My review of Thai/Korean Taekwondo action production is over at Flickering Myth and appears below…
This neat fusion of slapstick comedy and intricate martial arts from Ong-bak and Chocolate creator Pinkaew is reminiscent of the kind of Hong Kong movies that Jackie Chan used to make back in the 1980s. Concentrating on turbo charged scenes of feet, fists and swords; the joint Korean-Thai production finds its mark with explosive force and accomplished dexterity.
Following a Korean family team of Thai-based Taekwondo fighters as they prevent the robbery of the ancient knife the ‘kris of kings’, the film pits them against a blood-thirsty gang of criminals as they try to claim the artefact. The younger members of the family are sent out to their uncle, the confusingly named country living Mum (Petchtai Wongkamlao) where they train themselves up for the inevitable showdown.
As far as main plot elements go that’s about it. But in a movie as enjoyable as this it certainly does not feel to be wanting of anything more. An essential element of all martial arts movies is of course the choreography, and this production features a superb display of exactly how to do it. Each member of the family – and their adversaries – has plenty of room to shine, and do so in action scenes of a memorable vivacity.
The sub plot of family son Tae Yang’s (Tae-joo Na) dreams of becoming a K-Pop star adds a slightly different edge to the production, with one scene in particular incorporating the two disciplines of Taekwando and performance dance beautifully. This scene in particular marks him out as the true star of the picture and the movie itself as a razor sharp cut above a standard martial arts offering.
An added bonus for entertainment fans of a slightly different order is offered by a light sprinkling of computer game visuals. These console inspired elements truly capture the fun and pure entertainment of this style of movie.
For tornado kicks and fighting dance styles, this is a great addition to the kung fu/martial arts genre.