The Quest is a 1996 American martial arts film directed by Jean-Claude Van Damme in his directorial debut, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Roger Moore, James Remar and Janet Gunn. Late night in a bar in the present day, an old man enters and awaits service. Not long after, a group of thugs arrive and attempt to rob the till. The old man defeats them easily one by one with hand-to-hand combat. Amazed, the bartender asks how he learned to fight. The old man replies "it was long ago..." Christopher Dubois (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is a pickpocket in his mid-twenties living in 1925 New York. Orphaned as a child, Dubois looks after a large group of young orphans by performing cons and stealing. After stealing a large sum of money from a group of gangsters, Dubois and the children are found by the gangsters. Dubois is able to subdue the gangsters, but the struggle draws the attention of the police. After promising to return to the children, Dubois escapes the police by stowing away on a boat. He is found out by the crew and imprisoned by gun smugglers and pirates and forced into physical labor. Eventually, the crew decides Dubois is no longer needed, but before he can be killed, the pirate ship is attacked and boarded by a mercenary Englishman, Lord Edgar Dobbs (Roger Moore). After saving each other's lives, Dobbs agrees to help Dubois return home, but deceives him and sells Dubois into slavery on an island near Siam, where Dubois is trained in Muay Thai fighting.