The Quest (film)

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For the Academy Award Winning animated short film released the same year, see Quest. For other films with the same title, see Quest (film)
The Quest
The quest.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jean-Claude Van Damme
Produced by Moshe Diamant
Written by Steven Klein
Paul Mones
Story by Frank Dux
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme
Roger Moore
James Remar
Janet Gunn
Music by Randy Edelman
Cinematography David Gribble
Edited by John F. Link
William J. Meshover
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • April 26, 1996 (1996-04-26)
Running time 95 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $30 million
Box office $57,400,547

The Quest is a 1996 American martial arts film directed by Jean-Claude Van Damme in his directorial debut, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Roger Moore, James Remar and Janet Gunn. The film was released in the United States on April 26, 1996.

The plot revolves around an international martial arts tournament. Claims by Frank Dux that it was a rework of a script Frank Dux wrote entitled "The Kumite" were rejected by a jury.[1][2]

Plot[edit]

Late night in a bar in the present day, an old man enters and awaits service. Not long after, a group of thugs arrive and attempt to rob the till. The old man defeats them easily one by one with hand-to-hand combat. Amazed, the bartender asks who he is. The old man replies it was long ago...

Christopher Dubois (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is a pickpocket in his mid-twenties living in 1925 New York. Orphaned as a child, Dubois looks after a large group of young orphans by performing cons and stealing. After stealing a large sum of money from a group of gangsters, Dubois and the children are found by the gangsters. Dubois is able to subdue the gangsters with his physical skill, but the struggle draws the attention of the police. After promising to return to the children, Dubois escapes the police by stowing away on a boat. He is eventually found out by the crew and imprisoned by gun smugglers and pirates and forced into physical labor. Eventually, the crew decides Dubois is no longer needed. But before he can be killed, the pirate ship is attacked and boarded by a mercenary Englishman, Lord Edgar Dobbs (Roger Moore). After saving each other's lives, Dobbs agrees to help Dubois return home, but deceives him and sells Dubois into slavery on an island near Siam, where Dubois is trained in Muay Thai fighting.

After 6 months, Dobbs and his partner Harri Smythe (Jack McGee) find Dubois fighting in a Muay Thai match and see that he has become a skilled fighter. Dobbs later assists (and to some extent exploits) Dubois, buying Dubois' freedom so the now expert fighter can represent the U.S in a Kumite like tournament called the Ghang-gheng, held in the Lost City of Tibet, where representatives of different countries like Germany, Soviet Union, Scotland, Spain, Turkey, Brazil, Korea, Siam, Greece, France, China, Japan, Okinawa, Africa, and Mongolia fight in elimination bouts, and the winner of the tournament receives a valuable statue, the Golden Dragon. Along for the journey are American reporter Carrie Newton (Janet Gunn) and heavyweight boxing champion Maxie Devine (James Remar).

Dubois ultimately wins the tournament by defeating the representative of Mongolia and he is given a medal and proclaimed the greatest fighter, but does not accept the Golden Dragon. Instead he trades it for the lives of Dobbs and his comrade Harri, who were sentenced to death for trying to steal the Golden Dragon.

Back in the bar, Dubois explained he never received the Golden Dragon. Instead, he returned to New York and helped the children get off the streets. Ultimately, things turned out for the best. Devine helped to train many great fighters. Dobbs and Harri opened a trading post deep in the Amazon. In the final scene, a book by Carrie Newton closes revealing its title; 'The Quest'.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

It is set and filmed in Bangkok and Phuket Thailand in 77 days on March 1 and May 17, 1995.

Box office and critical reception[edit]

Overall, the film was a modest commercial success; made on a budget of $30 million, it earned $21.6 million at the American box office and $40 million internationally, for a grand total of $61.6 million.[3][4]

The reaction of many professional film critics was negative, citing the Quest's thin script, Jean-Claude Van Damme's direction, and too much resemblance to Van Damme's previous hit Bloodsport. However, some critics praised the film's production values, beautiful locations, and Roger Moore's performance, while fans of martial arts films praised the Quest for showcasing various fighting styles from around the world.[5][6][7][8][9] The Quest currently holds a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Van Damme Cleared in Suit Over 'Quest'". The Los Angeles Times. 1998-11-11. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  2. ^ "Van Damme Victor in Clash". People. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  3. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (1996-04-30). "'The Quest' Finds Its Audience". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  4. ^ Brennan, Judy (1996-05-06). "u'The Craft' Has the Knack for Scaring Up an Audience". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03. 
  5. ^ Thomas, Kevin (1996-04-26). "A Knockout for Director Van Damme". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  6. ^ Maslin, Janet (1996-04-26). "FILM REVIEW;Van Damme as Auteur". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  7. ^ Levy, Emanuel (1996-04-26). "The Quest". Variety. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  8. ^ Lasalle, Mick (1996-04-26). "`Quest' Great for Kicks". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  9. ^ McGavin, Patrick (1996-04-26). "Van Damme's Directorial Debut `Quest' Ambitious But Predictable". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 

External links[edit]