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 »
When the owner of a major elephant camp is murdered, Kham finds himself the number one suspect and on the run from both the police and the deceased's vengeful twin nieces. But luck is on ... See full summary »
A young fighter named Kham must go to Australia to retrieve his stolen elephant. With the help of a Thai-born Australian detective, Kham must take on all comers, including a gang led by an evil woman and her two deadly bodyguards.
For the first time in history, a Zulu and Thailand culture clashes when the son of Lion slayer, Senzo, confronts a dangerous Thailand con man. Vitaya controls rhino poaching business and ... See full summary »
Osas Ighodaro Ajibade,
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
JeeJa Yanin has had an auspicious start to her martial arts movie career. He first film Chocolate (2008) was a solid martial arts film that showcased her ability and allowed her to downplay acting by having her being mute. She gets to talk in this film and is generally fine with her acting abilities, but her strong points are still her martial art abilities. JeeJa is the most exciting female martial artist in cinema right now. While that might not be saying much, I do find her fun to watch. Much like Tony Jaa, I feel with the right script both could do much more than with the material they are currently given.
Raging Phoenix succeeds on the action scenes but ultimately fails in the plot. JeeJa is Dea a confused slightly erratic woman down on luck with choosing boyfriends, removed from the band she was playing in because of attacking that boyfriend during a performance and of all the luck she is now targeted to be kidnapped by a gang called Jaguar who target specific smelling women who will be harvested of their pheromones to sell on the black market as a sex aphrodisiac. That just sounds silly doesn't it? Wait it gets better. She is saved by Sanim (Kazu Patrick Tang: Bangkok Adrenaline) a practitioner of a martial art called Meiraiyuth who is part of a group of marauding good guys who have lost their significant others to this nefarious gang. These include three others named Pig Poop (Nui Sandang), Dog Poop (Sompong Leartvimolkasame), and Bull Poop(Boonprasayrit Salangam) NOTE: I modified the names for IMDb. She then becomes their student in learning this martial art to use in destroying all of these kidnappers and in search of the head of the serpent of the gang played by Thai/Indian bodybuilding champion (and once was part of the Royal Thai Police) Roongtawan Jindasing in her first movie appearance. Of course she has to survive the training which involves imbibing much liquor and getting beaten up.
The first fight scene is partially impressive. I love the use of modified powerisers the bad guys have which are like a pogo stick per leg but longer and built with blades. I was skeptical at first, but it came out quite creative and entertaining. I would love to have those, though I would probably kill a few people while learning it and potential decapitating myself.
While the use of wires to accent the fight scenes is overused, they do help create an aesthetically pleasing martial arts style in Meiraiyuth. It is a mixture of drunken boxing, Muay Thai, break-dancing and Capoeira. While it may not always be advantageous to throw in a dance move while beating someone up it is impressive here. One problem that occasionally comes up is that when doing extremely flexible moves at impossible angles the impact of the blow comes off as very soft and the overreaction of the opponent is forced though I have seen this issue in many action films (as well as the mysterious blow that completely misses the person yet that person is blown over by the wind of the punch or kick).
But besides the plot I have one other issue that annoyed me. Some of the CGI use is pretty bad. This is especially evident when they are trying to break into the lair of Jaguar. At its worst is when they initially break in and fall or "slide" down to the lower depths. They basically looked like they were moving their arms and legs while the background is changing. The bridge fight scene is also hurt by this where much around them looks like they are in a computer game from the mid 1990s. When you watch something as impressive as the few fight scenes you wonder why they resorted to this phony graphics manipulation.
I have to admit I had a fun time watching this movie. The story is not as solid as Chocolate (though better than Ong Bak 2) and like many Thai action films they feel derivative (or homage) of other successful Asian films especially ones from Hong Kong. The incorporation of Meiraiyuth reminds me quite a bit of drunken boxing and it is impossible not to think of Drunken Master. Early on the manipulation of Deu's body as a weapon by Sanim certainly reminds me of its use in Dirty Ho, but a few Jackie Chan films as well. The film seemed to completely forget the drinking part of the art in the later part of the film.
I have the Magnet R1 release. It has two main extras: a "Making of Raging Phoenix" and "Behind the Scenes of Raging Phoenix." The "Making of Raging Phoenix" (11m.53s) is in Thai/French with removable English subtitles. It is a fun extra though you wonder how/why the director Rashane Limtrakul spent a year writing the script. Patrick Tang speaks French in the extra. The "Behind the Scenes of Raging Phoenix" (10m.35s) is pretty much showing them practice the fighting scenes (and some drum training) to a Thai(?) rap beat. However like in the end credits of a Jackie Chan film you get to see mishaps and the dangers of this type of film when JeeJa Yanin hurts her neck and gets put into a brace. And to top it off it has the international trailer (3m.34s) of this film and various trailers "Also From Magnolia Home Entertainment." There is an English dub and the English subs do not appear to be dubtitles though many of the sentences are the same.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this