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DYNAMITE WARRIOR (2006)
Published by Film Fanaddict on 2007/10/21 (2555 reads)
Directed by Charlim Wongpim
Review by Felix Vasquez Jr.
Released by Magnolia Pictures
Running Time: 102 Minutes
Color format: Color
Audio/Subtitles: English, None
Region Code: 1
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
16:9 Enhanced: Yes
Making of “Dynamite Warrior”
Behind the Scenes Stunts
On the Set Footage
Special Effects Make Up
Ever since “Ong-Bak,” Thailand has ruined us with movies that use choreography implementing high kicks, sweeping round houses, and slow motion battles without the use of CGI and wires. Tony Jaa proved to us that it’s possible to create a mindless action film and still have the polish and frantic energy of a great piece of filmmaking.
And that’s why we’re consistently disappointed with all of the other exports from this little blossoming sub-genre. There was “The Protector” which wasn’t as well received as many suspected it should have been, “Mercury Man” which while entertaining was just silly, and then “Dynamite Warrior.”
To call it a mess would be putting it too lightly; the clear indicator that this is simply the lamest of the exports so far is the first twenty minutes where the director asks us to enjoy the realism of the epic battle scenes, while also forcing us to swallow a scene of our hero riding a large rocket in the air.
And he then takes part in one of the most boring fight sequences I’ve seen of this export fad to date. Most notable is the choreography which is slow and clunky, while most of the scenes are so poorly edited that they look like rehearsals for actual scenes we’ll never get to watch. It’s the first time I’ve seen a flying knee kick and not gasp in amazement.
There’s also the contrived plot that is basically routine for movies of this ilk. A powerful and crooked land barren is seizing all the farms and cattle, and there’s a masked warrior dressed in farmer’s clothing, and a mask that looks like a picnic table cloth, who tosses dynamite and assorted explosives at villains while demonstrating his flair for knees to the face. In one goofy scene, our masked man stands with his knee up threatening a circle of villains for a good two minutes, and I inevitably yelled, “Just kick them, already!”
For this genre I’ve seen much worse, but “Dynamite Warrior” expects too much of its audience and ends up diving near the sheer abysmal pits of lesser titles. Wongpim depicts realism and pure silly fantasy, strives for comedy but wants sympathy for our characters, feigns originality when also blatantly unfolding a contrived plot, and continues this stream of unsteady moods and themes for almost two hours.
I was very inclined to adjust my expectations and think of it in the silliness scale of a Stephen Chow action comedy where our heroes and villains are cartoon characters, but when I found myself rolling my eyes instead of laughing, I had to give “Dynamite Warrior” the shaft.
“Dynamite Warrior” has a clear purpose for the US DVD market; it wants to cash in on fans of Tony Jaa and “Ong-Bak,” it wants to convince us that it’s hipper and more stylish than the aforementioned title, and argue that it’s in the same quality and class as Jaa’s arguably excellent action romp, even when it’s obvious this film is not even in the same playing field as Jaa’s theatrics, showmanship, and flair on the battlefield.
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