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Raging Phoenix (2009)

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Raging Phoenix possesses stunning martial arts choreography while following the conventions of the kung fu genre. The film opens with several women being abducted and Jija’s character, Deu, being left by her mother, abandoned by her band, and longing to join her dead father. Deu, depressed and drunk, is rescued by Kazu Patrick Tang’s character, Sanim, during a botched attempt to kidnap Deu. Sanim fights off the gang would-be kidnappers in an acrobatic sequence filled with attackers on pogo-shoes.
Waking up in an abandoned factory Deu, encounters Sanim and his gang of merry do-gooders who practice a form of drunken Thai break-dancing martial arts that they dub Meyraiyuth. Sanim and his friends, having had loved ones abducted, have joined together to break the gang of kidnappers. They teach Deu their martial style, putting her through her paces in the traditional martial arts movie training montage. She learns well, and combining dance with Thai martial arts is visually exciting as Deu engages in several fight sequences on her own.
Thai cinema is often known for its genre mixing as seen in its horror films filled with slapstick comedy.Raging Phoenix takes a turn for the surreal as the reasons for the abductions come to light. The final sequences leave out much of the supporting cast of Thai B-boy martial artists, which is disappointing considering their talent. Sanim and Deu combine their efforts to fight a female body-builder on a series of suspension bridges over a chasm. The choreography is well-paced and the climatic action sequence is strong as well.
The film feels long at times and while the action sequences are great, the gap in time between them can leave the viewer anxious. While the actors are all individually quite charismatic, the on screen chemistry between the two leads is lacking. This is fine as the plot develops and the choreography between the two is dynamic while fighting as a team in the end. The film is energetic, fun to watch, and will not disappoint fans of martial arts films.



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