSPORT" but i liked it a lot. and glad i got it. i recommend it to anyone into Van Damn
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on December 15, 2001
I found this movie very captivating. The whole tournament was very interesting and entertainment. I would recommend this movie to any martial arts fan and even some who arent. It really feels like a much more cinamatic experience than other Van Damme flicks, he should direct more movies in the future.
And interesting note, the guy who played the big tough Sumo in the film participated in a UFC event, and got (beat) by a much smaller opponent. So it is unrealistic in some aspects, but still a great movie.
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on August 11, 2015
I think the beginning of the film is okay.
Us viewers get a good look at the fighters who will be at the tournament in the lost city. & someone from there is giving scrolls to them. About a tournament that's going to be held. The one who wins receives a statue of the golden dragon.
Christopher Dubos (Jean Claude Van Dam) is a homeless guy who lives on the streets, him & a group of boys. Suffering from poverty they make a living stealing, money, food, excedra. Me? I thought he looked pretty funny dressed as a clown on stilts. But he knows how to fight. Even if he does get chased by the police.
At the end I was a little disappointed. He had said to Cody (no matter what happens I'll come back. I promise.) That's after he gets away from the Law when gangsters shoot up a warehouse then the police Chase Christopher once again. & he sneaks onto a ship, & soon forced to work as a slave.
Unfortunately Lord Dobbs known as Edgar (Roger Moore) & his chubby sidekick Harry find him. & rescue him. They don't take him back to America. They just seem to be aware of his destiny you might say. & they drop him off with this guy to learn to become a Muy Thai fighter.
Later he meets back up with his friends, which include Dobbs, Harry, Former boxing champion Maxie Devine & a girl who claims to have the tickets to the lost city & insists on making a deal with Edgar Dobbs.
The tournament includes many deadly fighters from around the world. Some of them can damn sure hurt you! The toughest fighters are easily underestimated by the weaker fighters. Who are easily knocked out cold or end up with severe broken bones, busted ribs or whatever.
The stupidest part of this movie was when Dobbs & Harry tried stealing the Golden dragon with the blimp. I knew they couldn't possibly get away with it without being seen! & they're thrown in the slammer.
Maxie Devine gives Dubos all the confidence he'll ever need & encourages him. Dubos makes a deal (If he wins his friends Dobbs & Harry will go free & they'll keep the dragon.) Why bother with them? I thought what they did was stupid! This movies okay.
Its very interesting. & plenty of thrills & action. Its worth watching. Dubos wins after fighting the toughest guy from Mongolia. The beginning starts out with Dubos as a senior aged fellow telling the bartender his story. At the end he says I didn't get the dragon. But I returned to New York like I promised & got the kids off the streets. But I think that should have been included in the movie! I didn't see him return, Why?

If You like Jean Claude Van Dam Check this movie out. You'll either like it or you won't!
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on June 1, 2008
When watching "The Quest", you can tell that Jean-Claude Van Damme's career was already in its mainstream descent: directed by himself, it's basically a retelling of Bloodsport without any and all cult intrigue and co-starring a way-past-his-prime Roger Moore who would go on to publicly blast his own involvement later on. Though I've never been a hardcore fan of Van Damme's, I'm always ready for a good action film - "Quest", however, is merely a bad film with good action scenes, remaining miles behind what the Muscles did earlier in his career before he decided to take up the reins himself.

The story: Van Damme is Christopher Dubois, a 1920s pickpocket whose frequent run-ins with the law get him shanghaied on a smuggling ship from which he is "rescued" by a mercenary Englishman (Moore, The Spy Who Loved Me) who sells him into a Thai fighting circuit. The two inexplicably reunite and agree to aid eachother as they enter a Tibetan tournament pitting fighters from all over the world for the prize of a valuable golden statue.

Let's get right to the good stuff, the fighting. In short, it's good but not great. The choreography of the encounters in the tournament (done by Peter Malota, returning from Double Impact) regularly surpasses that of "Bloodsport", with faster action that is just as hard-edged and fine representation of a wide variety of fighting styles. Notable combatants include a returning Abdel Qissi (Lionheart), pro wrestler Kitao Koji, Stefanos Miltsakakis (Bloodsport 4: The Dark Kumite), and Ong Soo Han (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story). Disappointing is the length of most of these fights: with the exception of Van Damme's fisticuffs, each encounter is lucky if it lasts more than 20 seconds, even when the complete fight is filmed from start to finish.

