In 1547 Fernando De Gama, a young "Soldier of Fortune" from Portugal, set sail for the Orient in a bid to find the man that murdered his father and, with luck, like many of his fellow ...
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In 1547 Fernando De Gama, a young "Soldier of Fortune" from Portugal, set sail for the Orient in a bid to find the man that murdered his father and, with luck, like many of his fellow countrymen,to make his fortune. A vicious storm in the Indian ocean almost ended his plans when the ship he was on sank. The sole survivor, he was washed up on a tropical beach only to be captured by Arab slavers and taken to Ayutthaya in the kingdom of Siam where he was offered for sale as a slave. He is rescued from slavery when a beautiful young woman Maria, also from Portugal, living in Ayutthaya with her father, buys him from the Arabs and restores his freedom. Not suprisingly he falls for Maria and Maria him, much to the chagrin of Maria's Father. As an experienced soldier his services are soon in demand when the King of Siam declares war on a Northern renegade pretender and all of the Portuguese colony are press-ganged into the service of the King. Predictably, Fernando's experience and gallantry ...Written by
The Film is based on a true story set in 1547 in Siam. The real Queen at the time killed her husband and son to install her lover as the new King. See more »
The "clandestine" ninjas generate such tremendous noise as they trespass on the palace in order to assassinate the king that it's surprising they don't wake up the entire town with their ruckus, let alone arouse the attention of the palace guards directly above whose heads they trample across the roof beams like a stampeding elephant herd. The audio FX in the entire scene is so grossly exaggerated that it's almost comical. See more »
THE KING MAKER will doubtless be a success in Thailand where the similar (but superior) 'The Legend of Suriyothai' set box office records. The film directed by Lek Kitaparaporn after a screenplay by Sean Casey based on historical fact in 1547 Siam has some amazingly beautiful visual elements but is disarmed by one of the corniest, pedestrian scripts and story development on film.
The event the picture relates is the arrival of the Portuguese soldier of fortune Fernando de Gamma (Gary Stretch) whose vengeance for this father's murderer drives him to shipwrecked, captured and thrown into slavery and put on the bloc in Ayutthaya in the kingdom of Siam where he is purchased by the beautiful Maria (Cindy Burbridge) with the consent of her father Phillipe (John Rhys-Davies), a man with a name and a past that are revealed as the story progresses. There is a plot to overthrown the King and Fernando and his new Siamese sidekick Tong (Dom Hetrakul), after some gratuitous CGI enhanced choreographed martial arts silliness, are first rewarded by the King to become his bodyguards, only to be imprisoned together once Queen Sudachan (Yoe Hassadeevichit) reveals her plot to kill the king and son to allow her lover Lord Chakkraphat (Oliver Pupart) to take over the rule of Siam. Yet of course Fernando and Tong escape and are condemned to fight each other to save the lives of their families (Tong's wife and children and Fernando's now firm love affair with Maria) with the expected consequences.
The acting (with the exception of John Rhys-Davies) is so weak that the film occasionally seems as though it were meant to be camp. The predominantly Thai cast struggle with the poorly written dialog, making us wish they had used their native Thai with subtitles. The musical score by Ian Livingstone sounds as though exhumed form old TV soap operas. But if it is visual splendor you're after there is plenty of that and that alone makes the movie worth watching. It is a film that has obvious high financial backing for all the special effects and masses of cast and sets and shows its good intentions. It is just the basics that are missing. Grady Harp
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