Born To Fight (THAI 2004)
Director : Panna Rittikrai
Cast : Suebsak Pansueb , Sasisa Jindamanee , Piyapong Piew On , Noppol Gomarachun , Dan Chupong , Amornthep Waewsang
Deaw (Dan Chupong) is a Special Forces police officer that witnesses his partner and friend murdered when a drugs bust goes terrible wrong. Disheartened by this tragedy, he decides to join his sister and a troupe of elite athletes on a government sponsored charity event set to take place on the Thai/Burmese border.
Everything seems to be going to be going well, and Deaw is once again happy and fulfilled until…
A group guerillas arrived with a nuclear missile takes over the sleepy village, holding it hostage. The ransom they demand is the release of General Yang, one of the worlds most wanted drug lords. The clock is ticking. Can Deaw and the athletes rescue the village from the mercenaries? Can they save Bangkok from the imminent nuclear threat?
by Edward Tang
A group of terrorists take a group of people hostage (Die Hard) and threaten to destroy Thailand (Under Siege) if they don’t release a drug dealer from prison (Air Force One). Born to Fight is the ultimate action movie cliché, right down to the down-on-his-luck asshole cop who happens to be in the area when a bunch of bad guys take it over.
I’m all for this type of scenario if done right, but they f*cked it up good. During the film, I had myself fast-forwarding through all of the scenes that were not of action because we all know how this thing is going to and how it’s going to end right when you read the synopsis. But the one thing they couldn’t do is what Ong-Bak pulled off and that was to make good action sequences. Now don’t get me wrong, the action and stunts you see is of quality but after a while they get to be repetitious and annoying. The director seemingly steals from every possible action film he could think of including abusing the John Woo styled slow-motion to an almost sickening degree while also using the dreaded ESPN-styled replay of a stunt that they beat to death in Ong-Bak itself. Don’t worry about anything Tony Jaa, you’re safe on top of that small mountain because if pussies like Dan Chupong are after your title, you’ll keep it for a long f*cking time.
As noted above, the story is lame. Obviously people who want action don’t give a shit about that aspect but this time around, the story is just painful to sit through. Like Ong-Bak, they should have just focused on the action sequences instead of trying to build a story, because what they finished with was maybe the dumbest idea you could possibly think of. Instead of using trained killers, in this flick we get athletes. Now, these athletes can jump from place to place and dodge bullets with ease but can also adapt their skills into firing weapons with dead-eye accuracy and utilizing their soccer skills to a vomit-inducing degree. Take for example, there’s one sequence showing a kicker fighting a soldier, now the soldier could just shoot the guy but would rather beat him down with his gun. So as he attempts to pistol-whip the guy, the kicker instead does some tricks and flings a rock into his face. That’s stupid.
The film starts out on a pretty good note actually, there’s some two-handed pistol action (John Woo baby) and a decent truck chase to boot. But then the film completely goes dead in the middle of the film which features Dan Chupong and the rest of the town going through the motions until most of them are gunned down like dogs by the soldiers. This scene lasted a long time, soldiers were just offing everyone around from monks to police officers to women and children with their big ass machine guns. But then what put the icing on the dumbass cake was the plot: we will destroy Thailand with a big missile if you don’t release a drug dealer. Honestly, it’s a bad Hollywood ripoff (If you ripoff Hollywood, chances are you’re an idiot) but it can’t even be done with good special effects which makes it look even worse. They do show a shot of Thailand getting destroyed, and it looks pathetic.
After all this pointless exposition, they finally just say “f*ck it” and go into a hyper active mode that just showcases action scene after action scene (with a little bit of story here and there) which starts off great. But then down the road, everything gets to be the same thing over and over again. People running away from the soldiers, people dying from gunfire, the dumbass athletes (including a legless guy, exploitation of the handicapped!) jumping around like idiots, Dan shooting people and kicking in slow motion, and blah blah blah. There are a fair amount of stunts in the film, some which look great. In knowing this, we do not need to see the stunts over and over again thanks to an odd replay thing that Ong-Bak did as well. But like everything, the stunts got old as well. It ends typically, the remaining town people are escorted off the land and Dan barely saves one of the hostages before the entire village is blown the shit up. There’s also some sappy music to go along with that as the character looks down to the floor and reflects on the last moments, like an asshole.
I must say that the acting was lame as most action flicks but there just wasn’t any good characters. The main bad guy was executing people left and right but just didn’t impress me at all. Dan Chupong is the star of the show, most likely trying to be the next Tony Jaa. I wasn’t impressed by the guy as I was with Jaa although fighting wasn’t the only thing focused on (gunplay more specifically) so I probably didn’t get a good enough show. The music follows path as well, giving us a lame annoying techno-styled shit over and over mixed with the sappy shit mentioned earlier. There is a little outtakes type thing at the end (The Chan man, obviously) that was interesting for a little bit. Granted, I usually think that movies like this should just be action but since the action was annoying, I don’t know what to say.
Born to Fight is not Ong-Bak, it’s got some good action sequences and entertaining stunts but that’s it. This film could have been 80 minutes or so and I probably wouldn’t have complained as much about the repetitiveness of the action sequences but I can’t help but mention that they ran out of ideas fast about a bunch of athletes kicking stuff at a bunch of armed soldiers who should have wasted all these assholes at the beginning. Whatever, get yourself Ong-Bak or the action movies listed above….why watch a ripoff if the films it ripped off are much better and entertaining? Exactly, now go watch something else.
Plot : 2/5
Acting : 2/5
Entertainment : 3/5
Overall : 2/5
- The action is pretty good….for a while.
Buy this movie at YesAsia – Born To Fight