Reviewed By-Paul Cooke Director : Prachya Pinkaew & Panna Rittikrai Starring : Suebsak Pansueb , Sasisa Indamines , Piyapong Piew On , Noppol Glomeration , Amornthep Waewsang & Dan Chupong Source: Cannibal King DVD/NTSC R1/English Subtitles / Behind The Scenes Making Of / Trailers / Cast & Crew Bios / Storyboards / Deleted Scene
Anyone getting close enough on the main highway to read the words ‘Highly Flammable’ on the back of the petroleum tanker gets that moment of trepidation at the thought of an explosive introduction to their day. Imagine condensing that extreme factor of the Kaboom theory into a plastic casing , one containing the same volatility but enmeshed within the silver slipways of a DVD. Handle with care then the volcano in plastic clothing that is ‘Born To Fight’ !.
Thai cinema has gone ballistic around the world since the release of ‘Ong Bak’ , and here the people responsible for its success unleash another Hit Action packed jaw dropper that will leave an audience flabbergasted in breathless awe. Its not every day that movie makers have the brazen audacity to challenge the might of a Jackie Chan in his prime style of movie stunt Action. Frame filling choreographed reckless abandonment bursts forth as a shanty town on a sloping hill is felled by a runaway juggernaut. A heroic young cop and his superior depress the accelerator on the all Action opening as they crack down on a gun dealing Major , the figurehead for Thai guerrillas and one cold hearted bastard. There really is no time to strap into your armchair seatbelt as the frenetic pace hits like a warp factored fly impacting on a windscreen. The first fifteen minutes careens along with a pause for breath only occurring when the credits finally then play and the star of the show is established. The young cop succeeds in bringing the arms dealer down and into the hands of the authorities to stand trial. This corrupt militia head honcho is however too important a leader to leave to rot in prison and you just know the pulse pounding antics of this all Action curtain raiser is just the appetiser.
A fund raising athletics team sets off into an impoverished village to hand out practical gifts and our hero goes along for the journey with his sister who is one of the star team members. The tranquil scenes of humility play out like an episode of ‘Little House On The Prairie’ with a sugar coating that paints a safe picture you just know is about to be swept aside by the almighty brush of evil !. Suddenly the military might of the Thai guerrillas storm the village , letting fire with not an ounce of compassion for man , woman or child. The faction take control of the small community and release their demands to the Thai government via a satellite. They demand the immediate release of the Major or their captives will be killed with regularity broadcast live on a world web cast. These guys mean business and at their disposal is a nuclear rocket , primed and targeted toward Bangkok city.
The only chance for the surviving villagers is to stand up and fight back rallied by the unyielding inner strength of the Thai people and allied by the unique abilities of the athletes. If winning gold is measured in the amount of skulls cracked then this Team Thai is who the crowd will want to cheer for. Why hire a stunt team when you can structure a story around naturally gifted young athletes who can do things with their own bodies that even CGI can’t reproduce !?. Prepare to be dazzled by a final run in of over half an hour of non stop bone crunching Action that’ll knock the wind out of you just as readily as the cast have from them. The style of close quarter fighting and movement is skillfully played out with masterful steady-cam application that displays a view that takes the viewer in and out of the Action like participating in a video game. The duck and dive , punch and run movement moves around like being behind the controls of ‘Doom’. There are even a couple of surprise gore moments , one of which shows an arm shot through with graphic bone pulverising realism.
This is high entertainment , driven by skilled practitioners of the art both in front of and behind the camera. Seasoned Action Director and coordinator Panna Rittikrai remakes his own film made previously with little recognition and a non existent budget. With ‘Born To Fight’ he delivers a must see miracle from a low finance production that is supremely high in output , entertaining in all departments. Many of the stunts on display are truly incredible and must have hurt !. If you thought only ’Superman’ could fly in the movies then think again. One scene early on , that involves a fight atop two speeding trucks , has a bad guy fly off and bounce between the vehicles before crashing to the ground only to have one of the multi wheeled carriers miss crushing his skull by inches !.
The explosive ending is such a rewarding experience and the behind the scenes outtakes , and close call stunt scenes play out over the end credits to let you know just how much effort was put into this amazing Actioner. For the most super charged escapade captured on film in quite a while ‘Born To Fight’ delivers , and effortlessly kicks the competition’s lame ass all over the globe.
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