Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on May 9th, 2007
After the apprehension of a rogue general results in the death of his mentor, officer Dan Chupong accompanies his sister and her team of athletes on a charity visit to a rural village. As luck would have it, the general’s forces attack this very village, threatening to slaughter all the villagers is the general is not released. What these villains fail to mention is that they have a nuclear missile which they plan to fire at Bangkok no matter what happens. Chupong leads the villagers and ath…etes in a desperate resistance.
Director Panna Rittigrai, who wrote and worked on the stunts for Ong-Bak here offers a film that can go from picturesque sentimentality to absolutely brutal violence in the blink of an eye. Spectacular (and outrageously dangerous) stunt work is the order of the day here, but this is much bloodier than the earlier film, and it lacks the total exhilaration of the Tony Jaa effort. It is also as shameless an exercise in flag-waving as anything dreamed up for Chuck Norris. But it is very exciting.
The reproduction of the dialogue leaves something to be desired, as there are noticeable instances of distortion. The surround effects, however, are very solid, and the left-right separation is excellent. The gunshots are explosively loud, and the driving electronic score is handled very well. Pretty good, then, and you’re not watching this movie for the dialogue, now are you?
The colours are very strong, as are the contrasts, blacks and flesh tones. The image is sharp, and there are a number of strikingly beautiful shots. There is some grain, but it certainly isn’t enough to interfere with viewing enjoyment. Perhaps most importantly: those explosions sure look pretty. The behind-the-scenes featurette, however, is almost unwatchable, looking like a bad VHS dupe.
Bey Logan’s commentary track is lively and informative, acting as a fine companion to the film. Disc 2 has an hour-long documentary on the film, which fleshes out its background still further. The behind-the-scenes featurette, though, is pointless promotion of the most egregious sort, and, as mentioned above, is ugly as sin. Trailers are on both discs, with the film’s theatrical and American trailers on Disc 2.
Nothing subtle, or really too original, about any aspect of the story here, but the violence is riveting.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Making-of Documentary
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurette