In my quest for movies with Tim-Man (a Swedish martial artist that's appeared in a lot of Thai-action lately) I stumbled upon this one. Tim-Man isn't in it, instead Nathan Jones filled in the spot as main character, and did a good job at it too! It was a nice break from the serious action movies I've been watching lately (this is an action comedy); Thai-acion is generally pretty brutal. In this movie, even though it's a comedy, with plenty of comedy too, there are some scenes you might not normally put in a comedy. Arms are broken, friends shoot each other, etc etc... but still, it's a comedy. You can tell by the circus music that plays in the background... and because there's plenty of humor. Mostly.
The story is about Barney, an Australian giant who arrives in Thailand. Somehow the police confiscate his passport, and until he can get it back he has nothing, no home, no money, no friends, nothing. The police give him some money and while sitting around doing nothing he meets a young pickpocket and her friend. They become friends and give him a place to live, and he helps out at a restaurant, though he keeps breaking mortars, by accident. It also turns out he turns red and goes on a rampage if he heats some kind of spicy papaya food (?), a feat that comes in handy when suddenly a bunch of bad guys pop up and the main characters are all intertwined in their evil business.
Here are a few quick shots of the action.
It's a down-to-earth story with a few pretty entertaining fight scenes. It's not just kicks and punches, the fights are all professionally co-ordinated, varied and intense, with some unique scenarios. Scenarios such as Barney jumping in through the windshield of a place (looks like he bumped his head in the process btw). I'm surprised that I've missed this movie, because anything with this kind of action is something I just have to watch. :) If you've seen Thai movies earlier and they fit your taste, then you should definitely see this one! If your unsure, maybe Born To Fight or Ong-Bak are better first-time choices, with real action, but this was a fun movie! On the other hand, maybe you're better off watching this first and then watching the kick-ass movies I just mentioned...
The only things that were a bit B in this movie were the special effects, but it doesn't bring down the quality of the film otherwise. I'll give it a high
rated 3/5: not bad
Nathan Jones' big break. :)
Well maybe it wasn't. Maybe he just wanted a vacation. Maybe he genuinely likes Thai culture. Maybe he likes the people there! Who knows. I like the people and culture too, so it was extra cool to find him in a movie like this the first time around, and second time: still uplifting.
I didn't remember the fight choreography being as good as it was either. Even the little girl. She goin' places. Don't recall if she's maybe the same one as in Chocolat and others, but if not I hope she paves her own path.
As for details: the plane scene might've been just a little fake-looking, and the chili powder getting thrown around during the ID bust felt like a wasted opportunity for Barney (Nathan) to go rampant - the police feel like a lose end after that too, and I'm not sure what happened to the Monks either, or what role they really played in this whole story considering the two kids did have a mom apparently... but overall you just can't not enjoy this movie either way. Loose ends or no.
I'm not sure I'll see it again, I feel like I remember a bit too much at this point, but it had me really laughing out loud at times, and these days it's rare for a movie to manage that for me.
Maybe I just need a break from my usual movie culture huh? Less Hollywood, more... Thaiwood?
What would you call it?
Whatever the brand name or lack thereof this is one feelgood fighting film of that particular all the more appreciable strain. I'm always impressed with how much damage Nathan seems to manage to take in his fights without (as far as I know) really sustaining lasting damage, and I would definitely love to try some authentic Pok Pok Papaya Salad some day.
Cheers y'all. This whole movie feels like family too.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle