What starts as a friendly expedition to a rural town soon turns to a hostage take over, but fortunately the participants in this expedition are all masters of martial arts, and other sports, and athletes, and then there's the police officer - ready to light that final spark.
It's gritty. It's dusty. It's a bad ass battle, like Ong-Bak on steroids. If you loved the early days of HK action you'll enjoy this! The red thread may squiggle, but the energy's there. It's in the title as much as it is in the movie, and although I don't recognize a single name on the cast list I love them all. And the plot's no small-scale one either! It's nuclear. Military. Heavy stuff.
With patriotic American movies I often get annoyed at the constant propaganda and self-justification of actions that are often not really all good (isn't all violence always not good?), but with patriotic Thai movies?
I get inspired.
Maybe it's because they're fighting among themselves. They're not bringing any involuntary party into their battle. It's not America VS The World, but rather a clash between the essential good and bad... and sometimes it's not obvious, but depends on which side you stand. In this case though, yeah, it's most definitely a clear case of good versus pure evil.
And it's awesome! It might not be as awesome as the first time I watched it, but seeing it again, and feeling like it still is... that's gotta mean something! The stunts being real (like that one guy very barely evading getting his head crushed under the wheels of a truck) has a lot to do with it, but it's not just that. It's the energy. It's the intent. It's on a whole other level!
That some people almost died (and that some were probably seriously injured) during the filming isn't really anything to be proud of, but their willingness to put their lives at stake for this does say something about the movie itself! And about their mentality. And about working conditions in the third world, for good or bad...
Thai movies. Man. They're on their own level. If you haven't seen any before now's a good time as any to get started, and apart from this I'd highly recommend the original Ong-Bak and Chocolate. They're all great.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle