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The Kick (2011)

January 4, 2013

MY CALL:  Ouch!  Unacceptable across the board.  What a shame.  I was looking forward to this movie for a long timeWHAT TO WATCH INSTEADThe Raid: Redemption (2011), Ong-Bak (2003), The Protector (2005) and Chocolate (2009).  If you love them, you could try their second-tier cousins Raging Phoenix (2009), Merantau (2009) and Ong-Bak 2 (2008).  TRAILER: Click here to see my Trailer Talk.

Prachya Pinkaew–director of Ong-Bak (2003), The Protector (2005), Chocolate (2009) and currently filming The Protector 2, and producer-only of Ong-Bak 2 (2008) and Raging Phoenix (2009)–disappoints on his most recent release.  The camera work is poor (especially during action scenes and stunts), the editing reveals that the stunts were rarely done fluidly within the fight choreography, and the fight choreography itself felt like it would have been impressive 15 years ago before the Jeeja Yanin (aka Jija Yanin Mitananda), Tony Jaa, Scott Adkins era, but now it just seems dated.

The plot is rather simple. A Korean family of Tae Kwon Do Olympians moves to Thailand (for whatever reason) and opens a gym.  While preparing for national Tae Kwon Do day and the Olympic trials they foil some criminals’ attempt to steal a valuable artifact and are then extorted to steal it for them.

Other than Jeeja Yanin (as Wawa), none of these young kids have been in any movies before.  It’s meant to be a cute family martial arts movie but rather than having an air of Jackie Chan charm, it just comes off hokey and poorly executed.  The hits are light, portrayed as far too powerful, and the fights are more silly than clever and, when clever, still poorly executed.

Here, this idiot does a Spice Girls dance routine to augment his martial arts prowess.  Really, he does. My soul hurts now!

I’m confused as to how this was so awful.  It had a $3.5 million dollar budget–slightly less than the $4m for Ong-Bak or $5m for Chocolate.  Couldn’t they find more capable young martial artists for cheap?  Stunt men aren’t expensive? What was the problem here?  Why does this suck while his other directorial work rocks?

This movie really looked like it could be loads of fun.  So sad.

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