September 26, 2008

Khon Fai Bin aka Dynamite Warrior (2006)


Seeing as it looks like we are going to have to wait awhile before Ong-Bak 2 gets any sort of release, due to Tony Jaa's breakdown, I thought I would check out some other Thai fight movies in the meantime. Following this review I will shortly be posting a review for Born To Fight, which I hope is better than this one. Not to say that this was that bad, it's just a mixed bag which I will get into presently.

So, what do we have here then? Well, the long and the short of it is that this is a movie about cattle rustling, no I am not kidding but I will elaborate. Set at the turn of the 20th century, Thailand is busy make the most of its biggest export, which is rice. To farm the ground though the farmers need cows in order to plow the fields. Traders and bandits realise this and do all they can to steal the cows in order to re-sell them. On top of this, the tractor is being introduced to Thailand, obviously this will make cultivating the land alot easier. Trying to take tractors to the masses is Lord Waeng, who isn't finding it very easy due to the high costs. So, he employs a convicted criminal to steal all the cattle thus increasing the demand for tractors.

Doesn't sound too riveting does it?

Well, the other side of the story involves Jone Bang Fai, a loner, who is trying to find the cattle rustlers that killed his parents when he was but a wee lad. He's grown up learning some bad-ass fighting skills as well as creating all manner of rockets (fireworks, not the Apollo sort) which he uses as weapons.

Eventually the paths of the two party's meet during the course of the movie, but into the mix you need to throw a couple of wizards, cannibalism, virgin's menstrual cycles and a fair bit more.

Dynamite Warrior starts of with a bang, with one hell of a cool fight scene, but then gets a little too fractured as it bounces from viewpoint to viewpoint before eventually settling into a decent rhythm. As you might expect the fight scenes are quite excellent, if a little over the top in places, and when Jone Bang Fai unleashes his fireworks it is a joy to watch, however the need for the Thai filmmakers to add in some completely out of place comedy left me feeling a little disappointed. Now, comedy in Thai movies isn't something new, they seem to do it all the time, but here it was just too much especially with Lord Waeng's character.

Technically Dynamite Warrior was an efficient movie, although the editing could have been a little tighter in places and the CGI varied from good to ok. Chances are though that you will watch this for the fighting, and it does come through in that respect. Some of the moves are incredible and, although it looked like wire-work was employed in some instances, there are still plenty of jaw-dropping moments. Some of the fight scenes are also surprisingly bloody, with limbs being lopped off and throats being slashed. That being said this isn't a particularly nasty movie, it's your basic good guy fighting the odds kind of flick so there aren't too many surprises in store.

Overall, I'd recommend Dynamite Warrior if you like your fight scenes, and I'll give the writer(s) credit for giving us a different kind of premise, but on the whole it was too much of a mixed bag for me.

Now, if only Mr Jaa could rejoin us on Planet Earth in the near future...

Rating 2.5 stars

Review by Jude Felton

5 comments:

Missing6 said...

So you aren't particularly interested in a virgin's monthlies...even if blended with wizard cannibalism? (Sort of an unnecessary mix of, um, crap?)

Soiled Sinema said...

I couldn't get through this film. Must force myself to finish it.

thebonebreaker said...

While I love Tony Jaa, I did not like this movie. . .

I was not aware of Jaa's breakdown. What's the story there?

Pain said...

Check out this thread on Wildside's forums. It gives part of the Jaa story.

http://wildsidecinema.proboards84.com/index.cgi?board=asia&action=display&thread=1737

The long and short of it though is that it appears the pressures of directing Ong Bak 2 got to Jaa.

thebonebreaker said...

Thanks Pain!

I'll check that out :-)