Raging Phoenix (Deu suay doo) Reviews
The fight choreography is outstanding and at times it's like watching poetry in motion. For those that loved the Drunken Master movies then you'll enjoy the martial arts here which combines breakdancing and drunken muay thai. In case your wondering although Jeeja is the main star in this movie she does have to share her screentime with 4 people who get to show off their martial arts skills too.
I've got to hand it to the Thais, they're certainly innovative with their fight sequences and action movies. Raging Phoenix comes highly recommended and Jeeja Yanin raises the bar once more after her brilliant debut in Chocolat. Can't wait to see her next movie.
Overall the film brought to mind the movie Band of The Hand. Oh joy. Same requirement of the "good guys" having to train hard in montages, and also work at getting along before finally taking on the "bad guys" who, like the drug dealers in BoTH, are likewise immune to regular police enforcement.
The early fight scenes are reminiscent of the dancing, spinning, acrobatic fighting found in 70's B-movie chop socky flicks with a tad bit of capoeira enough to look exotic. Like those old standbys, a major part of the first half of the film is all the "good guys" doing their level best to show they could replace Jackie Chan as the next "Drunken Master". Although as the movie progresses, aside from perhaps arriving drunk to the fight, no one drinks during the fight anymore. I am not even sure anyone was drunk in the last scene, despite the opening scenes where alcohol was what basically allowed them to be super fighters.
In the opening scenes the lesser baddies go down without much resistance, and are difficult only because they are in numbers. The baddies at the end are gods who take vicious blows to EVERYWHERE many many times over, and aside from getting a bit dirty, look fresh enough to go all night long. I have to admit this did prompt me to going back to web surfing to pass the time while the bad guys got softened up. Having made these villains so superhuman it takes a level of brutality to defeat them that it not just borders on the ridiculous, it goes all the way to the heart of the capital. If that's your thing, this is your movie. If not, have a hobby you can engage in at hand like I did.
All the bad guys die, and the good guys enjoy a Pyrrhic victory; but the world has been made safe from the evil depredations of human traffickers/perfume makers so we can all bask in the warm glow of hope as the movie closes credits.
I liked some of the fight moves a lot. I just wish they were depicted as being as brutal as I knew they would be if used for real. Having liked them enough early on kept me around until the end. This film can be turned on as background noise. You can definitely go to the corner store, take a few minutes of watching when you return to know exactly where you are in the movie's progress. Also feel free to move around and do what you have to.... like laundry or whatever.