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I've been watching a lot of Thai action flicks recently, and this one has certainly been on my list for a long time. In a nutshell, it's better than Tony Jaa's previous film Ong-Bak: Thai Warrior (2003) because probably of more experience from the production team, and more means, but i feel that it's a level below Chocolate (2008) in that in spite of its spectacular action sequences, it lacks emotion and character development that made Chocolate so much fun. This being said, this movie provides plenty of incredible action sequences like you have probably never seen, and will satisfy anyone looking for some astounding human feats: "no GGI, no doubles, and no wires" as the marketing goes.
The story is very simple. Kham (Tony Jaa) is an elephant trainer and the pride of his village. One day, some bad guys steal the elephant and Kham travels all the way to Sydney, Australia, to get his elephant back. There, he'll mix up with a real bad gang, headed by sharp and shrewd transsexual wonderwoman Madame Rose.
The story and character development is paper thin, but even so, the character of Madame Rose comes out in full force, thanks to Xing Jing who pulls out all stops for a great campy performance. The film sports three action scenes that are fantastic, as to be expected from this team. If you want to see something different, and like action fares, than this is a good way to spend an evening and definitely one of the better entries in Thai action cinema.
- Laurent Hasson