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21 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

A fairly good fighting movie

7/10
Author: abstract_daddy from Finland
8 April 2006

Looks like I'm the first person to review this. It seems odd that seemingly no one has seen this (no reviews anywhere, except a few in French), and there's no information about this movie on IMDb The movie is starred by Dida Diafat, A Thai boxing champion, and it's based on his autobiography, although his character is called Ryan. So he's playing himself, I suppose. Diafat's character gets thrown in jail in France, where he learns the basics of Thai boxing from another inmate. He then travels to Thailand to study more Thai boxing, in order to become a champion. That's basically the story, but there are a few subplots and background elements such as a romantic interest, which are likely fiction. The subplots, which seem to appear, disappear and reappear at irregular intervals, are mostly in the background and don't affect the straightforward storyline too much. However, the subplots seem a little out of place and don't quite fit the movie. It would have been better if the entire movie would have concentrated on just the Thai boxing.

Diafat's climb to the top doesn't seem unrealistic, and is presumably based on fact. There are few if any fight movie clichés. In fact, the movie could have used some, like the mandatory epic final battle where the protagonist almost loses but doesn't. The final fight is very short and ends abruptly which, again, could be factual. The fights are mostly shot well, and they alternate between close shots and fast cuts, and wider and longer takes. Considering Dida Diafat was a world champion eleven times (or so I read), the movie could have used much longer shots without fearing that it would look fake.

I couldn't see anything at fault with Diafat's acting, and generally there's really nothing wrong with the movie. I just wish it would have concentrated exclusively on the training and fighting, with more longer fighting scenes.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Nice story and a cool look into a Muay Thai camp.

8/10
Author: ElijahCSkuggs from Happy Land, who lives in a Gumdrop House on Lolly Pop Lane
14 May 2008

First off, completely dismiss the person's review who didn't enjoy the movie. It's so completely obvious they know nothing about Muay Thai, or fighting for that matter. He said something along the lines of the lead actors form was amateurish, and that he is an amateur. That is SO wrong. As someone who trains in Muay Thai, I know that technique is super-duper important and this guy had great technique. As soon as he begins training it's very, very obvious this guy has had previous training. The knees were beautiful, he kept his shoulders up, threw punches with fluidity....I can go on and on. By the way, the actor playing the lead, Dida, this is HIS story, and he's a World Champion. Yeah, he's no amateur.

The movie itself is no slouch either. The movie gives off an intimate and nice feel of what being at a Muay Thai camp in Thailand would feel like. Following our lead from a petty thief to a Muay Thai fighter was a very fun and interesting ride. I suppose I'm more bias because I love fighting and appreciate technique and the brutality Muay Thai delivers. But if you also enjoy these aspects then you should also enjoy Chok Dee.

With simple side plots the involve back-stabbing and love, the movie also tries entertaining you with other real life areas. But the star of the movie is really the Muay Thai. And by using non-actors mostly, the film delivers lots of legit muay thai. Since they know their sport so well, the fights aren't played so softly. Instead they'll throw the kicks to safer spots like the shoulders or arm pit area.

Chok Dee delivers an intriguing yet simple story, by having a lead actor who expresses himself with a solemn intensity that really works. He's obviously not a great actor, but when you're watching him fight and train, acting flys out the door. As with the other good comment I also agree that a bit more focus on the camp would have made the movie something special. Instead you do have subplots, which do fine on their own, but it's not why you're watching this flick. If you enjoy fighting and Muay Thai, there is no reason for you not to check this out. A surprisingly good film.

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Lot of potential not exploited

7/10
Author: Destroyer Wod from Quebec
10 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Honestly when a kick boxing/Muay Thai movie get a score above 5 on IMDb, it means its pretty good. Don't get me wrong, i loved a lot of movies that got 3 or under, but because I'm a cinemaddict of martial arts movies and i see them as what they are, entertainment. And you have to add that for me a 5 is pretty much for a movie i was bored off, i usually always found qualities about movies except a few ones where i tough they where beyond redeemable.

But lets focus on Chok Dee...Lets begin by saying i found interesting the way they speak. I am from Quebec so french was not a problem even tough its french from France. Then when french dialogue with Thais, the movie goes into English with french subtitles, and again English is not a problem for me. Thai to Thai is in Thai with subtitles again and i loved the realistic part of this, i was never annoy by the "languages barriers".

The movie start pretty good with the prisons scenes and the whole training into the Thai camp. But if the training sessions are perfect, i found too that the fights seem too much quick and realistic... They tried to mimic a real fight and they succeed on that, but it lost that appeal of "he is in the battle of his life". They builded up that big stadium of the end and the champ to finally be relay on second zone with a quick knock out while something more important in the story happen... then BAM its over... I dunno, i felt let down on the fights... I guess real life feels of fights don't work in movies and thats why i love so much martial art movies but never was that big of a fan of UFC for example... I guess i love the rocky feel where the hero is beaten up to almost k.o and then come back bleeding like hell and win the match...

Anyway not a bad movie, a+ effort on the story they made, but the fights didn't do it as much for me.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Nothing special here

5/10
Author: good_weather from Germany
17 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

From the beginning on I was disappointed because of the bad acting of the main actor. The way he walks, the way he fights... he looked like an amateur, which I later found out, was true. Sometimes it's just lame, sometimes it's some fresh air.

Another thing was the kick boxing mentor of Dida. The trick he reveals to Dida is, to injure the opponent with a non-legal elbow-hit. I would have expected some more sophisticated fighting technique. I was really disappointed from the fighting scenes. The real interesting hits were cut out, I think Dida didn't want to see a stunt man in his stead, and wasn't good enough at it himself.

I watched the movie, because I wanted to have a look at kick boxing. Because Dida is a beginner who steadily climbs in his skills in fighting, I hoped to get a glance at fighting and training techniques. Unfortunately, they don't mention at all what kick boxing is for, and what it makes different than other fighting sports (Apart from the obvious). I compared it to "Million Dollar Baby", where Clint Eastwood explains a lot about boxing.

Finally, I missed the big surprises in the film. The story was pretty predictable and superficial. If I didn't know that the story is true, I would believe it's just a bad movie script. Irony of fate ;)

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