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Chocolate – Review April 24, 2009

Posted by Cello in Movie Reviews.

It’ll be hard in the future for any Thai martial arts movie not to be compared to Ong Bak (in fact this movie was directed by the same director as Ong-Bak), the badass punch-a-thon that put Thai fight films on the map. Just like when I was watching Tony Jaa fly through the air raining down elbows, sometimes you can watch a movie and know that you are watching a star. The presence and ability just stands out and you cannot help but be awed. While this happens occasionally in dramas and comedies, it is rare in an action film. But when it does you know it. Bruce Lee was such an actor. Jackie Chan is that caliber of actor. Chocolate is, like I said before, a Thai movie, that tells the story about an autistic girl and how she got her martial arts skill. She was born to gangster parents and her mother decided to retreat to the province to give birth to her, and to start a new life with her kid.

Instead of being a curse, her autism was the instrument where she got her awesome martial arts skill. She has a very sharp sense of hearing that would allow her to be so agile and good compared to her opponents. Chocolate is by no means a chick flick. Making a really meaty martial arts movie is a tightrope-line to walk – make it too serious and people who want fighting will complain it’s too dramatic; make it all about the fighting and people will complain it has no plot. So, although it is not a chick flick, I would say for a martial arts movie, it has a very good storyline.

I guess I could probably complain a bit about the very linear plot that borrows quite a bit from other films, many of the moves have been done in Jackie Chan films from years ago. Thanks to him, there’s really not a prop left that someone hasn’t used as a weapon. I do like the freshness of a female heroine though. With a female actress, it opens up doors of vulnerability that seldom seen in a genre dominated by men. Besides, a heroine is allowed to cry when the plot calls for.  With a male main actor, the action is usually coupled with a dose of humor.

With all that being said, there are some really impressive moves that look like some crazy combination between taekwondo, break dancing and capoeira. The finale is indeed intense, a 20-minute showdown between Zen and four or five guys that just keeps getting more brutal with every kick. My only gripe, obviously, is the script, which is the only thing you can really fault when it comes to a well-made martial arts film. Thai fight talent is some of the best in the world, but I really can’t wait until someone comes along with a dense, epic script that really show the world what Thailand can do. If you are a fan of the genre you will thank me. If you aren’t a fan, this will likely make you one. Oh, and its available on Blu-ray for all you high-def heads out there. Video quality is almost perfect; it’s very clean, sharp, and colorful, with only a couple of grainy scenes. Pick it up!


1. somekindofmuffin - April 24, 2009

I am so looking forward to seeing this film. I loved Ong Bak. The one trailer I have seen for Chocolate is pretty funny though. The tagline is something like “a special needs girl with a special need to kick some ass”

2. Scotty - April 24, 2009

nice blog, i came across it while scanning through botb…

happened to see a trailer for Chocolate in blockbuster and picked it up on a lark… the actors (other than Tony Jaa and the lady who plays Zen) are the same and the film feels similar–both are fun as heck, and this from someone who WAS not a martial arts fan… at the very least I’m a Thai martial arts fan, now!


3. hagiblog - April 24, 2009

Great fight scenes propped this movie up. The story was terrible in my opinion. It could be asking alot for a great action movie to have a great plot as well though.

4. dknyism - April 29, 2009

I’m Thai and I haven’t watched it myself lol

5. freyeads - April 30, 2009

exempt simulations different 104 aerosols response

6. wildsidecinema - May 1, 2009

I enjoyed the film as it was but completely agree…weak. That being said, I purchased it. On a martial arts level, it was fantastic.

7. somekindofmuffin - August 11, 2009

Just watched this last night. I liked it. There are some budget problems and the story set up was a little clunky, but the action was great and I did like the small feel it had. Also, it was great to see all the little nods they gave to different famous martial arts movies

Cello - August 11, 2009

im glad you picked up on the little nods. We generally have the same opinions on movies so I’m glad you gave it a chance and found it to be enjoyable!

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