The Order (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This Jean-Claude Van Damme film not only stars the Muscles from Brussels, but was written by him as well, and it includes some truly twisted stuff.

The premise behind it is that some of the early Christian crusaders became disenchanted with the hypocrisy of their religion, or any religion which exhorts people to murder in the name of religion. They abandoned Christianity and formed their own splinter sect, and were actually joined by Moslems and Jews in forming a kind of pansectarian amalgam. It seems that this particular sect still exists today, albeit as an underground cult, and they have treasure rooms, secret rites, lost scriptures, liturgical robes, apocalyptic predictions, and what have you. Your basic Ali Baba and Sinbad meet Conan the Barbarian and Genghis Khan in the 21st century kind of plot. No gimmicks there, just everyday human interaction on the most natural level.

You must admit that Mr Van Damme has quite an imagination.

The priests of this cult wear robes that look like those worn by Catholic priests on holy days that call for red vestments. With modifications, of course. Instead of the traditional Catholic symbols and lettering, they have their own distinctive iconography. So imagine a Catholic priest wearing robes with the symbols of Batman or Captain Marvel. One other major difference - the priests carry swords as well.

Forget that "turn the other cheek" crap.

There isn't really much of a plot - it's just a flimsy excuse to jump between the action scenes - and what little plot there is can best be described as utter lunacy. Ya get yer basic underground religious cults, ticking time bombs, apocryphal scriptures, "end of days" predictions, ethnic cleansing, and soldiers of fortune aligned with the cult leaders. (Although it goes without saying that the mercenaries and the religious nutbags will end up double crossing each other.)


none, male or female

The distinguished Hasidic scholar prepares for some intense Talmudic study, followed by  some serious ass-kicking. The one thing I like about Van Damme is his offbeat sense of humor.

Charlton Heston plays in a movie with a character named Ben-Ner.

(Actually Ben Cross plays this part.)

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Full-screen format

  • no meaningful features

The film does have some positives.

  • Van Damme and the director came up with some great fight and chase scenes.
  • There is some spectacular photography of Israel, especially the old neighborhoods of Jerusalem, the deserts, and the seacoast, all of which form excellent backdrops for action scenes. (Because, as noted earlier, it's all about the action scenes, after all)

The Critics Vote

  • there are no major reviews on line

The People Vote ...


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a D+. Extraordinarily goofy concept

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