Looking nearly as shopworn as the kickboxing cliches he's been recycling for more than two decades, Jean-Claude Van Damme gets himself entangled in a heretical conspiracy in the Holy Land. In the year 1099, fervent crusader Le Vaillant foreswore carnage and formed The Order, a cult combining tenets of the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths. In modern-day Israel, a devout contingent of Le Vaillant's followers continues to practice his peaceful teachings. But a hawkish disciple named Cyrus (Brian Thompson) distorts the Order's ecumenical intention in favor of fomenting religious war. Museum curator Oscar Cafmeyer (Vernon Dobcheff) is caught in the crossfire he possesses Le Vaillant's original manuscript, which clearly extols interfaith harmony. When Oscar is kidnapped, his black-sheep son, Rudy (Van Damme), who makes his living smuggling artifacts, drops everything to rescue his papa. Oscar's associate, Professor Findlay (Charlton Heston), hands Rudy the key to a safe-deposit box in East Jerusalem before being gunned down by unknown assailants. Israeli Police Chief Ben Ner (Ben Cross) views Rudy's arrival with hostility and takes steps to have him deported, but policewoman Dalia (Sofia Milos) risks her career to help Rudy; she's a former a Le Vaillant disciple. Cyrus assassinates the Order's true leader and steps up his inflammatory rhetoric, hoping to inflame his followers. Rudy opens the safe-deposit box and finds a map that shows a series of tunnels and a treasure room beneath Jerusalem. Ben Ner just covets the gold, but his partner the monomaniacal Cyrus hopes to plant a bomb during Ramadan that will turn Israelis against Palestinians. Dalia and Rudy must infiltrate the Order's monastery, free Oscar and prevent an explosion that could push tensions in the Holy Land past the point of no return. Given the bloody history of religious conflict in the Middle East situation, this adrenaline-pumping action trifle verges on being in execrably poor taste; fortunately, Van Damme can still kick higher than a Rockette.
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- Released: 2001
- Rating: R
- Review: Looking nearly as shopworn as the kickboxing cliches he's been recycling for more than two decades, Jean-Claude Van Damme gets himself entangled in a heretical conspiracy in the Holy Land. In the year 1099, fervent crusader Le Vaillant foreswore carnage an… (more)