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"It's The Only Way To Survive"

                          Thai Action Review


Starring : Nathan Jones, Dan Chupong, Kessarin Ektawatkul


Copyright 2008 © Baa-Ram-Ewe

Now Nathan Jones has slowly made a name for himself having starred with Jackie Chan in First Strike ,Tony Jaa in Tom Yum-Goong and Jet Li in Fearless.

Of course he got these roles for one being a ex-Wrestler and being a Ginormous 7ft tall.When i saw this film advertised for sale with Nathan in the lead ,i thought i must get this as it looks quite entertaining.

How wrong could i be?

Well this is How ! Somtum is a film that will surprise many as it brings us Thai action a plenty with a good dose of comedy thrown in and surprisingly it's more enjoyable then Ong Bak 2 or 3 .

It may not have fight after fight ,but the fights on offer showcase some terrific martial arts .Then you throw in the many laughs that follow and you have a sleeper Hit on your hands (just a shame not many know about this film).

Nathan plays Barney a happy go lucky Australian on holiday in Thailand ,but when he is Shanghaied ,drugged ,robbed of his clothes,Money and Passport ,he finds himself at a loss .The Police help the best they can and send him on his way to the embassy so he may get papers to travel.

But when he gets there the place is closed for a holiday.So Now what!

Wandering the streets in just his trousers he runs in to two young Thai girls who have just robbed a man of his wallet.The man and his freind are in chase and Barney ends up getting involved in the disturbance.

As the two girls run rings round the men by using Barney as their shield Barney ends up getting beaten and humiliated.After the men have run away the girls befriend Barney and take them with them to their Residence.

Living in a communal area run by a monk the girls ( Dokya and Kraten) live with their mother .After agreeing to help Barney the monk and girls ,one who can speak English Kraten) ( and the other who is a Muay Thai fighter ( Dokya) agree to help Barney retrieve his Passport.

 The girls also are out for some fun as well ,Now the girls mum runs a Somtum Stall (Hot spicy noodle and veg dish) .When they take Barney to the stall and get him to try a special Somtum they have made all hell breaks loose.

For Barney has not had such hot spicy food before ,and it sends him in to a fit of madness and he destroys the stall trying to extinguish the fire within his mouth.

After the sensation has died down Barney is most upset at what he has done ,and the girls and mother of course are out of business.The only way is for Barney to help them by doing something to rasie money.

Also while out with  Kraten Barney spots the people that have ripped him off and follows them to their lair.Storming in with the his young friend he discovers a big underground Passport set up ,Now he must fight or get beaten ,lucky for him the Lieutenant Pong  from the station has spotted this going on and followed Barney to ,he enters to confront the criminals while Barney and Kraten search for his passport.

NOW unknown to Barney ,Kraten has found his passport ,but is not letting on.

It's from here that the film starts to really liven up as the girls try and train Barney to fight in Muay Thai with hilarious results i might add.But Barney is not really cut out for this ,getting him fixed up in a fight Barney goes head to toe with the local fighters ,who also have mobster connections.

It all seems OK and BARNEY has raised some money with the girls and they rebuild their mothers Somtum stand ,but the girls will be girls and Kraten whilst at the fight pickpockets a thug that just happens to be a big gangster who is running a counterfeiting operation.Kraten steals a necklace which is a crystal ,but the crystal is a key to a computer laptop which holds the secret plates.Without the crystal they can not open the laptop without destroying the plates.

The film culminates in to the gangsters tracking the girls down and with Barney in tow try and stop the criminals and all with ''LOL'' results.

Their are some cracking fights on display with ingenuity from Kessarin Etkawatkul and Sassisa Jimdamanee which involves a lot of friut and veg.

In the end the bad guys lose and Kraten owns up to having Barney's passport .

Now the amazing thing !when i got his film i thought it was English subs ,well it was not so when i put it on i thought it may be hard to get into.But it actually helps the story as Barney speaks English along with input from Kraten.Everyone else speaks Thai.This gives a viewpoint from Barney's perspective as he does not understand anything anyone says to him ,and i think it made me laugh a lot more because of this.

For me Ong Bak 3 was a let down for me from certain points but this more then made up for it ,by being both entertaining and funny with ample action thrown in as well.

A real sleeper hit that did not do so well ,shame really as if you like your Thai action your be a fool to miss this.

Score out of Ten = 9

Review Date: 19-11-10

The Snake


Barney Hopes to get Home

But with people on Holiday ,he is forced to walk the streets


That is until he runs into two young girls


Befriending Kraten and Dokya Barney goes with them



The girls put him to work

He helps the monks collect for the temple to

Hey ,but what's this? Looks Hot! to me


In the end they will all pull together



  Dan Chupong ...
Lieutenant Pong
  Kessarin Ektawatkul ...
Papaya Vendor
  Nawarat Techaratanaprasert
  Sasisa Jindamanee ...
  Ubon Jindamanee ...
Boxing Referee
  Nathan Jones ...
Barney Emerald
  Padondat Kamalasaikol ...
Temple Boy
  Patipan Kamalasikol ...
Temple Boy
  Nuttaka Kanrattarach ...
Bar Girl
  Napassakorn Kettasangkha ...
Bar Girl
  Suwat Klingkesorn ...
  Sompong Kraitheerangkul ...
Venerable Mong
  Damian Mavis ...
Private jet pilot
  Tanachai Muanhong ...
Temple Boy
  Decha Nittayaros ...
Wrestling Referee
                           Alternative posters and covers



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