RAGING PHOENIX (DVD)
It’s looking like Michelle Yeoh
actually has some genuine competition now for coveted position of the most bad-ass action chick of all time. Believe me, I don't say that lightly. Up until now, no one else has even come close. But this new girl, Thai actress Yanin Vismistanada
, came out of freaking nowhere with the surprise hit “Chocolate”
from 2008 about an autistic girl with Taskmaster
-like ability to perfectly mimic martial arts moves that she watches others perform. The wires-free action gained her a legion of fans, and she was no slouch in the acting department either (I'm sure non-martial arts film fans are amused how that's a distant second). "Raging Phoenix"
proves beyond any doubt that she's no one trick pony, and that her acting skills are even good enough that she might not always need to be kicking the crap out of everyone else onscreen in order to sell tickets. I know, it sounds crazy, but there it is.
plays a girl who is officially down in the dumps: kicked out of her band, cheated on by her boyfriend...she's drowning her sorrows in the bottle. In the midst of her sorrow bath, she's the victim of an attempted abduction, but is saved by Sanim
(French martial arts master Kazu Patrick Tang
) and his friends, Pig Shit
and Dog Shit
(charming fellows, these). Their whole gig is to battle these kidnappers who are taking young girls right off the street to use for...no...you just HAVE to discover that one on your own. It's too wacky to describe here and it'll take all the fun out of it if I just tell you. Sanim
and his buds train young Deu
to fight in the Meyraiyuth
style of fighting, which is a complete bullshit (but I wish it wasn't) fictional mixture of drunken boxing, drunken muy thai, parkour, gymnastics, capoeira....pretty much every martial art all mashed up together in one incredibly entertaining to watch form. In the kind of ‘soon’
that only happens in martial arts films, Deu
is a master and is beating up whole crowds of toughs in their secret lairs and freeing their female captives. But the hunt is on for Sanim
’s long-lost fiancee and the hidden main lair of the evil kidnapping gang which, when they eventually get there, culminates in about thirty minutes straight of some of the most impressive ass-kicking fight sequences I’ve seen in forever and a day.
is a new classic, cementing Thailand as the new go-to country for the martial arts genre. Sure, it’s all silly as can be, and at times painfully overwrought, but for every five minutes of somebody crying or telling depressing back-stories, there’s another ten of a guy fighting a whole gang on spiked pogo stilts or a three level swinging rope bridge battle or watching a weird new tandem fighting style where one person uses the other as a weapon. Tell me that doesn’t sound worth it. On second thought, don't. You'd be wrong and I don't want you to embarrass yourself.
CLICK HERE TO BUY Raging Phoenix [Blu-ray]