Posted in Fantasia 2011, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews

Fantasia 2011: Review of Bangkok Knockout

Bangkok Knockout (2010)
Director: Panna Rittikrai, Screenplay: Panna Rittikrai, Dojit Hongthong, Jonathon Siminoe
Cast: Speedy Arnold, Supakson Chaimongkol, Sorapong Chatree

Bangkok Knockout (or BKO) is ridiculous both in its action and plot with plenty of Oohs, Ows and some holy shit moments.  You’ll witness some incredibly dangerous stunts like fighting under a moving tanker truck and guys falling from heights that would make your average joe pee in his pants.  The movie actually takes a bit of time to set up the action but once it starts it doesn’t stop with the director’s signature slow-motion shots.  Sometimes the action is interrupted with sappy emotional nonsense but luckily these don’t last too long and are good for some cheesy, unintentional laughs.

Action scenes of note include the cage match early on where one of the fighters shows some impressive acrobatics, climbing and bouncing off the fences.  There was also the huge brawl that involved an armoured car and a flaming dude wielding an axe (who looks like a Jason knock-off) and maybe 10 or more other fighters and the hilarious motorcycle action sequence.  Expect to see lots of painful, flying spin kicks to the head and poor stuntmen being knocked through walls, cars and basically anything that’s not a cushy pillow.

However, even with all the amazing action set pieces and stunts, I have to say I found the martial arts to be somewhat lacking.  The stunt people involved are obviously very proficient but I have to say none of them are as good or skilled as Tony Jaa.  I can easily say that as far as martial arts fights, you’ll find much more impressive fights in Ong Bak or Tom Yum Goong.  Editing was also a bit haphazard with some cuts breaking the flow of the fight.  For the average movie-goer Bangkok Knockout is solid entertainment but experienced action junkies may not get as much of a rush.

The next Fantasia screening will be Monday August 1, 3pm at Hall.

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Author:

Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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