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Province 77 (THAI 2002)

Province 77 (Thai 2002)

Director : Smith Timsawat
Cast : Prinya Itachai, Matinee Kingpoyom, Erik Markus Schuetz and Pete Tongchua.

A recently immigrated Thai family struggles to survive in Los Angeles’ fast-paced consumerist culture, while still maintaining traditional values. The identity struggle affects Pat, a good boy tempted by a life of crime, and his sister.

by Edward Tang

Well, I truly don’t know where to begin. Province 77 is billed as another version of real GANGSTA life in the likes of Better Luck Tomorrow and Boyz n the Hood. So in other words, sorry to those films for getting an unlucky comparison to a lousy film. Well I was going to try and not insult the film up front, but frankly it stinks of cliched moments and annoying characters that got older as the film went along. Granted, this film is based upon how a Thai family struggles to survive in their new environment but why is that interesting?

We all know that it’s hard for an immigrant to get along in his/her new environment..so what’s the point of this in the long run? Tai Seng does a lousy job (once again…) at selling this DVD as they use these horrible tag lines such as “An honest, realistic portrayal of gangsters”, bullshit. Then they go onto say something like “Exciting drag races, Raw Street Dialog and explosive gunfire action.” WHOA WHOA WHOA! Where did we get this load of bullshit? Realistically, this film is long and annoying filled with the stereotyped gangster characters, lousy fist fighting scenes and a story that doesn’t move for shit. Not a gangster action-drama, a full on drama that has truly nothing going for it. Hell, if you like almost two hours of talking without nothing else that you couldn’t find in a cracker jack box, I still would find something else.

The story (or lack there of) is mostly about this family who lives in the Thai district of Los Angeles. The idiot son of the family named Pat wants to be a gangster and makey some cakey so he joins a loser gangster named Goldie (Yeah….Goldie) and they hit things off and start making some real money and Pat experiences the life of the gangster (getting high, popping his cherry…that sort of thing). So in what seems like a bad transition, we just completely fall out of notice with Pat’s story and we hit one with his family’s, as they try to survive in L.A. His father is a restaurant owner (sound familiar?) and he’s having problems with the IRS. This goes on for a little bit as we are then introduced to a weird dude named Dan. He’s a guy with a shady past and he moves in next to Pat’s family. We later learn that he was a former soldier and that his wife was killed, so he moved out to L.A to escape the hassle, I guess. So Dan gets a little bit CERRAZY with some of Goldie’s gang members and kicks the shit out of them. Of course, this guy gets everyone worried because they find out he whacked Uncle Chan (This is Pat’s uncle who also killed Dan’s wife….it worked like dogshit). Anyways, Pat is sent to kill Dan, he doesn’t and that angers Goldie who tries to kill Pat but is killed by Pat’s sister! INSANE STUFF. So we end on a message that it’s hard for people to get along with people or some shit like that.

Ah, that’s the long and boring story in one paragraph, sounds fun huh? Well honestly, the story is very similar to that of another Thai gangster film I saw in Yaowarat. Both films don’t just focus on the harsh lifestyle of the gangster but they try to have other stories that are loosely connected to the main one. In both instances, they fail badly. But what Yaowarat did was they at least gave the entertaining factor to the mix while this film flirts with being completely boring. We don’t learn about the character’s, we see an obvious fictitious lifestyle of an idiot gangster who ends up in a wheelchair at the end (Best part of the movie). The film drags for so long and never gets anywhere. That’s an understatement as the first hour or so focuses mainly on the family’s money problems….who gives a fuck? We also have to suffer from lousy shots from a director who probably was just thrilled to get a job and it didn’t help matters that he’s a fucking idiot. But the direction is a small complaint next to the lack of a good storytelling base, which makes the film fall apart into a parody if anything.

Along with the bad story is the tacky crap they added to make it seem more tough. We see a car racing angle that lasts about two minutes and was there to be there. Hell, this film got some money so they probably just went wild. Then we get a bunch of Thai people who speak decent English and they use the typical gangster dictionary with constantly saying either “Yo, Dog, or y’all.” Wait did I say y’all? That’s like what a hick would say if he was drunk as a skunk. Howdy y’all! But yeah, these terms get abused and want to make you truly want to strangle everybody around you who is also watching this shit-fest. Then towards the tacky Thai-rap crap that they pound into your ears every second with such memorable classics as “Hey, motherf*cker” and “I’m from Thailand and I’m trying to keep my heritage but not really!” Yeah there’s actually a song that only says “Hey motherf*cker”, that’s some f*cking writing! HOLY SHIT!

There are a few action scenes but they are best described as “A bunch of pushing and eventually falling”, that’s what I call shit. Maybe I’m a little harsh but I don’t think so, because I just didn’t get anything out of this flick. There’s a long story that never moves anywhere until the end where we see a bunch of amateur shots with a tacky ending that was the dumbest I’ve seen in a while. Okay, so Pat’s sister (who really doesn’t have anything to do with the movie) shoots Goldie and kills him. She goes to jail and uses the voice-over to explain how she was just watching out for her family. But you shot the guy in the head! IN THE HEAD! That’s some badass Chow-Yun Fat shit from Full Contact, not from a fifteen year old girl! Oh and to mention the acting…crap. Yeah we don’t get much in that department, most of the actors try to describe their feelings with bad expressions and fail. The dialog is bad as well “I think that Pat is bad because he hangs around with people who are bad”, with to which she responds “I agree.” Well I’m glad you do. Oh yeah, there was this white girl in the movie, she had the biggest pair of tits I’ve ever seen. Very nice stuff.

Province 77 is basically a tacky film filled with a message that we all know: It’s hard to live in a different country if you are from somewhere else. OKAY, but you could have simply taken that message and put it in the beginning and then had a ninety-minute action film filled with nudity and shootouts. But alas, you tried for the long and painful way that just doesn’t work. Avoid this if you can but if not, be ready for some stupid shit. I warned you.

Plot : 2/5
Acting : 1/5
Entertainment : 2/5
Overall : 2/5

Notable Scenes
- N/A

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