badassery runs in Nathee and Than’s family, but it apparently skipped their
drunken uncle. He has his reasons for retreating into a beer bottle. He
promised to keep them on the straight and narrow after their undercover cop
parents were murdered, but the brothers remain dead set on revenge. Inconveniently,
the old family nemesis gets proactive in Vengeance of an Assassin (trailer
the final film helmed by late Thai action maestro Panna Rittikrai, which
releases today on DVD and BluRay from Well Go USA.
discover the identity of his parents’ killers, Nathee leaves his uncle’s home
to become a professional assassin. Than stays with their guilt-ridden guardian,
but he secretly develops his skills using training tapes made by their parents.
One day, “Thee” gets a suspicious assignment: he is supposed to protect Ploy,
the daughter of a well-connected politician and minor celebrity in her own
right. Nathee quickly figures out he is being set up by his mysterious employer
to take the rap for Ploy’s murder. Although there is not a lot of trust between
him and Ploy, he protects her anyway, because that is his assignment, dodgy as
it is. Needless to say, it was personal to begin with and becomes even more so
after Nathee kills Nui, the lethal girlfriend of his archenemy’s entitled son.
what part of Vengeance of an Assassin don’t
you get? You have an assassin and he’s out for revenge. The plot is simple, yet
strangely incomprehensible at times. Realism is not exactly a top priority here
either. Frankly, Nathee probably should have died a dozen times over before he
ever reaches the third act. At one point, he is repeatedly impaled on a metal
spike, but Ploy is able to get him to her family doctor just in time. He
practices Chinese medicine, you see. At least it provides an opportunity for
the good doctor to lay a massive beatdown on the henchmen who follow Ploy and
question, the main attraction is Rittikrai’s super-charged OSHA-free fights
scenes. They are wildly cinematic and relentless over-the-top. As Nathee, Dan
Chupong has the right old school 1980s down-and-dirty chops. Ooi Teik Huat nicely
channels Gordon Liu as the venerable but surprisingly spry doctor, but it is
tough to top the star power and action cred of Kessarin Ektawatkul, who really
has Tony Jaa-level international breakout potential, even when she plays a
villain like Nui. Nisachon Tuamsoongnern doesn’t get to have nearly as much fun
as Ploy, but she is not nearly as annoying as most genre damsels in distress.
The CGI in Vengeance
is not so hot and there are narrative holes big enough to hurtle a derailed
train through, which in fact Rittikrai does. However, when the characters are
bashing each other black and blue with license plates and windshield wipers, it
is pretty darned entertaining. Recommended for martial arts fans hoping for a
big serving of red meat, Vengeance of an
Assassin is now available for home viewing from Well Go USA.
Labels: DVD, Martial arts cinema, Panna Rittikrai, Thai Film