Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Directed by Prachya Pinkaew.
2008. Rated R, 110 minutes.
Yanin "Jeeja" Vismitananda
Hiroshi Abe
Ammara Siripong
Taphon Phopwandee
Pongpat Wachirabunjong
Dechawut Chuntakaro
Hirokazu Sano

Zen (Yanin), an autistic girl (Vismitananda) who becomes an expert fighter by constantly watching martial arts movies, sets out to collect money owed to her cancer-stricken mother Zin (Siripong).

It's damn fun. Let's dispense with all notions of logic and just enjoy watching this teenage girl beat up hordes of grown men. The movies of Tony Jaa are obviously her biggest influence as clips of Ong-Bak are sprinkled throughout and she uses a number of moves he's known for. Why wouldn't she? After all, director Prachya Pinkaew also directed that martial arts classic. Older and/or more seasoned kung fu flick viewers will also recognize a few iconic moments from Bruce Lee movies and Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (see pic below). It's an insane experience. And you haven't lived until you've seen her fight a kid who apparently has Tourette Syndrome AND incorporates breakdancing and capoeira into his fighting style.

Hello!!! I said one of the highlights is an autistic girl fighting a boy with Tourette Syndrome!!!

I'm so bad.

If there is a hell, I might find myself there simply based on enjoying that aspect of it.

Let's get through this. Deep breaths. I can do this.

You cannot analyze this movie for even one second. Once you do, it instantly makes no sense whatsoever and might be construed as offensive, to boot. The script is barely coherent enough to drag you through, don't try to ruin it with common sense. Now that we've established that there's one other troubling element. Too often, the fight choreography shows its seams. From time to time you can plainly see some random bad guy run quickly up to her, only to stand there and wait to be hit. This subtracts from what otherwise are fairly spectacular sequences. Oh, and no, I've no clue why the movie is titled Chocolate. By the way, it is a Thai movie but when you pop in the DVD the English-dubbed version comes on, so subtitleophobes can breathe easy.

This is strictly for martial arts fans. For anyone else, its just too ridiculous. The term "suspension of disbelief" was made for this movie. That said, it still falls into the must-see category for people who love kung fu flicks because of, AND in spite of, its massive shortcomings. So yeah, I love this crap. It's the very definition of 'so bad its awesome!'

MY SCORE: -10/10