Chocolate

This was recommended by Tractor Facts movie blog, so I gave it a shot. I also liked Ong Bak: the Thai Warrior and The Protector (Tom Yum Goong) a lot, so more Thai martial arts films are welcome. Chocolate is pretty good, but takes 1/3 of its time to spiral up, and feels like something from the Luc Besson factory at times. Then again I love movies where women kick ass, and Zen- an autistic girl whose parents are brutalized by thugs- studies Tony Jaa on TV and learns she can replicate his moves. She’s a Muay Thai savant! Sure beats counting toothpicks.

This leads to many fight set pieces as she starts collecting money from thugs to pay for her mom’s hospital bills. There’s one in an ice block cutting factory, a meatpacking plant, another atop building signs on the third floor above a city street. Directed by Prachya Pinkaew- who did those two Tony Jaa movies I mentioned- and starring newcomer JeeJa Yanin as the lanky and flexible fighter Zen- she always looks like she could really kick some ass, and the fights are all fun to watch. Sometimes she channels old school Jackie Chan.

On the other hand there are lots of interludes with Zen on swingsets or screaming at flies- her Kryptonite- that get a bit old. It needed a little less Rain Man and more Sling Blade. As action movies go it is pretty good, following the typical revenge formula as Zen tries to avenge her mother against the thugs, engaging in Kill Bill style sword battles and whatnot. I wasn’t very engaged but I liked the fights a lot, so it’s worth a viewing if you like the chop socky.

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Rating: Worthy