First off, let me state that I paid honest cash for this. So I can trash it as much as I want.
Basic plot here: an honest cop and his wife and kid are shot up by masked killers. The boy survives a bullet to the dome, and is taken to a village (for his safety - and to learn bone-crushing martial arts). The bullet lodged in the back of his skull is apparently quite severe: we are told he'll "never be like others", and is expected to grow up a mute idiot.
...so he learns (American) English! Decent syntax and pronunciation - for a dorm-grade bro-cabulary. Though he understands Thai, and even asks for directions in it at one point, he just seems to prefer English. When asked, he always says (in crisp English), "you'll never believe me if I told you." Most of the others in this film speak English as well, so the more challenged audiences won't have to worry about all that unnecessary reading at this "foreign film".
"Bah! Enough about linguism! How are the fights?!" you say, glowering. After all, the guy does learn the ancient arts of expert skull-bashing (in a weirdly sparse "temple training" montage), and quickly gets himself involved in the silly vengeance/gangs/corrupt police plot that takes up most of the film. Oh, and the guy is supposed to be autistic, sort of - whatever "no feelings and no pain" meant as a stage direction to Jon Foo.
The fights - they aight. It's not groundbreaking stuff, and we've seen most of it in Merantau, The Raid: Redemption, and all the Tony Jaa flicks. Fighting sequences actually make up a good portion of the film, but they were lacking that extra oomph for the most part, and the silly blonde girl along with the rest of the terrible actors do a great job of distracting you from what could have been a somewhat enjoyable beat-em- up flick. The absurdly campish girl-gang belonged in The Last Dragon way more than they did here - the token tranny was horridly mannish and so unlike all the Thai ladyboys I've seen, I would have felt personally insulted were I of Thai origin. There's also a French guy, who chainsmoked a lot and acted like we were all supposed to recognize him or something.
There was one noteworthy scene where the main dude is tightly surrounded by boxers and they all go to town beating on him. The camera, from inside the mêlée, captures in slow motion the hero making slight dodges, thereby causing all the boxers to miss and hit one other instead. Quite original!
So 4/10, for the abundance of fighting, and for the fact that it was so bad it transcended that wall where excruciating becomes hilarious; some directorial decisions almost smelled of subtle barbs at Americans and the fact that the folks responsible had to cater to a foreign culture that (unfortunately) makes a large portion of the intended audience. I guess you're not supposed to 'read' martial arts flicks that deeply, though.
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