Sadly, the tournament only begins about halfway into the movie, and just about everything leading up to it is Van Damme's lackluster attempt at storytelling: it seems like he was going for something epic and character-driven, but despite its impressive scope, the film feels very compact and vanilla, and is populated by stock characters that don't grow on you. Some of them - like Janet Gunn (Carnosaur 3: Primal Species) as a worldly newspaper reporter, role Madonna turned down - feel practically forced on you because their prominence grossly exceeds their contributions to the story. Production values are sound, although that may be because a lot of the movie was shot on-location in places whose beauty speaks for itself.

The repetitive use of slow motion during the fight scenes might irk others than me, but that's not going to bring down the film down even more if you already dislike it. While I enjoy the movie more than some of Van Damme's more universally-acclaimed features, "Quest" will give viewers plenty of time to use the bathroom or make popcorn before anything of note happens. Though fans will surely scoop this one right up, newcomers to Van Damme should save this film for later in their experience.
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VINE VOICEon January 14, 2009
The Jean Claude Van Damme Review Matrix (JCVD-RM)

1. Who is he? Christopher Dubois, whose story is too complicated for a one sentence breakdown
2. Which family member/friend must be avenged? No avenging needed, but he's got kids to feed.
3. Does he take his shirt off? The closest he gets is the tank top version of a thong.
4. Does he have sex with a C-List actress? No sex, all business
5. Is there a tournament? Oh...YES there is!
6. Is training needed for this tournament? Absolutely, and all training takes place amidst the sweltering squalor of Bangkok Muay Thai fighting
7. Does he do the splits in training or in the tournament? It probably doesn't count, but after a vicious spin kick in the final battle, JCVD stretches that extra little bit to show a slow-mo, suspended splits shot.
8. Does he punch someone in the balls? Patented by Ric Flair of wrestling fame, JCVD delivers the reverse heel to the twins
9. Does he do a series of flying or 360 kicks? In slow-mo even!
10. Is his enemy unbeatable? After beating every previous opponent with little more than a stiff jab, the final enemy for JCVD is a Mongolian beast, part Chong Li from Bloodsport and part Attila from Lionheart (actually the same actor who played Attila).
11. Does he overcome an injury or other hindrance? A rarity for JCVD, the entire tournament is on the level.
12. Does he win? Not only does he win, but he delivers what is probably the best overall fight scene in his career.

Christopher Dubois has a crazy story. First he's a juggling clown on stilts caring for a bunch of criminal orphans in New York. Then he's enslaved on a gun-running ship after being discovered as a stowaway. Next, he's in a pirate battle complete with cannon fire. He then becomes captive on a martial arts training island replete with Muay Thai fighters. Eventually, he becomes a champion whose will has been forged by countless shin-shattering leg kicks. Meanwhile, monks are dispersed all over the country to invite a myriad of combatants to the Kumite...er...Ghang-gheng.

So, essentially, the entire thing is an amalgamation of the invitation from Enter the Dragon (or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory if you prefer), the orphan being taken in by criminals from Oliver Twist, and the tournament from Bloodsport.

The Ghang-geng tournament is diverse. The director, who looks like Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China, has invited everyone. Sumo, Muay Thai, Sambo, Judo, Kung Fu, American boxing, Savate, Tae Kwan Do, all forms are represented, even that incredibly lame Capoeira garbage. What's great is that the entire tournament borrows, just like Bloodsport did before it, straight from the racial and country stereotypes from Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!. Unbelievably, the final battle even featured JCVD's enemy doing the "Bull Charge" and Super Macho Man's Spin Punch. What's more, JCVD manages to pull off the "drum technique" from The Karate Kid II, as well as a finishing blow Sho-Ryu-Ken from the Street Fighter II game. Soak in the special moves people, soak'em in.

This is great JCVD tournament action, paying homage to what made him famous: Bloodsport. The original was better, but this is solid on its own merits. Oh, and by the way, Roger Moore co-stars, so you know the acting and production is superb. ALL action and martial arts fans should love this movie.
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on May 25, 2012
I saw this movie in the theaters, and really enjoyed it, one of his best he ever did, now on blue ray it rocks, great picture and sound, this is very underated and thanks for a great price on this, my fav blu so far this year
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on January 6, 2009
The plot may have been iffy to some, but I never really cared. I enjoy it most for it's fight choreography. Bloodsport was a little better, but for the price this can't be beat.
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