20 Years Ago… The Quest - ManlyMovie

20 Years Ago… The Quest


20 years ago now, you may have been walking into a cinema to check out Jean Claude Van Damme’s (literally, he also directed it) The Quest.  It has been that long.  This was quite a decent film.

Critics looked upon the movie poorly, and it wasn’t a box office behemoth (it something like 47 million if I remember correctly, from a 30 million budget), but it sure was underrated.  The fights scenes were old school, but clearly filmed and well lit.  Yeah, a lot of slower and less ‘tap out’, but lucid and fun.

This was Jean Claude Van Damme’s last ‘good’ movie if you ask me.  It was all downhill from there, with a string of bad DTV nightmares leading well into the 2000s.  ‘JCVD’ or Universal Soldier 3 broke the streak, with The Expendables 2 being better too, for a Van Damme movie at the very least.

Here’s to The Quest!  A modest and effective beat ’em up movie…


  1. Mucho Macho

    May 2, 2016 at 11:56 am

    I still remember going to the cinema & watching this movie.
    The theatre was almost empty as I recall.
    I like the movie. Good fight flick.

  2. Just Some Polack

    May 2, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    It was pretty good until the last act, when they introduced this forced “revenge on the evil Mongol” subplot, which was such a blatant ripoff of Kickboxer. And the final fight, though spectacular, seemed to go forever.

  3. UpInHurr

    May 2, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I still remember going to the movies to watch it. A mere 9 years old and me the biggest Van Damme fan. The movie has been unfairly criticized for its similarities to bloodsport and kickboxer (what action and fighting movies don’t borrow from others right?) and all the drama that happened behind the scenes with Roger Moore ending up very bitter towards JCVD (I don’t remember what happened so don’t know who is right or wrong here) but, it is a very enjoyable movie either way….

  4. Jimmy Smith

    May 2, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    For me his last good theatrical release was Maximum Risk. Plenty of Rated R action, Ringo Lam as the director did a fine job and with Natasha Henstridge showing of her “assets” it was quite entertaining and way better than The Quest IMO. I also thought Knock Off and Double Team were underrated but not as good as Maximum Risk. Don’t overlook “In Hell” and “Replicant” in the early 2000’s which are some of the better direct to DVD action movies he’s made. I’d check them out if you haven’t seen them as well as Desert Heat was decent too.

  5. Barney Ross

    May 2, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Knockoff and Double Team are excellent for fans of cheesy 90”s stuff and made by the friends of JOHN WOO.

    • Jimmy Smith

      May 2, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      Agree with you there Barney. Those movies are great to watch after a few drinks. Theres a good double feature with plenty of cheese and good action. That final ship scene in Knock Off is damn good and the pairing with Van Damme and Rodman in Double Team is amazing.

      • Barney Ross

        May 3, 2016 at 3:22 pm

        That’s exactly how i see it dude. Long live 90’s cheese!

    • AlTeo

      May 3, 2016 at 4:59 am

      Tsui Hark (of Jet Li’s Once Upon a Time in China) directed both Knock Off and Double Team and his trademark ‘crazy’ style made those movies far better than expected.

      He used to be a rival of John Woo (after having bitter disagreements on The Killer) but they seemed to have made amends recently.

      Ringo Lam is the HK director Van Damme has worked with the most (3 films), having made Maximum Risk, Replicant and In Hell, and arguably the most plot driven among most of Van Damme’s crop of that era.

      I’d say any past HK action movie by Woo, Tsui and Lam are worth checking out. Bullet in the Head, Full Contact, Time and Tide, all three Better Tomorrow movies and City on Fire 1987 are definite manly movies in my opinion.

    • ColonelBobi

      May 3, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      I enjoyed Knock Off in parts. The bit with the exploding cheap ‘knock off’ sneakers was kinda funny. CGI green smoke was pretty shitty however.

  6. AlTeo

    May 3, 2016 at 5:10 am

    Whatever happened to his second directorial effort and passion project, The Eagle Path/Full Love/Soldiers, whatever name it’s called now? Six years since its Cannes release and it only pops up here and there in various cuts…