AKA: Bay Rong
Starring: Johnny Tri Nyugen ,Ngo Thanh Van
copyright© Cinemavault Releasing 2010 / ©Revolver entertainment 2011
aka – Bay Rong
If you want to see a film with some fine acting mixed with realistic fight action within a story that is though not original is feasible then then you should watch the Vietnamese film called ''The Rebel''
it starred Vietnamese actor Johnny Tri Nguyen and his brother Dustin Nguyen also on board was Ngo Thanh Van who was the femme fatal of the piece ,when released it proved that the Vietnamese could make a action film with passion and without the zany moments often seen in Thai movies.
Now Johnny Tri Nguyen has starred many films worldwide including ''Tom Yun Goong '' and Power Kids 5. He has proved to be a top action star and actor. So it was great pleasure that he has made another film in his homeland and setting a benchmark in Vietnamese action cinema, though he takes a secondary role here as Ngo Thanh Van is the star of the piece. But then Johnny Tri Nguyen did write the script and choreograph the fight scenes.
Known in the East as Bay Rong and recently released in the West as CLASH the film made in 2009 and released in to international markets in 2010 follows the exploits of one Phoenix,real name Trinh (played by Ngo Thanh Van) who is a ex Prostitute working for a Vietnamese gangland boss called the Black Dragon..
Black Dragon uses Phoenix to do his dirty work ,having trained her in weapons and unarmed combat she is a formidable foe ,but she does all this as to work of her debt to Black Dragon who is holding her young daughter captive.
Phoenix has worked a number of missions and for her last job she employs the help of some local guys for the job in hand ,the job is to steal a laptop from some French mobsters ,the laptop contains a program called VINASAT which can control Government Satellites.
Now not wanting to know the guys she has employed on a personal basis she gives them all nicknames ,like Hawk,Snake and Tiger (Quan) (Johnny Tri Nguyen) .
Thing is our bunch of mystery men have issues with getting on with each other and Snake is particularly aggressive towards all and everyone around him (this sets up some good tension and you either bond with certain characters or you don't) , but things don't go as smoothly when a deal to get the laptop fails when one of the henchmen recognize Snake as the one who killed his brother.
Of course now it's time to fight their way out of the situation and this gives us the films first full blown fight scene.
After a bloody battle and one of them getting injured they escape but not without bruises and cuts ,this of course creates more animosity between Snake and the others who don't seem to trust him ,even though not said the actors convey this in their eyes ( acting at it's best I say).
They then have to find the case again and track down the French Mobsters after a scene in which Tiger and Phoenix Tango in a club to distract the Mobsters and Identify the case they need. (if any body has seen ''Once a Thief '' with Chow Yun Fat ,this may come to mind when viewing this scene)
In trying to obtain the case they sneak into the French's hideout ,what ensues is a fast paced action set piece with bullets flying and kicks a kimbo . All does not go as smooth and they lose more partners ,what also makes things worse Snake grabs the case and makes a run with it.
Everything seems to be going wrong for them ,Unless Phoenix can get the case she will not see her daughter again ,the pair seem to get along better then they would have you believe, and in moments of Thinh's (Phoenix) despair at losing friends ,Quan (Tiger) comforts her.
On top of this Quan gets on the wrong side of Black Dragon ,which gets him suspicious .
But in the end ''The Clash delivers in all of it's departments to a degree, with some truly believable acting and performances without submitting to tacky comedy like many films from Thailand I care not to mention.
But it's not just this the action scenes of course are very dynamic ,combining flashy kicks and spins with a good helping of MMA style grabs and locks to add a sense of brutality to the proceedings (which makes the film more gritty then many Hong Kong Fair)
Even the way the film is shot has a gritty feel to it ,subdued colours and clear but misty lit scenes.
Black Dragon is a nasty character but wears a white suit throughout most of the film in a bid to look cool and Honest maybe,but a nice touch.
I suppose the only thing not explained is the importance of the Laptop and how dangerous it could be in the wrong hands. But in the end the film has enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge for it's entire running time .
Is it better then ''REBEL'' ? Now that would be a tough one to answer ,the action is top notch ,but the only plus side to ''Rebel'' was that Dustin Nguyen played the main bad guy in it and gave a more dynamic battle between the main protagonists .
Score out of Ten == A Ong Bak3 beating 9
Review Date : 07-04-2011
UK DVD release by Revolver Entertainment (above)
|Thanh Van Ngo||...||Trinh|
|Hoang Phuc Nguyen||...||Long|
|Lam Minh Thang||...||Cang|