Again,... I'm not up to a full review, this time. Besides, this is the kind of flick that lends itself well to quickies.
Any potential spoilers in my reviews must be highlighted to be visible.
Plot Summary (from IMDB): "Kham grew up with elephants in Thailand. Elephants are majestic creatures, bred for peace, but prepared for war. When an evil Asian gang kidnapped the bull and the baby elephant during a festival and smuggled them to Sydney Australia, Kham must travel to a foreign land, and unravel a conspiracy that will reach into the highest strata of Australian law and business circles. With only his Muy Thai fighting techniques, and a disgraced Thai-descent police sergeant, he must reclaim his elephants, and his heritage... Against almost impossible odds..."
I cribbed that from IMDB because I didn't think I could do a good enough job on the plot summary (largely due to the fact that I prefer not know or say anything more about a movie's plot than necessary). But, if I may get ahead of myself, this isn't a movie to see because of the plot. If you're not going to see some martial arts action, you may as well not go.
That said, there are some decent *movie moments* in this flick. They're just not the primary reason to go see it, imho.
This will, surely, be my worst review ever... but I stand by it.
* Tony Jaa
* Tony Jaa
* Tony Jaa
* great choreography, reportedly, with NO fighting special effects
* well-tiered action story progression
* decent acting
* great opponents - In comics, they often say the hero's worth is measured against his/her villains. Well, these are some AWESOME villains (fighting-wise).
* odd editing
* rather low-rent appearance, at times
* plot is something of a stretch
Maaaan, this is one of the hardest reviews, mini- or otherwise, I've ever done. And that's not just because I haven't really been up to reviewing the many movies we've seen. It's because this movie is just so damned excellent, for what it is, that it's hard to find the words. All the words I "found" after seeing it, last night, were of the four-letter variety.
It was that good.
They say Tony Jaa doesn't use special effects to perform the INSANELY COOL feats we see in this flick. If that's true, he is truly, TRULY the shit.
Screw the plot. I'm prepared to say the following: THIS MOVIE HAS THE BEST MARTIAL ARTS ACTION I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.
The acrobatics, techniques, and olympic-level athletics in this movie blew my mind. I acting a plumb FOOL in that theater, tripping out over the shit I saw these people do! I was all but exhausted after the final sequence.
Tony Jaa is Steven Segal (sp?), Jean-Claude van Damm, Bruce Lee, Jet Li, and Jackie Chan, all in one.
This movie, more than any other, ought to inspire a video game (or was inspired BY one). Its got "bosses" and everything.
I'll take a martial-arts action movie like this one, any day of the damned week. In fact, I plan to see it, again, at the $1-theater, tonight!
Ack. Absolutely my worst review, ever, but tip-toeing around spoilers is partly the reason.
This movie has a guy doing that "break-dancing"-like fighting technique that you see in the "Tekken" video games... JUST LIKE THAT GUY.
There are some big Zangief (from "Street Fighter" video games)-lookin' mo' fo' just ... big as SHIT, for no good goshdarn REASON!
There's a dude, at the beginning, who does a walk-on/cameo (like Schwarzenegger did in one of The Rock's action flicks) as if he's passing the torch to the new guy. That dude, by appearances, was Jackie Chan! (From what I just read online, though, that guy wasn't really JC. He was just a look-alike. Hmmm... Supposedly, checking the credits confirms that Chan is not in this movie.)
I have NEVER, EVER seen mothah fuckaz get all twisted and fucked-up in a movie like I saw these mutha fuckaz get fucked-up and twisted in THIS movie... by ANY mutha fucka. EVER. ...and certainly not for so damned LOOOONG.
Okay. I'll stop ranting there. This movie is the shit. Go see it. NOW!)