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December 22, 2006



Kon-Fai-Bin/Tabunfire/Fire Warriors/Dynamite Warrior
Chalerm Wongpim - 2006
Sahamongkol Films International 35mm Film

I have no idea what the film, known in Thai as Kon-Fai-Bin will be called when it released in the U.S. in May. To be on the safe side, I have listed all of the titles used to refer to this film. This is the big Thai release for this week, and sadly, it doesn't live up to the promise of the posters or preview.

This could be described as a Thai Western, one that is very much stamped by a filmmaker under the influence of Sergio Leone. Dan Chupong's character of Jone Bang Fai is like a more youthful version of the "man with no name", albeit one who can rocket surf and beat his foes with Muay Thai boxing. The story. taking place in the 1920s, basically involves a young British educated lord who sees his opportunity to get rich by replacing the traditional agricultural tool, cattle, with the new intention, the tractor. In order to create a demand for this expensive product, the lord enlists cattle rustlers. Jone Bang Fai gets involved in the battle between the cattlemen and the rustlers while seeking the man who killed his parents.

Where the film departs from Western tradition (refering primarily to the genre), is that the story also involves wizards, men with the spirits of animals, and demonic possession, common staples of Thai film. The martial arts is presented in noisy, bone-crunching glory. Some of the wire work is so obvious that digitally disguising it seems almost besides the point. For U.S. audiences Kon-Fai-Bin may be a letdown after the far more delirious genre bending of Tears of the Black Tiger gets its overdue release. Even among martial arts films, Kon-Fai-Bin lacks the panache of Ong-Bak or the benefit of Tony Jaa's charisma. For all of the fireworks, Kon-Fai-Bin finally fizzles out.

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at December 22, 2006 05:32 AM


dis movie is so damn tight!! it has alot of action and fights and the main character is cute!!:) and adorably hot.....

Posted by: gigi vivi at October 23, 2007 03:22 PM