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How NOT to launch a career as a martial arts star.

Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England
25 February 2014

After a gang of organised criminals kidnap his brother, ex-con Bee (Mike B.) is left no choice but to follow their demands and break into a bank to steal its customers' credit card details—a course of action that leads to all kinds of danger…

Having proved his action credentials in Tony Jaa's excellent Muay Thai movie Ong Bak, stuntman Mike B. gets the opportunity to show the world that he can be more than just a fall guy—and completely blows it!

As the unlikely hero of action comedy Brave, Mike B. once again performs an impressive array of death-defying stunts and martial arts moves, but fails to deliver the charisma and screen presence that is also key to becoming a true martial arts movie superstar. Although his character is clearly intended to be a lovable rogue, he actually comes off as a thoroughly charmless smart-arse throughout; it's a performance that is unlikely to win many fans.

Mike's bid for stardom is further hampered by lousy direction (loads of wobbly camera-work and rapid-fire editing which frustratingly obscures a lot of the stunt work), some painfully unfunny comedy, and an equally irritating turn from fat Malaysian comedian Afdlin Shauki as Bee's useless brother.

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If you forget the plot and endure the dialog you'll see some really good action sequences

Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
1 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Bee is forced into robbing Wealthy Bank of its credit card subscribers in order to save the life of his brother. Things then go sideways as they try to unravel the question of why they were singled out and how the robbery fits into the death of a bank president. Thai action film which proves that with some films no real plot is needed and any attempt at going deeper than the surface will get in the way of the action.

Forget the plot here. It makes zero sense no matter how you look at it. I mean there really isn't one for half the film so why did they bother create one in the second half since it feels completely made up on the spot. With the plot dismissed you're left with a film that is mostly a series of action set pieces. The first half of the film is comprised of two, the opening robbery and a chase that culminates at a building under construction. And when I say they are the first half of the film I mean it. Almost all of the first 45 minutes are just these two pieces. After that the plot kicks in and its painful going until we get to the extended fight scene that takes up a good chunk of the final half hour.(The last ten minutes of the film is the non-action resolution and makes zero sense) I put this film as a goof. I thought I was going to just have it on as background noise before I went to bed, but amazingly the momentum of the first half of the film kept me watching. I winced when the talking started and they tried to have a real plot, but it wasn't long before we were back in the thick of the fighting and the film became fun again. It's a pure popcorn movie.

Its far far from a great film on any level, but its flailing bodies makes for some interesting eye candy. Worth a cheap rental or if you can pick it up like I did in a Chinatown bargain bin for a fiver.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

New "International version" is better

Author: bullseyestunts
25 May 2008

I just watched the new "International version" of the film. I must say that it is an improvement over the original Thai version which I watched previously. It should work better for the international audience. I think Ong-Bak was even re-cut for the US. Most of the humor and unnecessary dialogue has been removed. This version seems to place more emphasis on the fighting which really is the strong point of this film. The script is still weak in parts. Then again, what Thai action film doesn't have script deficiencies?! Overall, I'd say the International version is an improvement and it is not a bad little film. Hope to see it on video shelves in the US one day.

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