Dynamite Warrior (ฅนไฟบิน) Made in: Thailand Language: Thai Director: Chalerm Wongpim Starring: Dan Chupong, Phutiphong Sriwat, Kanyapak Suworakood, Samart Payakaroon, Panna Ritikrai, Somdet Kaewleu Year: 2006
Synopsis: The story takes place in Thailand during the 1890s. Jone Bang Fai (Dan Chupong) is a mysterious warrior who goes around battling cattle rustlers. After beating them down, he returns the stolen oxen to their rightful owners (or to poor farmers). Jone Bang Fai is also on a quest for revenge, and seeks the sorcerer who killed his parents.
At the same time, Lord Waeng (Phutiphong Sriwat), a local nobleman, plots to steal all the water buffalo belonging to villagers in an effort to create a market for his overpriced steam tractors. He hires a thug (Somdet Kaewleu) to carry out this plan and to kill the innocent cattle traders who get in the way. Lord Waeng eventually crosses paths with Nai Hoi Sing (Samart Payakaroon), a cattle trader/sorceror with supernatural Jedi-like fighting powers.
Jone Bang Fai learns about Nai Hoi Sing, and during a brawl, believes that Nai Hoi Sing is the one who killed his parents. Lord Waeng then tricks Jone Bang Fai into joining forces with another sorcerer called the Black Wizard (Panna Ritikrai), in an effort to kill Nai Hoi Sing.
Eventually, all this culminates in a final showdown between the Dynamite Warrior (who doesn't actually use any dynamite) and the bad guys.
The Good: Some of the action set pieces are pretty imaginative, and the muay thai martial arts is decent. The stunts are pretty entertaining too. There are some cute moments between Jone Bang Fai and his love interest, E'Sao (Kanyapak Suworakood), and I admit it was kind of fun to watch crude rockets being employed as weapons.
The Bad: But overall, Dynamite Warrior is extremely cheesy. The cartoonish acting on the part of the villains gets very annoying, and I found myself hoping Dan Chupong would just pick up a gun and make the movie a whole lot shorter. In fact, some of the villains are SO annoying that I found myself also wanting to beat the tobacco juice out of the actors who played them as well.
The music is generally horrible, and much of it sounds like a compilation of annoying cell phone ring tones. The pacing is uneven as well- the movie either feels rushed or is too slow. The rockets are kind of neat, but very few (if any) explode. What's the point of using a horizontally-launched rocket if it's not going to blow anything up?
Despite competent stunt work and capable muay thai fighting skills on the part of the cast, Dynamite Warrior doesn't have the energy level of similar Thai action films such as a Ong Bak and The Protector, starring Tony Jaa.
Who would like this movie: This movie was clearly intended for fans of action movies and martial arts, but it's a disappointment. Despite the creativity of using rockets (and you'll have a good snicker at the phallic imagery in parts) and great effort on the part of the stunt team, the silly, uncharismatic characters drag this movie down into unforgettable buffoonery.