Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sofia Milos, Charlton Heston, Brian Thompson, Ben Cross
Director: Sheldon Lettich
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Thriller about a man who searches for his archeaologist father who disappears after he says he is going to Israel. Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure Rating: R Release Date: 1-JUN-2004 Media Type: DVD
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The Order: An Indiana Jones Rip-off, but still ok.
S. Lawrenz | Milwaukee, WI | 01/12/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
Rudy Cafmeyer (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is an international artifacts smuggler whose father is a well known museum curator. When Rudy's father (Vernon Dobtcheff) goes missing mysteriously in Israel, Rudy embarks on a quest to find him. The end result is a confrontation with a lovely Israeli police officer named Dalia (Sofia Milos), the loss of a couple friends and being wrapped up in a religious conspiracy involving a strange middle eastern cult and a cultist (Brian Thompson) with nefarious plans.
About the Movie:
If you're looking for a well written, well thought out, well acted action flick, this isn't really it. But really, are we surprised? It has Van Damme in it.
In fact, The Order is something of a rip-off of the Indiana Jones movies. You have the archeologist father who goes missing, a son looking for him, a weird religious cult, and a lost religious treasure . . . Nothing new here, well, except for maybe the martial arts element.
But it's not all bad, making up for a silly, clichéd and completely unoriginal plot by having a few very enjoyable moments. Van Damme is an entertaining martial artist and while his fight scenes aren't as flamboyant or entertaining as, say, Jackie Chan's, he holds his own quite well. Van Damme even gets to engage in a sword fight in this movie, which is probably the first time I've seen him do that. I bet you can't guess who wins it.
The best scene in this movie, partly because the musical score adds so much to it, is the one where Van Damme is masquerading as a Hasidic Jew, with a beard, hat and curly hair, then has to run from the police through the middle of crowded Jerusalem. There's something very goofy about the whole sequence that makes it quite comic and a lot of fun to watch.
Charleton Heston has a cameo in this movie as well, both as the narrator of the opening teaser and in a role later on. Unfortunately, it has him dying rather senselessly in the first 3rd of the movie, wasting the talents of a great and notable actor. It would have been wonderful if Charleton could have played the role of Van Damme's father instead of Vernon Dobtcheff (who's put on accent was atrocious). Heston's such a solid actor, it was disappointing that he didn't have a more significant role.
The acting in this movie isn't great. Even Heston's role is a bit on the stagey side. And of course, Van Damme will never win any awards for HIS acting. But this isn't a movie you watch for the acting, and a lot can be forgiven since the attractive Sofia Milos plays the female lead and incidentally is probably the strongest actor in the film.
One strong point of this movie is the musical score (arranged by Pino Donaggio). It isn't on the level of top notch movie, but it's possibly better than many action movies have, blending humor and a real feel for its subject mater into what is at times, a masterful addition to the action sequences.
Overall, this is a brainless, sit down and have fun type of movie. There's certainly quite a few martial arts action movies of this type out there that beat this one hands down, but The Order has its high points and could be a lot worse.
About the DVD:
The Order comes in a plastic hard case on a double sided DVD with both fullscreen and widescreen versions in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. It has not been translated into any other languages besides its original English, though it does contain English and French subtitles. Both the video and audio transfer appear to be very good. Even on a high resolution screen, the video had only a little grain and few artifacts.
As far as special features, this movie has none except for three theatrical trailers, two being for other movies. It also has scene selections, though I don't count that as a special feature. Overall, this is a very basic, no frills DVD release.
Bottom Line: A unoriginal but somewhat entertaining film on a budget DVD release. 3 Stars."
Where To Begin?
TamaDrummer | Virginia | 04/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, first of all the viewers of this movie should not take it seriously. It's not that type of movie. Its more of a campy/spunky type action film. Yeah, it is a lot like Indiana Jones, and isn't Van Dammes best, but still has many high points to it. If you want Van Dammes best acting DON'T start here; go watch In Hell, Wake of Death, Lionheart, or maybe Timecop for that. For his action/martial arts skills this isn't a bad place to go. It has quite a few good action scenes in it. Van Damme is always cool as hell and has some good lines. The ending is also pretty good as well. With the ending you get Van Dammes best kick(jumps and glides) out of all his movies he has ever done, even at his older age. The movie as a whole isn't nowhere near as bad as a lot of people think. It's just another action film that Van Damme fans and MAYBE action fans should love. But like I said its NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY."
THE BELGIAN WAFFLES
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 10/03/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Jean Claude vanDamme's movies are obviously not meant to be taken seriously. The Belgian actor has always relied on his physical presence and kickboxing action to fill theatres or rent movies. In THE ORDER, he tries a more comic approach, in his attempts to locate his missing archaeologist father and a rare religious document. Brian Thompson has an uninspired role as Cyrus, the leader of a distaff cult of the Order, hence the title of this movie. There are some fun kickboxing scenes; the car chases are bland compared to those orchestrated by John Woo; and Sofia Milos is attractive as the lady cop who joins van Damme in his quest. I agree that Charlton Heston should have played the father; he's wasted in a cameo role. Pino Donaggio (Carrie, Dressed to Kill) does a nice score for the movie. Ben Cross overplays his villainous cop role with plum relish.
Standard van Damme fare, so don't expect anything more."
Van Damme's best since "Maximum Risk"
BD Ashley | Otago, New Zealand | 04/29/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"THE ORDER sees the reteaming of action star Jean-Claude Van Damme and director Sheldon Lettich (LIONHEART, DOUBLE IMPACT).
Van Damme plays Rudy Calmeyer, the son of an archeologist who has in his possession a rare scroll that belongs to an obsessive religious sect (No, its not the SPCS) who have a creative name like The Children Of God or something along those lines. Naturally the "COG" want the scroll back so they kidnap Calmeyer's dad and take him to their compound in Israel. But of course they hadn't counted on messing with Jean-Claude, who sets off on a mission to rescue his father administering various butt-kickings along the way. Calmeyer is also fortunate enough to have the assistance of a sexy Israeli cop, Dalla (Sofia Milos). But as with all looney cults there are ulterior motives involved: like creating a devastating bomb.
Thankfully I can't say the same about the movie, which features plenty of action, stunts and martial arts sequences which make THE ORDER easily the best Van Damme since MAXIMUM RISK. It's just sad that his movies get released direct to video now, as Jean Claude is in good form here and the story which he co-wrote is actually pretty good (esp.when compared to THE QUEST). Charlton Heston's role, in which he gets second billing is in actual fact really nothing more than an extended cameo. There's also some rather clumsy humor, a good example would be early in the movie where Van Damme steals a priceless egg from a museum but is caught by security guards. On hearing their warning shots the guy who is guiding him via radio asks "Was that a gunshot?" to which Van Damme replies "No, I farted". Somehow I don't think someone like say, Steven Seagal would be able to play scenes like this and get the intended laughs. Jean- Claude's back on top of his game with this one. Lets hope he can show action fans (and Hollywood) what he's really capable of."