July 9, 2013

Chocolate - The Movie

Is Chocolate a great movie? It's hard to say. Perhaps it is best to judge it as “best-in-class”. The class being kick-ass, Thai-fighter, martial-arts movies.

The movie is produced in Thailand so nearly everyone speaks Thai. Some Japanese and even some English shows up in the script, but very little. The version I watched was subtitled in English. If you have never watched a movie with subtitles, I encourage you to try this one. You will learn that they do not get in the way, and reading them becomes nearly invisible after a while.  With a high-action flick like this one, even getting frustrated with the subtitles doesn't detract from the real reason you're watching it: the fight scenes.

Zen Fights Bruce Lee Style
The film centers around a young, autistic girl who is able to mimic the martial arts styles she sees on TV. This was a first for me and a very cool concept. Some reviews say the script is nothing spectacular. I would temper that by saying it is enjoyable. It is definitely better than the typical Hong Kong, dojo revenge flick script. I was fascinated by it. It carries the viewer well between fight scenes.

One of the first battle scenes takes place in a room filled with ice vaguely reminiscent of The Big Boss. To complete the homage, Zen (the main character) fights using Bruce Lee's boxing style. Throughout the movie, she adopts and integrates various other fighting styles, including Jackie Chan's. It's fun to watch her style improve as the fights get more intense.  And, believe me, it gets intense.

So, even if you don't like the script, the action is great fun. Zen reminded me of River Tam of Firefly and Serenity, only with more action. Perhaps she is what I wanted to see in River. Who knows? I can only say, “Don't listen to me. (Not that anyone does.) Just watched it.”

Maybe swing back by afterward and whisper your thoughts in the stone giant's ear...or carve them in his leg if you prefer.

(Did he say TIE Fighter?)