Starring: Taejoo ,Petchtai Wongkamlao,Jeeja Yanin
Directed By: Prachya Pinkaew
Sahamongkol International need to recoup some of the money they lost with Tony Ja's self infatuation on Ong Bak 2-3. You may well know that Tony is up to his tricks again ,,after re-teaming with Prachya Pinkaew and Panna Rittikrai for ''Tom Yum Goong 2 '' last August , see Blog.
Of course since Ong Bak 3 we have had Panna Rittikrai's Bangkok Knockout or plain Knockout if your in the West. Now Knockout may have had the fights ,but was still messy and the story was non existent. I can always judge a good action film by one thing , once I had seen it if I can watch it again in the next half hour ,then it must be good. The Original Ong Bak and Tom Yum Goong are films that fall into that category.
So in the time I have had The Kick , how many times have I watched it ? Truth be told 3 times ,yes 3 times. Now of course you want to know why.
The Kick is a Thai / Korean collaboration in association with the WTF ( World Taekwondo Federation) ,Prachya Pinkaew had found a cast of Taekwondo experts and wanted to do a film about the art. On board to bring some stardom to the film is Jeeja Yanin ,who is a 3rd Dan in Taekwondo anyway. Also bringing some good humour to the proceedings is Thai comedian / Actor /Stuntman and Director Petchtai Wongkamlao.
Now many will know Petchtai as George or Dirty Balls in the Original Ong Bak film ,he also played the bumbling Police Officer in Tom Yum Goong.
The story follows A Korean Family who have relocated to Thailand ,there Moon aka Master Mun runs a old style Taekwondo Gym ,his key members are his wife Yoon and their two sons and daughter.
Now Moon wishes his son Tae-Yang to train hard and try and qualify for the Olympic trials ,as Moon himself gave up the chance for a Olympic Medal in the past.
His son is more interested in dancing and acting ,while his daughter has boys on her mind.,the younger brother just wants to play video games.
Now one day while out the family get involved in a robbery where Thai national treasure The Kris of Kings ( a ancient dagger) gets stolen from a national exhibition . Moon and Yoon have a crash with the getaway car , this leads to Tae-yang confronting the robbers and entering into battle with them along with his sister who stumbles across him .
In the end they retrieve the Dagger and return it to the exhibition, Hailed as heroes ,they are invited to do demonstrations at the exhibition .
Now the man behind the robbery ,Seok Du wants revenge ,but his first attempt at getting payback is met by the heroic family with their fists and feet.
Thinking of the danger to their family the kids are sent of to stay with their Uncle Mum ( Pechtai Wongkamlao) who happens to live on a nature reserve . The kids are more or less cut off from technology in the wilderness. There the kids must train hard and with the aid of Mum's niece Wawa ( Jeeja Yanin) providing some alternative training for the kids.
But when Seok Du locates the whereabouts of the kids ,he puts into action a plan to get back the Kris of Kings and he won't have to risk a finger.
I'm not going to elaborate to much on the story here as many in the West have not seen the film and I wish them all to see it fresh for themselves.
But does it succeed in it's entertainment value, the good news is a resounding yes , it may not have the impact of some films ,but with a second viewing you get to see more and notice the comical elements of the film more which make up a good portion of the film.
Now I know what your thinking ! But don't worry the comedy is very Korean like in film making and not the OTT Thai style that many find hard to handle outside of Thailand ( I laugh at most things though) ,you won't be in fits of laughter ,this is more Jackie Chan style comedy and it works really well.
The films production is good to, with nice locations and varied as well. It was good to see Jeeja Yanin on screen so long after seeing Raging Pheonix. Though I am having no luck tracking down her last film ''Jak Ka Ren '' ,directed by Petchtai Wongkamlao in 2011.
Now sad thing is for us viewers is we won't be seeing her on screen for a while now ,due to her pregnancy ,and she has stated she will take two years out to ( see blog).
Cho Jae Hun who plays Master Mun is really good in his role and trained in Taekwondo to black belt prior to filming ,plus he did all his own stunts ( it looks like he's been doing it for years, I should know I have done it for more then fifteen years) along with Yea Ji -Won who plays his wife Yoon. Yea brings that Korean comical element to the film and her fight in the kitchen against Seok's thugs is very exciting and amusing.
But the stars of the film has to be Na Tae- Ju ( Tae-Yang) and Kim Gyeong-Suk ( Tae-Mi) , Na Tae's ability to spin in mid air at great speed is simply amazing , performing 360,540 and 720 degree spinning kicks with ease. Combined with Prachya's vision of adding other elements to Taekwondo whilst maintaining the core of the art with the aid of Panna Rittikrai and a Taekwondo champion on hand to oversee the fight action.
Kim Gyeong-Suk ( of the Korean Tigers demo team I might add) also performs some blistering actions on screen ,much of the time overshadowing the Chocolate girl herself .
Petchatai Wongkamlao brings something to the film which he brought to Ong Bak and Tom Yum Goong ,and in a word it's FUN. The combination of his comical ways and you just have to like him ,i always smile when I see him on screen and in my opinion I think there's more to the success of the films he's been in then just luck , he must have some input to the film as he does no direction and film making as well ,if you doubt his ability then check out the Bodyguard 1 and 2 .
Now without a good band of characters playing the bad guys you would not have much of a film, so here to along with our lead villain we have Yi Roo Kim as Seok Du's female bodyguard ,and I tell you she gives Jeeja and Gyeong a run for there money.
Also on hand is Sintushet Bapphasuay as Seok's no'1 Guard ,plus a plethora of stunt guys getting their butts kicked to. It looked liked they only had a limited number of stunt fighters as the bad guys where all masked ,that way they could use the same guys as opponents even if they had just been beaten.
Also in the film is the USA Taekwondo Champion Olivia Jackson ( who also stars in Bollywood film '' Ek Tha Tiger ) and the French Taekwondo Champion Brahim Achabbakhe.
The Kick is fun family martial arts movie ,it wont test your brain to much ,but one things for sure your have fun watching it and the characters have that likeability to keep you watching.
I hope it does well in the West ,if the distributors had any brains they would have released the film in the West while the Olympics where on ,with Taekwondo getting a worldwide showcase ,they could have cleaned up.
Maybe they should have approached me for ideas on marketing!
Score out of Ten = A Spinning 8
Reviewer : Sertes Nake
Review Date : 10-09-2012
|Directed by||Prachya Pinkaew|
|Produced by||Gang Seong-gyu|
|Starring||Cho Jae-hyun |
|Distributed by||Sahamongkol Film International|
|Release date(s)|| |
|Budget||3.5 million dollars|