Tsui Hark’s career took a serious down turn when he decided to try hischances in Hollywood. To be fair though, this seems to be true of prettymuch everybody that decides to try a career in Hollywood. Tsui got off toabad start when he was teamed up with Jean Claude Van Damme (an indignityevery HK director seems to have to suffer on arrival in the US) to makethemovie DOUBLE TEAM. I haven’t seen DT, but it seems to be universallydespised. However, so is KNOCK OFF for the most part, which I find to bevery unfair as it has a lot to offer.
To properly appreciate the film, however, one has to take it in the propercontext. One has to realise that Tsui Hark realised he was not going to betaken seriously in Hollywood, and would probably be consigned to cheesyaction B-movies for ever if he stayed. I have no doubt he already plannedtoreturn to Hong Kong when he made KNOCK OFF, and decided to have a littlefunfirst – and channel a lot of Hollywood money into Hong Kong hands at thesame time. Keeping this in mind whilst watching the film reveals a wholelevel to it that I suspect most viewers do not appreciate.
Old English (West Saxon ), "to pound, beat; knock (on a door)," likely of imitative origin. Meaning "deprecate, put down" is from 1892. Related: ; . first attested 1774. is from 1827. Command "stop it" is first recorded 1880, perhaps from auctioneer's term for "dispose of quickly:"
At the commencement of the sales, he gave every one that wanted to purchase a paper containing a description of the lands that were to be sold; and, as the sales were cried, he called over the numbers and described the land; and when it got up to one dollar and a quarter an acre, if no body bid, after it was cried two or three times, he would say, knock it off, knock it off. [U.S. Senate record, 1834]