สนับสนุนโดย สำนักงานศิลปวัฒนธรรมร่วมสมัย กระทรวงวัฒนธรรม Supported by Office of Contemporary Art And Culture ,Ministry Of Culture

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Neither a Lover Nor a Fighter: Bangkok Kung Fu
  By Sorradithep Supachanya / 1 September 2011
 

 

 

Despite its name, Yuthalert Sippapaks martial arts flick, Bangkok Kung Fu, offers little of the Chinese fighting and wisdom. Its action scenes, disappointingly few and sparse, look cartoonish and videogame-ish. Its story, messy and unoriginal, offers little of anything else.

While the movie opens with the lead characters tragic back story that comes to drive themfour young boys have been kidnapped, handicapped, and forced to beg on the streets before a kung fu master rescues and trains themits plot thereafter suffers serious incoherence.

The movie at first follows a standard vengeance tale, with the now grown- up boys searching for their kidnappers to take revenge. But the conversation on forgiveness versus retaliation, a topic unintentionally most relevant to Thailands current divisive society, ends too quickly and the story veers into a different direction. The kung fu masters nemesis enters the story and engages the leads to forcibly take a prized possession, and the rest of the boys must search for a magic item to save one of their pals who has been critically wounded. Interstitially, the plot reveals a love triangle between three childhood friends, with a ludicrous misadventure of two of the leads providing intermittent laughs from the audience.

 

 

Arak Amornsupasiri (from Body and Slice) continues to leverage his improved comic timing following last years romantic comedy blockbuster A Loser Lover in which he starred as the hilarious lead. Here his comedic stunts constitute some of the best moments in the movie, such as his farcical combat against the villainous acrobatic troupe or the gallows humor surrounding the reunion with his mother.

But other leads offer much less. Mario Maurer (from Love of Siam) puts on an unconvincing performance as a boy with brain damage. Despite considerable screen time, newcomers Athigit Pringprom and Wisava Thaiyanont struggle to lose their boy band looks to play the tortured orphans with their minds set on revenge. As the kung fu masters adopted girl with a power of her own, Jarinya Sirimongkolsakul is afforded with the role that represents Thai teens who mindlessly follow trends (she wants to join a popular reality singing contest) rather than accept themselves and their inner talents. The plot also does her injustice as she ends up not using her power and instead plays a typical damsel in distress.

Bangkok Kung Fu may have hoped to be Film R Uss answer to rival movie studio Sahamongkols internationally successful martial arts flicks Ong Bak trilogy and Tom-Yum-Goong. But with an aimless plot, poor performances, and unimpressive fight choreography, this clearly is an uneven match.

   

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