Daew is a cop who has nailed the evil gunrunner General Yang, but his partner is killed in the case and Daew becomes depressed. However, his sister asks him to join her and some of her athlete friends to a small village to give food and toys to the villagers. What starts out as a trip to help people turns into a nightmare when Yang's men arrive at the village and take over, demanding the release of Yang or a nuclear missile will hit Bangkok. When villagers are killed left and right, Daew and the athletes must start a revolution against the tyranny before it's too late.Written by
During the truck chase scene, Daew's partner drives his van between General Yang's trucks and shoots on both sides, killing the passenger in the truck on the right and the driver of the truck on the left. After the truck on the right hits its brakes and Daew falls off of it, Daew quickly jumps into the passenger side window of the truck. The dead passenger is nowhere to be seen. See more »
The ending credits feature outtakes and practice shots of most of the major stunts displayed on the film. See more »
In 2003 Thailand produced one of the most jaw dropping action films in recent years in ONG BAK, a throw back to the reckless stunt choreography of Hong Kong cinema. 2004 continues the tradition with BORN TO FIGHT, a film that maintains the philosophy of doing stunts with no special effects, no wires and no stunt doubles. Keanu Reeves need not apply.
The plot of BORN TO FIGHT is very simple. A cop (Choupong Changprung) and his partner are working undercover to capture a drug kingpin/mercenary. The cop succeeds in an over the top opening sequence that leaves both a town and his partner blown to pieces. To get over the loss of his partner, the cop decides to accompany his sister with a group of gymnasts on a humanitarian mission to a small village. But as cinematic bad luck would have it, the thugs of the aforementioned crime boss shows up, take the village hostage and threaten to detonate a nuclear missile unless their leader is released. It is then up to the cop and the villagers to stop them.
The basic premise of BORN TO FIGHT is so standard that it could easily be used for any American action film ("DIE HARD in a village!" is what the execs would call it). What sets it apart from a majority of its action genre brethren are the astounding stunts and fight scenes. Both this film (and ONG BAK for that matter) take me back to the time when a stunt would make me audibly wince in pain for the guy on the receiving end. Knowing that person actually took the bump rather than standing in front of a green screen and being digitally made a bad ass is far more satisfying to me. The adrenaline-pumping trailer, which made the internet rounds during the summer of 2004, contains only a fraction of on screen mayhem contained in this film. The last half hour, where the villagers fight back, is a non-stop battle.
Director Panna Rittikrai, who was the fight choreographer on ONG BAK, utilizes a number of Thai athletes as the heroes. By doing this Rittikrai is able to incorporate their various athletic abilities such as gymnastics, soccer playing and the Thai sport of sepak takraw (which utilizes a hard ball that becomes a formidable weapon). This helps substantially in the film's pursuit to "one up" each previous stunt. However, that is not to say that regular action staples such as gun battles and car chases are left out of the mix. The film contains lots of bloody shootouts, including one done in a long take a la Woo's HARD BOILED. And the vehicular mayhem is ever present with a number of motorcycle stunts that qualify as the most dangerous I have ever seen in a film. In a nod to their influences (particularly Jackie Chan), the filmmakers end the closing credits with footage of the stunts as they happen. Surprisingly, the most dangerous looking ones result in the stuntmen jumping up and signaling they are okay.
With ONG BAK getting a lot of (deserved) hype leading up to its North American theatrical release, it is refreshing to see that the Thai film industry isn't resting on that film's rep. While this film may lack the plot dynamics and production value of ONG BAK (it probably cost half of that), it still manages to deliver on the promise of non-stop action. BORN TO FIGHT is a must see for anyone who was once thrilled to the sight of Yuen Biao kicking a coconut, Sammo Hung getting into a stick fight or Jackie Chan destroying an entire shanty town.
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