A violent gang is abducting and killing women around Thailand. Sanim and his friends, having had loved ones abducted, have joined together to break the gang of kidnappers. In a botched ... See full summary »
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Miguel Angel De Luca
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During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
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Thanh Van Ngo,
Zhu Yanzhi (Charlene Choi), disguised as a man, seeks to learn martial arts with an elite clan. Once she begins her intense training, Zhu finds herself at odds with her trainer and superior, Liang (Chun Wu).
A violent gang is abducting and killing women around Thailand. Sanim and his friends, having had loved ones abducted, have joined together to break the gang of kidnappers. In a botched kidnap attempt, Deu is saved by Sanim's crew. After learning their unique martial arts style, Deu helps lure the gang into an epic battle to save the women across Thailand. Written by
Thai sensation JeeJa Yanin burst onto the martial arts movie scene in 2008 with Chocolate, wowing fight fans worldwide with her amazing performance as adorable but bad-ass autistic girl Zen (and earning her the title of 'the female Tony Jaa' in the process). Expectations were naturally high for her next film Raging Phoenix, but although Yanin once again displays incredible agility, skill, and speed, the film as a whole must be considered something of a disappointment, lacking the simplicity, charm, originality, and raw power of its predecessor.
The script flits brazenly from one nonsensical scene to the next and is irritatingly indifferent to its main gimmick, the drunken fighting style of Meyraiyuth, so carefully developed in the first half of the film yet completely ignored in the second; almost as brash are the fight scenes that vary wildly in style from bone-crunching realism to comic-book excess (with naff wire-work employed for 'cool' gravity defying moves), most of which are so highly choreographed that they are more like immaculate dance routines than amazing displays of martial arts prowess (impressive to watch, certainly, but hardly adrenaline pumping). Meanwhile, Yanin desperately struggles to create another endearing character in Deu, but thanks to far too many embarrassingly over-melodramatic moments, her street urchin with attitude comes across as more pathetic than sympathetic.
Throughout the film, there are plenty of scenes that display promise, but all ultimately fail to deliver the levels of genius that have made recent Muay Thai movies like Ong-Bak, Warrior King and Chocolate so memorable; the fact that this potential for awesomeness is so frequently and readily wasted makes Raging Phoenix an all the more frustrating experience.
An unsatisfying 5.5 out of 10, generously rounded up to 6 for IMDb.
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