The Vanquisher

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“Coherence? It’s vastly over-rated. Especially in Thailand, it appears.”

Thailand appears to have become a hot-bed of action-heroines in the past couple of years. Jeeja Chocolate Yanin is obviously a key component, but others appear to be leaping on the bandwagon: this one plays like an entry in the Angel series, a Hong Kong classic in its day. Unfortunately, so little effort is put into explaining what is going on, or who is doing what to whom, that the copious action feels like a showreel for participants. Both Chris and I nodded off for a bit in the middle, which is about the worst condemnation any action film can receive. Hence, I turn to Amazon.com for a synopsis.

“After completing a covert mission in southern Thailand, CIA agent Gunja (Sriban) finds herself forced to fight off operatives who’ve been ordered to take her out at all costs. She survives and after two years of laying low, re-emerges in Bangkok to face her old foes and foil a plot to detonate a bomb in the city.” Oh, so that’s what it was. Actually, I seem to recall a good chunk being about trying to capture a renowned terrorist, but that must be the “plot to detonate a bomb” bit. It’s filmed in a clunky mix of Japanese, English and Thai: I can’t speak for the first and last, but the English spoken appeared, far too often, to be of the second-language type. And the non-Caucasians in the cast were even worse. Hohoho.

The action is plentiful enough in the second half, especially compared to a first half that throws characters and plot-lines across the screen, largely without explanation as to purpose. It does improve somewhat in motion, with three kick-ass characters; or at least, who might be kick-ass, if the editing and cinematography ever gave a chance to see them doing so. Instead, it’s about 10% “Oh, that was cool,” and 90% “What happened there?” – in other words, about the same ratio as the plot. A nice idea, than in the right hands could have been an awful lot better.

Dir: Manop Udomdej
Star: Sophita Sriban, Jacqui A. Thananon, Saito Kano, Kessarin Ektawatkul
a.k.a. Final Target

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