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Legend of the Tsunami Warrior (2008)

September 17, 2011

By John Leavengood

MY CALL:  This is a mediocre Asian saga movie.  It’s like they tried to combine Pirates of the Caribbean without the comic relief and Red Cliff without the awesome.  I’ll give this an unsensational C.  WHAT TO WATCH INSTEAD:  Here is a list of my Thai action favorites…Chocolate, The Protector, Ong-Bak.  For those looking for a more solid Asian saga, stick with Red Cliff.

The most confusing part of this movie was the plot, or plots, or understanding the direction the story and its motley plots are taking.  In the beginning these giant, powerful cannons are lost in battle and sink to the bottom of the sea.  Some Princess anticipating more of an unending battle with her nemesis wants to retrieve them, but they’re just too gosh-darned deep.  So this princess’ engineers try to recreate the technology, but fail.  Our attention then begins to shift between a love story of sorts, a fisherman-sorcerer whose powers grants all the insights offered by your local weather forecast and allow communication with sea life, a sundered tale of betrayal and revenge, a sorcerer who employs a cadre of pirates and Thai-style ninjas, another maybe-not-bad sorcerer, flashbacks involving some Dutchmen and the cannons, and a Dragonball-like sorcery training session.  Basically a whole lot of sorcery and a whole lot of random crammed into a whole lot of generally slow-paced movie.  Two hours of it to be exact.  But wait, towards the end we come full circle back to the cannons in a siege battle.

Just about everything in this movie is of inconsistent quality.  The combat choreography is not complex, some of the moves are filmed crisply while others seem poorly executed, and a few solid acrobatics are snuck in among other lethargically-wired maneuvers.  This movie features beautiful underwater shots and gorgeous set design.  However, the CGI effects (when they are not CGI sea creatures) are of inconsistent quality and the wardrobe follows suit, ranging from stunning to uninspired.  Most outfits are dull and maybe authentic, but then the team of assassins in the beginning had the most impressive garbs of the entire movie.  What gives?

That said, it appeared that they were trying really hard to make this a Thai mega-adventure movie.  I can respect that.  I’d never watch this movie again, but I wouldn’t necessarily suggest that you never watch it.  I have a feeling that you’ll either love it (like many an Amazon reviewer seemed to) or just feel “eh” after watching it (like me).  Here’s the trailer.  The trailer is not high quality, but the movie’s production value is well above average.

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