REVIEW: Dynamite Warrior (2006)

dynamitewarrior

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2006, Sahamongkol Film International/Baa-Ram-Ewe Production

Director:
Chalerm Wongpim
Producers:
Prachya Pinkaew
Sukanya Vongsthapat
Writers:
Chalerm Wongpim (story & screenplay)
Yuttapong Peerayuttapong (screenplay)
Cinematography:
Thanachat Bunlah
Editing:
Chalerm Wongpim
Wichit Wattananon

Cast:
Dan Chupong (Siang/Jone Bang Fai)
Leo Putt (Lord Waeng)
Panna Rittikrai (Nan Hoi Dam “The Black Wizard”)
Samart Tipthamai (Nan Hoi Sing)
Kanyapak Suworakood (E’Sao)
Somdej Kaewler (The Thief)
Ampon Rattanawong (Kaan)
Wichai Promajan (Paen)

Born to Fight and Vengeance of an Assassin’s Dan Chupong stars in this period action film that delves into the supernatural yet it shows life in northeastern Thailand.

In the mid-19th century, villagers are raising cattle in order to help keep their rice fields active so they can survive. However, there are cattle raiders who steal from the farmers in order to make a buck for themselves.  They soon learn of a mysterious hero who arrives and uses rockets as his weapons as well as having impeccable fighting skills. The locals call him Jone Bang Fai. However, the man is actually Siang, a young man who after taking on the raiders, look at their chest as a tattoo is the key for him finding the one who murdered his parents years ago.

Lord Waeng has invented a machine, the tractor, which he promises will help farming easier for the locals. However, they prefer their traditional methods. Determined to get his way, Waeng hires an escaped hulking convict known as The Thief to make sure the farmers know who is boss. He also plans to steal the cattle for slaughter. When Waeng runs into Sing, a cattle trader who is skilled in supernatural martial arts and loses badly to him, The Thief recommends seeing the Black Wizard, a notorious killer who like Sing, is supernatural, but due to a curse cannot come out in the daytime. In the meantime, Sing is hunted down by Siang, who recognizes a specific tattoo he is looking for.

After the success of Born to Fight, Dan Chupong returns to action in this interesting tale of cattle rustling in mid-19th century Isan. A predominantly farming area, the film depicts life in the area with the cast being led by a native to the area, Dan Chupong. Chupong started out as a stuntman for the late great Panna Rittikrai before getting his first lead role in the 2004 reboot of Born to Fight.

With this film, Chupong takes the lead once again as the titular role, a mysterious Robin Hood-like figure whose sole intention is to find the killer of his parents. Yet, along the way, he feels necessary to make sure the farmers have what they need to cultivate rice, which helps with survival. His introduction scene alone is worth seeing as we see Chupong using plenty of Muay Thai skills and use of rockets to take down a group of cattle raiders in order to steal back for the villagers. He is known as “Jone Bang Fai”, or “Rocket Warrior” to the locals, but we learn later his real name is Siang.

Leo Putt’s Lord Waeng brings most of the comic relief even though in essence, he is a primary villain because he is the mastermind behind the whole evil plot as he intends to make technology known despite the farmers sticking to traditions. Somdej Kaewler’s character of the Thief is a giant who resorts to cannibalism at times and sometimes it becomes a bit stomach-churning. However, the major surprise comes in the form of the late Panna Rittikrai himself as the Black Wizard, who like Samart Tipthamai’s Sing, was involved in the supernatural and this is where the film becomes at first a “what the $#@!” moment. Plus there is a bit of a drag when it comes to a potential romance between Siang and E’Sao, the Wizard’s daughter played by Kanyapak Suworakood. However, as the film progresses with the use of flashbacks, we get to see the backstories of both Siang, Sing, and the Black Wizard to see how they eventually are all connected which leads into a really fun final act which involves the core cast of the film.

Dynamite Warrior is a fun comic-book style wild ride with Dan Chupong taking the reins as one of Thailand’s top action star with Panna Rittikrai in a very impressive and at times, insane, villain turn along with Leo Putt providing most the comic relief as the mastermind villain. Definitely worth checking out.

WFG RATING: B

DVD

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