Korean Wuxia film
DYNAMITE WARRIOR (original title: Tabun Fire) is from the makers of ONG-BAK and Born to Fight, stars real life stunt man Dan Chupong (Born to Fight). After the major success of ONG-BAK Thai Warrior overseas, the U.S. became flooded with movies from Thailand. Some are very good (like Ong-Bak, Tom Yum Goong), most are watchable, majority are mediocre. This latest installment though, I've been reluctant to review, but what the hey, I'll give it a shot. Any movie that includes a scene wherein the hero has to use " virgin-menstrual blood" tipped rockets to defeat an evil magician consider me motivated.
An evil nobleman called Lord Waeng is in the business of importing farming tractors. He enlists his thugs to rid the land of water Buffalo to convince the townsfolk in buying his product. A " so-called self proclaimed" protector called Jone Bang Fai (Dan Chupong) will step in to save the day. However, Bang Fai is more motivated in finding his parents' murderer, which leaves him vulnerable to manipulation by an evil wizard and his beautiful daughter. This feverish quest distracts him from doing what is important; the protection of the weak.
Tabunfire (I'd rather call it by its original title) is a film that mixes in Asian mysticism, over-the-top plot mechanics, creative stunt work and the Muay Thai fighting system. The film may have the usual cliché, a misguided good guy, a wise man, an evil wizard, a beautiful woman, a dumb ex-con and an eccentric weirdo. The story isn't really deep or complex. I may even suggest that the plot is lacking. Think "Robin Hood" that collides with "Zorro" without the great acting. Some scenes are so campy that it is almost laughable. The director tries too hard to mix in satire and comic relief that the movie's screenplay stumbles at times. But the unsteady audacity softens the dull and canned melodrama between action scenes with screen peculiarities and cultural eccentricity that feed our curiosity on what would come next. (Lesser of two evils, anyone?)
To the film's credit, the action scenes save this movie. It attempts to blend the Muay Thai fighting system with a generous amount of special effects, wire work and a hint of mysticism. As a martial arts fan, the fight scenes are very well choreographed. The film does exhibit certain creativity in the fight scenes that may have the usual displays of rehearsed explosions and campy special effects. Whatever flaws the film may have, everything does seem to fit and does blend in the film’s tone and style. One thing the viewer has to do is NOT to take the movie seriously. A hero who throws around flint, who passes a bullwhip to use hand-rolled baby rockets that features some slow-motion effect to display the martial arts moves, one should know full well what he is in for. The action scenes are pretty well choreographed and full with knee-flying action. Like the movie or not, the movie is pretty fun to watch, despite its upright silliness.
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Korean Wuxia film
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