Martial Arts Western from Thailand Makes Its Way to DVD
Mixing elements of both the Chopsocky and Western genres, this picture is reminiscent of Tears of the Black Tiger, another martial arts adventure from Thailand overlaid with influences from cowboy movies. This one is set in the Twenties and stars Dan Chupong as baby-faced Jone Bang Fai, a badass dude bent on revenge.
Visually, Dynamite Warrior looks a lot like a John Wayne, big sky classic, except that all the actors are Asian, and in the end the guy rides off with the girl on a yak instead of a horse. The fight sequences, however, are more a matter of Bruce Lee meets Jackie Chan, being gruesome and graphic yet hilarious at the same time.
The production was undoubtedly shot and slapped together on the cheap, since its rudimentary plot barely makes sense and its transparent special effects appear to be cheesy by design. Even more annoying are the actors’ shrill, squeaky voices, which make you pine for the days when a flick like this would’ve just been badly dubbed. But all of the above only add to Dynamite Warrior’s overall charm, as it’s ostensibly supposed to be silly from beginning to end.
The wafer thin plot has our rocket-riding hero witnessing his parents’ murder at the hands of a gang of cattle rustlers led by a creep (Panna Rittikrai) covered with tattoos. The saga that ensues works by following the familiar Western formula, so we sort of know what director Chalerm Wongpim’s going for from scene to scene.
And if you thought that those gravity-defying feats in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon were stupefying, wait’ll you get a load of the trick photography, here, which has our likable hero implausibly surfing super-sized sticks of dynamite straight into bad guys’ chests.
Puts the fun back into Kung Fu. And Zen some.
Excellent (4 stars)
In Thai with subtitles
Running time: 102 minutes
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Audio commentary, deleted scenes, and “The Making of” featurette.