Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Aranya Namwong, Petchtai Wongkamlao
Genres: Action & Adventure
Studio: Magnolia Pict Hm Ent Release Date: 08/26/2008 Run time: 100 minutes Rating: Nr
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"This is your last chance to call the royal guards!"
AMP | Somewhere on Earth | 09/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Good Things
*Pretty good video quality. It is generally clear and had good colors, but at times, it does feel like you're watching a made-for-TV movie or something.
*Good audio. Includes both English and its original Thai. Also had Spanish subtitles.
*Inclues a 30-minute making-of featurette.
*Filming style is pretty good.
*Includes some very slick exciting action scenes and a lot of weird zany comedy. Has a couple of cool martial arts fight scenes.
*Storyline is good, simple, and easy to follow.
*Characters are pretty good. Good acting.
The Bad Things
*Not for kids; contains violence, swearing, and nudity.
*Cover art is rather misleading. It looks like a stylish action flick, but is really a comedy.
*Some jokes are overly strange.
The Other Things
*Widescreen presentation enhanced for 16:9 TVs.
This film is nothing like what I expected (I guess I was expecting "Ong Bak" or something), but is still quite entertaining. The action scenes were great, and the comedy was often funny. If you like other Asian comedies (like "Kung Fu Hustle"), then you'll probably like this. If you like action, you'll probably like this anyway. But if you want pure action or crime drama, then this is not what you want."
I wish the Royal Guards had come...
Mike Schorn | APO, AE United States | 01/15/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"In the first of two starring vehicles for comedian and Ong-Bak - The Thai Warrior alumnus Petchtai Wongkamlao, action and comedy are mixed Thai style, resulting in a movie that can seriously alienate folks who were duped into buying the film simply because Tony Jaa is featured on the cover. If you're hip to Thai cinema (i.e. you've seen some Thai films besides Tony's) and comedic norms, then you ought to find this more enjoyable...but, coming from a guy who's seen his share of silly blow-`em-up flicks, this movie came as a heavy disappointment from director/genre guru Panna Rittikari.
Essentially, the story follows Chaichol (Piphat Apiraktanakorn), the son of the recently-assassinated richest man in Thailand, as he pursues his father's killers after firing the bodyguard who failed to save him (Wongkamlao); upon being ambushed by the assassins, Chaichol flees to the safety of a Bangkok slum where, without revealing his identity, he must avoid the killers while the bodyguard works to clear his name and stay one step ahead of the assassins.
Indeed, it turns out that the bodyguard (called Wongkom) isn't actually the film's main star. You very nearly forget about him when he disappears from the screen for a good twenty minutes or so when Chaichol enters into a love story with a tomboyish poor girl called Pok (Pumwaree Yodkamol, another "Ong Bak" veteran). This thoroughly unexpected twist makes it pretty difficult to judge the film prior to buying it, but since it means a cut in the action scenes, I cannot condone it. The action itself is sparse, but three scenes call attention to themselves: the opening shootout, the fight in the supermarket featuring Mr. Jaa, and the final warehouse battle (featuring Samart Payakaroon, Dynamite Warrior). While the combination of kickboxing, gunplay, and slapstick isn't about to make you forget any other action film you like, they're good enough to make me wish there were more of their quality around - that may have just saved the movie.
However, limelight is given to the movie's generous comedy portions, and that's where it ought to stop for most non-Thai audiences. I understand that humor differs with culture and that I am not really qualified to judge how funny something is that I only understood through subtitles, but unless I'm missing something fundamental here, the filmmakers thought that the high point of comedy is calling somebody an idiot. Or stupid. Or some other derogatory names that I can't print in this review, delivered with neither wit nor buildup. The most original thing the movie comes up with in this vein is making fun of spousal abuse. So much time is given over to this shallow, one-note humor and redundant, nameless `comedy players' that it almost makes you forget about the first ten minutes of enjoyable slapstick that only makes momentary reappearances later on.
When the characters in the film started making shoot statements and breaking the fourth wall, I was done and this review had all but written itself. I have yet to watch the sequel, but here's to hoping that it's a bit more streamlined than this piece."
Martin Asiner | Jersey City, NJ | 06/22/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"You simply cannot take seriously a film like THE BODYGUARD. The only reason I watched it was that Tony Jaa was given top billing. Jaa is one of the most exciting martial arts stars of the decade. Here, he is in only one scene, which is played for laughs. In fact the entire movie is too. The plot is merely a device upon which the director allows the stars to mug for the camera. The villains are straight out of the Snidely Whiplash school of acting. The hero alternates between playing it straight and for laughs. For those who have seen Tony Jaa in a few of his other films, you might recognize the same actors in similar roles. Though this is a pretty silly film, there are too many scenes of gratuitous nudity and graphic violence to make it suitable for the very young. For those who can appreciate the numerous "in" jokes and allusions to Jaa's other films, THE BODYGUARD is mildly entertaining."