Let’s get formality out of the way: this is not a good movie. Never mistake this for a good movie. This is an action movie, through and through, and while there are action movies that are also good movies, this simply isn’t one of them.
No, this movie is just a bag full of awesome.
As it turns out, director Panna Rittikrai is quite familiar with awesome, having been the choreographer on Ong-Bak (The Thai Warrior) and Tom Yum Guung (The Protector) – unfortunately, he was also the story man behind all three of the movies in question.
However, what Born to Fight (Kerd ma lui) lacks in story and character development it more than makes up for in launching people off of motorcycles through burning buildings and little girls beating up terrorists. If this movie makes you think, it won’t be the Thai Patriotism that keeps you chewing – as interesting as it is to see the patriotism of a country that ISN’T America – rather, you’ll be wondering how they did all those fantastic stunts.
Well, here’s the answer for you: they did it without wires, doubles, or CG. That’s right. All. Real. Stunts. I’ll make a note for the nit picky that there is CG here to be had, but while it’s not very good, it doesn’t negate the awesome here.
But the most fantastic thing about this movie is that it actually manages to stand up and rival Hollywood’s insatiable need for stuff that blows up.
And while I will insist once again that this is not a good movie, I must say that it does have its moments. The rise against tyranny at such great personal cost is something we Americans can’t often relate to these days, but it’s still an ideal, and it still strikes a chord somewhere deep. This Hollywood ending isn’t anything like Hollywood is likely to make. Maybe that makes it worth seeing, maybe not.
Essentially, Born to Fight is the Die Hard of Thai cinema.
If that doesn’t make you want to see this movie, it probably isn’t for you.