Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dynamite Warrior

Dynamite Warrior (Kon Fai Bin)– In this Thai Martial arts films, some water buffalo herders (yes, Asian cowboys) are attacked by this random masked guy – Jong Bong Fei. He’s not an ordinary cattle rustler – he shoots giant bottle rockets at them and then rides a giant bottle rocket like a surfboard into the fray to kick even more ass. All of this, painfully CGI’d to anger me. He then whips all the cowboys’ shirts off – I’m hoping he’s looking for some sort of unique tribal mark or something, rather than just being creepy.

Here’s the premise of the movie: In the early 1900s, a tractor salesman comes to Siam and tries to sell the new American invention to the poor farmers. They don’t seem interested, mostly because of the cost. The tractor salesman decides to find someone to steal everyone’s cattle to make his tractor proposition seem more appealing. A bad guy has just gotten out of prison and goes into the woods to find his henchmen. They get propositioned by one of the rich people in town who is working with the tractor salesman. The rich guy has come to offer them jobs stealing buffaloes and killing buffalo traders for a fee. The guy he gets is a huge oaf of a man who uses two thick bows to beat people down. I don’t mean arrows, I mean the actual bows are used as clubs.

Then there’s a random guy who is a cattle trader with a tattoo/brand on his chest and has some sort of magical power where he can put the spirit of animals into other people with tattoos and kind of possess them into being fighting machines. They attack the bottle rocket-shooting guy and it’s a pretty close match. The bottle rocket guy appears to be trying to stop the cattle rustling. To kill the magic guy, the cattle rustler must find the menstrual blood of a virgin born with a greater zodiac sign than the magic guy. Jong Bong Fei is the only one that can defeat the magic guy (who we find out murdered Jong’s mother and father). It gets a little confusing on who’s a good guy and who’s a bad guy in this film. Eventually it gets explained, but if you’ve made it this far in the film, then you’ve already committed a lot of time to it. Cut to an EPIC battle at the end of the movie. It isn’t very often that I actually hope a movie will end sooner rather than later, but this film’s final battle seemed to go on forever.

I’m not a huge fan of Thai-style martial arts – it’s all knees and shins, rather than hands and feet (it’s very close combat and not as suited to awesome camerawork like traditional kung fu or jui jitsu. On top of the lack luster fighting style, it’s just an ok film. I don’ think I’d recommend it, but there are some hilarious bottle rocket fighting scenes. Not enough to hold your attention or really wow you, but there are a couple. And, for the record, there IS a Thai dwarf in the film, but not an obvious Thai-Lady-Boy.

You probably should watch the English dub of this as well as the subtitles (that’s my favorite way to watch kung fu movies). Apparently, all of the actors they used for the English overdub have watched too many Cheech & Chong movies since they all sound like bad impressions of those guys. It’s pretty awful.

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