This is one of those films I stumbled upon, rather than deliberately setting out to watch. Being a life long martial artist myself, I have for many years been disappointed by the lack of real passion in female combat sports. However, Ring Girls was one of those rarities whereby the level of skill and aggression displayed by the participants is clearly evident. The "docufilm" follows five American girls through their preparation to fight in Thailand against opponents who have grown up with the discipline of Muay Thai. The odds don't look good but it's obvious from the start that these girls aren't just playing around.
The film itself was a little contrived, and dare I say "cheesey", at times with Karate Kid moments that made me cringe a little. Fighting leaves on a tree was one particular scene that springs to mind along some of the narration and Master Toddy's motivational talks. However, none of the "cast" being actors, it was obvious that some scenes had been set up to complete the telling of the story.
Actors, NO... Fighters, YES... And the fighting and preparation was the main point of the film. We're not looking at awards for acting ability
this is after all a documentary - but rather the total dedication and
commitment of the girls featured. In regards to this, the utmost respect is due. The intensity of the training sessions and fight sequences was greatly enhanced by the editing techniques and although none of the fights are shown in full, the camera work and integrated "matrix style" slow motion contact shots will have you right in amongst the action, feeling every punch, kick and elbow. For this alone I must commend the film makers. Simple, yet very effective.
All in all, well worth a look. It's one of the few occasions I've taken female fighters seriously and with good reason. This is the real deal, with girls at the top of their game.
On a personal note: If Gina Carano would like to come round some time and beat the living daylights out of me then I'd be more than happy to take the punishment. Surely, it's not right to be both stunningly gorgeous and as hard as nails... but I'm glad she is.
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