Streaming Review: Chocolate (2008) Thailand


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Chocolate is a Thai movie directed by Prachya Pinkaew (who directed the groundbreaking Tony Jaa vehicle Ong-Bak Thai Warrior) about an autistic girl who can absorb martial arts abilities by watching them either  on TV or in person.   The girl named Zen (played by JeeJa Yanin) is the love child of two butt kickers who are forced to split by a jealous mob boss.  The mom takes Zen and disappears and eventually this young girl starts to exhibit innate hand-eye coordination abilities which go beyond what the average little girl can do.  Her only drawbacks are that she is a bit emotionally unstable due to her disability and flies buzzing around her head seem to act as a sort of kryptonite. 

Eventually the mom gets sick and in order to pay for mom’s meds, the girl (who looks to be around 14 at this point) is enlisted by her cousin to hit up some of mom’s old contacts for money they owe her.   Of course these guys aren’t just going to hand over stacks of cash to a young girl so she has to beat it out of them.  And beat them she does…

 chocolatesmall Streaming Review:  Chocolate (2008) Thailand

Like many martial arts films, the storyline and plot are a little on the weak side.  But like most martial arts films, it’s all about the fight scenes.  These fight scenes are interesting mostly because there is a young girl doing all the ass kicking.  It becomes apparent early on that JeeJa Yanin (aka Yanin Vismitananda) is not just some dancer turned martial arts actress like, say, Michelle Yeoh or Xiang Xiyi; this girl is a true martial artist.  JeeJa is a taekwondo expert who trained for 2 years with Prachya’s stunt team for the role of Zen. 

While the story and acting are questionable, you have to remember that these are basically stunt people pulling front-burner duties here.  Some of the villains, though, are downright hilarious.  For instance, the jealous mob boss has a hit team of over the top queens who work while dressed in full drag.  And I’m not talking about sensible pants, either:  mini-skirts, heels, Chanel bags, the works.  For the final boss battle, Zen fights another seemingly autistic bad-ass whose strange mannerisms make her seem normal… until she absorbs his technique then gives him a taste of his own medicine. 

0 Streaming Review:  Chocolate (2008) Thailand

While watching the final scenes, it occurred to me that some people got hurt filming this.  Sure enough, at the end of the film, they included outtakes of nothing but JeeJa and other stunt actors getting injured.  This, for me, was the best part of the entire movie because I love outtakes and you get to see how easy it is to get jacked up doing this stuff.  Not only that, but it’s obvious that the Thai film industry is really lax about safety.  They literally have nothing on-set but ice packs.  Like for everyone who got hurt, the first thing they do is give them an ice pack.  Then they stand around wondering if they should call an ambulance!  

Film Rating: C

Outtakes:  A+


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