Hey folks, Valkor here. Last year I got the chance to check out Thai martial arts flick "Chocolate" starring Yanin Vistmitananda aka Jija Yanin, and to snag a quote from that review "It's a fun filled, fast paced ride, whose main actress is as beautiful as she is deadly". Well Yanin is back in a new flick, which mixes drunken style martial arts, with a sweet dose of hip-hop, and once again pulling no punches; check out "Raging Phoenix" (Deu Suay Doo).
Raging Phoenix tells the story of Neu (Yanin); abandoned by her folks and once more by her rock band, she staggers the streets, drunk and alone. When out of nowhere, she's kidnapped by a tranny and some thugs. After puking on the Tranny's shoes, Neu is able to escape, but the thugs are still on her trail. Just as she's about to get run over by the thug's van, she's pushed out of the way by Sanim (Kazu Patrick Tang). The two are soon surrounded by henchman, some sporting pogo/stilts (I think that's what they're called) and here is when we're first introduced to the fighting style that we'll follow throughout this picture as Sanim bust a few moves and kicks a lot of ass, pulling Neu out of the fire. He takes her to his beach hideout where we meet Kee-Muu (Nui "B Boy Mr. Go Rock" Sandang) and Kee-Mha (Sompong "B Boy Haste" Leartvimolkasame), both drunk out of their minds. But when more thugs show up, they somehow spring to life and start kickin ass, hip-hop style. I mean I can't really describe it, but I've never seen a mesh of martial arts with hip-hop dance and I have to say, it looks damn good. Continuing on, it's revealed these henchmen were part of another group of henchmen who've been kidnapping girls all across Thailand (And seemingly enough, Japan). So Neu wants to be trained to fight and the trio teaches her. And with her new found moves she staggers upon another hideout with kidnapped women and rescues them, but not before wailing on the baddies with her kickin new movies. But Sanim realizes this was all a mistake as Neu will draw unwanted attention towards the team. So they set up a plan with a fourth member, Kee-Kwai (Boonprasert "B Boy Oman" Salangam) to trick Neu into thinking they were dead, but through a note she finds out the truth about her team and later she learns the truth about why they are hunting this group who are kidnapping these girls. Neu finds the group and after a bit of "convincing", she officially joins the team and together they set out to find the hideout where the missing girls are kept and ultimately try to take down this girl-kidnapping syndicate.
It's not stop bad assery all the way, but I'll let the review speak for itself.
Dare I say that Raging Phoenix is actually better than Chocolate? HELLS TO THE YEA!!!! First off I love Yanin even more in this flick than I do in Chocolate because she has a much larger speaking role, plus she gets to do some really goofy things that just enhances her cuteness. But what I enjoy most is the intensity of her fighting, which she takes it up several notches. I dare you to watch this flick and not cringe, groan, guffaw, or just be amazed at the abuse this woman can take. Yes people, if you have not seen any of her films, she takes a serious licking. But in Raging Phoenix, it feels like it's double that of Chocolate. The other players: Nui Sompong, and Boonprasert, take an equal beating and just keeping going. And I must repeat I love that fighting style; it's total bad ass! If you've never seen it before, then you definitely have to see this film, just for the moves. It's very well paced and definitely well edited as the action doesn't move too fast. Finally, the ending is one of the best endings I've seen in quite awhile. It's a mix of emotions, martial arts, and dramatic music that blends together and totally draws you in. One scene in particular and I won't go into detail, is when Sanim, Neu, and this total butch bitch are battling it out on wooden rope bridges. Great job!
The plot for why this group kidnaps the girls. I don't wanna spoil it, but I find it very lame. When you see the film from the beginning you think they're going in one direction, but they take it a whole other way and I don't care for it too much.
That Tranny… why does it have to be Trannies?
If you've seen Chocolate, then definitely, absolutely pick up Raging Phoenix. You're getting a decent story, and loads of action, wrapped around a unique fighting style, making this one bad ass mutha of a film. Last year I gave Chocolate a 4, I gotta take things uo a notch and give Raging Phoenix a 4.5 out of 5 stars and it's been Valkor tested and TOV Approved!