Warrior King (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner26/07/2006

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 109 mins

Enjoyable chop-socky flick with jaw-dropping fight sequences, although animal-lovers may want to give it a miss.

What's it all about?
Ong-Bak star Tony Jaa returns as country boy Kham, who likes nothing better than hanging out with his aging father (Sotorn Rungruaeng) and their two elephants, Por Yai and Korn. However, when vicious mafia types kidnap the pair of pachyderms, Kham heads to Sydney to exact his own brand of ass-kicking revenge.

The Good
Warrior King is a throwback to the chop-socky glory days of Jaa's heroes, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan – the film-makers promise no stunt doubles, wire-work or CGI, just like in those movies. Jaa uses the same Muay Thai fighting style that he used in Ong-Bak, only this time he seems to have added a few new moves.

The fight-scenes are truly astonishing. One incredible sequence takes place in a brothel, where Kham fights his way up six floors (connected by a wide staircase), all in one five-minute take. It's very videogame-like, with the defeat of each foe leading to an even bigger opponent, against increasingly inventive backgrounds.

The Bad
At 109 minutes, the film is around 20 minutes too long, particularly as the fights start to become repetitive before the end, as if they just ran out of ideas. Similarly, some of the comedy doesn't quite work and there's a bizarre CGI fantasy sequence that should probably have been cut.

The film should probably come with a warning for animal-lovers. For one thing, it turns out that the mafia types are involved in the illicit meat trade, but there's also a scene where a thug throws a baby elephant through a plate-glass window and you'll look in vain for a No elephants were harmed during the making of this movie type disclaimer at the end.

Worth seeing?
Martial arts fans are in for a treat but if you're an elephant fan you'll be both delighted and horrified by the animal scenes.

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Content updated: 17/10/2017 12:10

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