main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
Film: The Quest
The Quest is a 1996 martial arts film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. It focuses on a street pickpocket named Christopher Dubois who gets inadvertently in a smuggler ship to Siam, where is found by a mercenary Englishman, Lord Edgar Dobbs (Roger Moore), and sold as a slave to a martial arts master in the Muay Thai Island. After several months, Dobbs finds Dubois again, this time as an expert fighter in an underground muay thai fight. Seeing ahis opportunity, Dobbs buys Dubois's freedom so he can represent the U.S in a martial arts tournament called the Ghang-gheng, held in the Lost City of Tibet, where representatives of different countries fight for the Golden Dragon. Along with American reporter Carrie Newton and the heavyweight boxing champion Max Devine, Dubois leaves for his quest for the gold.

This film provides examples of:

  • All Germans Are Nazis: The German fighter has nazi-like traits and mannerisms, and is shown training at the Wewelsurg castle.
  • Artistic License Geography: In 1920, Okinawa was already a part of Japan, but for some reason the Ghang-gheng has separately a Okinawa representative and a Japan representative. On the other hand, Africa as a whole is represented by a single fighter.
  • Artistic License Martial Arts: The film lives on it. While it takes great efforts to present fighters who represent their lands with autochthonous fighting styles (to the extent of incurring very often on stereotypes) and in fact it's a unique film in the task of showing almost unknown martial arts, some of the fighters use techniques ostensibly uncommon for their respective styles.
    • The Scottish fighter features what seems to be English boxing with spin kicks. All while wearing a kilt.
    • Two in one: during his short apparition, the Okinawan karateka tries an outer legsweep (not a move impossible to see in karate, but still a strange choice) against the sumo, which fails, as the larger wrestler simply stands on and lariats him down.
    • The Russian fighter looks like some kind of folk wrestler, but he tries an elbow drop against the Spaniard. Again, it fails.
    • Khan is apparently a Mongolian wrestler, but he uses none of wrestling. Instead, his style is based around vicious Good Old Fisticuffs.
    • The biggest artistic license is the Spanish fighter's entire style, which doesn't have a real life counterpart, and resembles French savate more than none other. Interestingly enough, the French fighter does use savate, but he is quickly defeated and does not get much exposure.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Most of the fighters look quite wicked, but Khan is the evilest of them.
  • Badass Spaniard: The Spanish fighter.
  • Bar Brawl: The very opening.
  • Big Bad: Khan.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Devine.
  • Braids of Action: Both the Brazilian and the Turkish fighter.
  • Capoeira: Unsurprisingly, the Brazilian fighter uses this style.
  • Confusion Fu: The Chinese fighter alternates between Monkey Drunken Boxing and similar kung fu styles.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Most of the fights are pretty one-sided to show the winners's dominance.
  • Darkest Africa: The African fighter is portraited as a wild moraingy practitioner.
  • David Versus Goliath: The small Okinawan fighter is pitted against the gigantic Japanese one, and is swiftly crushed.
  • EagleLand: Maxie Divine.
  • Groin Attack: How the Chinese fighter defeats the capoerista. Also the Turkish fighter uses a testicular claw against the kilt-clad Scottish pugilist.

Only the StrongMartial Arts MovieRaging Phoenix
PusherFilms of the 1990sRansom

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy