After a 13-year imprisonment in Hong Kong, Mong Fu returns to Thailand to discover that his girlfriend had died and had left him a daughter, Ploy. With the help of Sister Mioko, a caretaker for orphans, Fu and Ploy begin the long hard road to know each other. However, a Thai boxing promoter tells the truth about why Fu went to prison. It turns out that Fu, who is a former kickboxer himself, killed a kickboxing champion outside the ring. In an attempt to bring honor back, Fu challenges the current champion in a fight. Meanwhile, a relationship begins to ensue between Fu and Sister Mioko. Written by
A kick-boxer called Tiger (Andy Lau) has it all going for him. At the peak of his form, he meets the woman of his dreams, a freelance photographer called Pim (Intira Jaroenpura) who wants to make a documentary of him. But in one moment in the ring, Pim walks out on him for not trusting her, and a crazy moment later leads to him being jailed. More than 10 years later, he is released, to find that Pim has died and he has a daughter, Ploy. He tracks her down to an orphanage run by Sister Mioko (Takako Tokiwa) where he settles to rebuild his life. However, things won't keep him out of the ring for too long.
Despite having the VCD sitting in my collection for well over a year, it's taken me that long to finally decide to watch it. Well, I have to say that I regret that now, because simply this is a very good film.
There may not be that much to the plot. It's a fairly simple setting and the story is quite straightforward. But the composition of this movie is excellent. The beautiful and true locations in Thailand, the excellent editing and direction, and a script that is conservative on the words, especially in Andy Lau's case (he has so few words to say), but is delivered powerfully and adds to the atmosphere of the film.
The performances of most of the cast is good, with some almost very good, but one does stand out beyond any doubt. Andy Lau's portrayal of Tiger was for me one of the most outstanding performances I have seen in a long time as he simply makes the character real and evokes the emotions of the viewer.
Where the film does fall down are the Rocky-esque fight scenes. With such an original script, it is a shame that it is almost knocked out by such unoriginality. The scenes are too long, and stagnates the flow of the film. Nonetheless, they do play an integral part of the film.
Ultimately, I have to recognise that this may not be a film for everyone as it is a film that is supposed to tweak at your emotions. It isn't an action film as such. But for me, I'm glad it's not, and if you remove that expectation, you will see that this is a truly well made film.
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