In perhaps a really bad secret, I’m out at the Berlinale/European Film Market this year. Todd Brown at Twitch (trailer) posted the incredible trailer for the Thai film Chocolate. I was perhaps incredibly skeptical and hesitant if the film could out due its trailer. Some films just are great trailers and lousy films.
I can confirm with 100% certainty that Chocolate kicks unbelievable ass. At this point if this is the only film that comes out this year I’ll be happy. I haven’t gotten to see a movie that got me on such an euphoric wave in a good while. As far as females kicking ass movies, it’s the best one I’ve ever seen. I think my previous favorite female kicking ass movie was Yes, Madam with Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock.
The lead female actress forms some kind of hybrid between Tony Jaa and Bruce Lee (in spots). Mostly they play to her own strengths (which you have to see to believe) and really never tries to rival either Tony or Bruce. The story is slight, but the broad spectrum of characters and scenarios more than complete the film into an absolute marvel and one of the absolute treats of 2008 cinema.
The last action sequence of the film, which is only oh so slightly shown in the trailer is staggering and had me on the edge of my seat. I lost track I was only watching a movie as bad guys fall with next to no safety several stories to a hard pavement. It really reminds me of some ways of the earlier 80’s Jackie Chan films where pulling off cool fights and fight sequences trumped any form of safety. Even more so than anything in Ong Bak, this film puts action firmly in its sights and seeks to raise the bar and leave every damn action film in recent memory in the dust.
Luckily the trailer doesn’t give too much away, be prepared for Chocolate. I will rejoice and bask in this film again and again and again. Which is a welcome change with so many action films of late I forget the moment I walk out the door or instantly buy on DVD, to never watch again.
As a side note I was absolutely stunned at the amount of full on contact fighting that takes place in the film and the amount of real weapons and objects (like real locker doors) that are used throughout the film. I’m so used to films play fighting and having fake props, that it takes a film like this to wake me up to what an action film can be when all bets are off and everything is set within real fighting, places and objects.