I won’t beat around the bush with this review, Dynamite Warrior is another film where the action scenes save the movie. Dynamite Warrior is the story of a young man on a quest for vengeance against the man that killed his parents… sounds pretty unoriginal right? The fights are all wire-enhanced Muay-Thai, and everyone not struck with a blunt, wooden object, takes a knee or an elbow to the head or chest. Just don’t make the mistake of expecting another Ong-Bak like I did. Toss in the Black Wizard seeking revenge for a curse placed upon him and it’s downright mythic.
Dan Chupong, a stuntman on Ong-Bak, stars as Jone Bang Fai, and spends most of the movie flying through the air. Some scenes are so campy that it is almost laughable. The director tries too hard to mix in satire and comic relief that the movie’s screenplay stumbles at times. One thing I will say about the movies I have seen from Thailand, are that the camerawork is always beautiful and impressive. The use of landscape and angles are certainly the work of skilled cinematographers. If you like fantasy and martial arts, you’ll presumably enjoy it but I would hesitate in recommending this film only because it’s not for all tastes.
The plot does take a bit of a twist concerning the backstory of the evil wizard and his relationship to Jone Bang Fai and a mystical cattle driver. It is worth watching, but Dynamite Warrior could have been more fun with tighter pace and less repetitious actions. I may even suggest that the plot is lacking. Think Robin Hood that collides with Zorro without the great acting. Some scenes are so campy that it is almost laughable.
Dynamite Warrior attempts to blend the Muay Thai fighting system with a generous amount of special effects, wire work and a hint of mysticism. As a martial arts fan, the fight scenes are very well choreographed in my opinion. Also, for an undoubtedly tiny budget, the film’s CG is quite acceptable. It is quite spectacular when Siang starts shooting 30 rockets at his opponents and also there is some great stunts in this movie. If you eat up whatever Thai martial arts you can get your hands on you may find enough thrills in Dynamite Warrior to make due, otherwise it is another actioneer that ends up with an average score.