March 3, 2013

Filthy Review - 'Muay Thai Warrior'

Muay Thai Warrior (2010)

Review by Jude Felton

Whilst the quality of the films that Well Go USA release over here in the States can vary dramatically, there cannot be any disputing that their packaging of these releases is quite wonderful. It is quite apparent that a lot of time and care go into this, and I for one am grateful. On occasion though the content on the disc does not quite live up to the visual promise of the accompanying sleeve, which is always a shame. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Muay Thai Warrior aka The Samurai of Ayothaya.

Muay Thai Warrior is, believe it or not, a Thai movie that revolves around Yamada, a young Japanese samurai who is betrayed by his fellow countrymen. Licking his wounds, Yamada finds himself in a small village, where he is taken in and trained in the art of Muay Thai. The reason for this is that the King is looking for personal bodyguards, which is the highest honor these fighters can achieve.

So, what you get is plenty of training, along with a couple of other side plots, while Yamada gets sculpted into a lean mean killing machine, which will invariably result in him kicking some Japanese ass.

There’s not an awful lot going on here that we haven’t seen before, in terms of plot, and at times the film does get quite tiresome. Seigi Ozeki, who plays Yamada, doesn’t really have the charisma to pull off this role, instead just stares off into space. However, with a movie entitled Muay Thai Warrior, you have probably come looking for some kick-ass fight scenes, and in that regard the film does deliver.

The fight scenes are well choreographed, not to mention quite brutal, and are definitely a thrill to watch. They aren’t quite as breathtaking as the likes of fellow Thai flick, Ong Bak, but they do deliver on a more visceral level. It’s only towards the latter stages when some of the CGI effects let the fights down. CGI blood I can live with, to a degree, but when the effects are just poorly composited that is a different matter. There is one scene in particular, involving a sword that was just terribly done.

As with most of their previous releases, Well Go has once again delivered a sweet looking Blu-ray. This is probably helped by the fact that, despite its many faults, Muay Thai Warrior is a gorgeous looking movie; with the Thai setting being postcard perfect. So, the HD picture just enhances this, although it also enhances the dodgy CGI, I’m afraid.

I was actually quite looking forward to watching this movie, as I look like to watch a good ass-kicking, but it ended up being a relative disappointment. Sure, it looks damned sexy and the fight scenes kill, but along with what I have mentioned so far as well as far too many fade to black scenes, I found myself losing interest in the film, until the next fight scene came along.

To sum it all up, if you are looking for an engaging plot to tie together your fight scenes you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. However, if you are happy to watch some authentic looking Muay Thai boxing, you may get some enjoyment out of it.

Muay Thai Warrior is released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital by Well Go USA on March 5th.

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