Broken Sword Hero [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - Well Go USA
Review written by and copyright: Robert Segedy (12th November 2017).
The Film

Muay Thai boxing is incorporated into the mixed martial arts genre this time around and unfortunately that aspect of the film isn’t enough of a plot to really make this a must see film for enthusiasts. This film is supposedly based on the legend of Phraya Pichai AKA Thong Dee Fun Khao, an icon of Thai history, and apparently one tough S.O.B. I didn’t know what to expect of this film because it is not necessarily a straight forward martial arts film, but incorporates elements of the road trip film into its formula, and this also adds additional characters into the plot of his journey. There are plenty of obstacles in Thong Dee’s (Buakaw Banchamek) life; his father and uncle are boxers of some renown and a young Joi (as he is known as a child) clamors to possess the same skills as them, but Pops doesn’t want the youngster to follow in his footsteps, even though his son is be picked on by bullies, that includes the governor’s child. What else can a poor boy do but hit the open road in search of a master, and in fact Joi finds several of them along the way, incorporating their skills into his own fiery brand of bare fist fighting style.

The film begins with a close up of Thong Dee’s face displaying a type of careless indifference as he runs away from several pursuing men on horseback (the first of too many moments of slow motion photography) and this scene cuts to the first of a series of flashbacks that chronicle Thong Dee as a youngster in his village. This film is a blend of “epic hero” origins and road trip plotting, following Joi as a young man wandering from town to town, searching for the elusive real thing in life. The governor’s son Cherd (Sornsin Maneewan) in distress and some strange offbeat comic moments, including an unbelievable scene where Thong Dee lands a flying roundhouse kick to a horse’s jaw and knocks the horse and rider to the ground. Do not look for any real authentic historical accuracy concerning the Thai people and their transgressions with the Burmese because this film is not concerned with any of that boring stuff; the majority of the film focuses on various men with some incredible and incredibly bad haircuts (the pomade sales must be extraordinary in Thailand) sparring in bare knuckle beat downs, throwing serious knees and killer elbows in whatever town that our hero wanders into.

Throughout the film there are several fight scenes, but they are fairly brief and seem just to spontaneously happen with little rhyme or reason. Cherd and his nasty uncle are always turning up to challenge our hero, and the repetitive nature of coming into a camp, meeting a new master, learning the tricks of the trade, and then moving on to the next challenge gets old quickly. This is a definitely weak mannered attempt at telling the origins of a great warrior with none of the usually seen scenes. Buakaw Banchamek certainly has the physical skills to be leading man material in a MMA series, but does he have the screen presence to become someone like Vin Diesel or Tony Jaa; that remains to be seen as we wait for the next release starring our hero. Maybe the next time the director can come up with a stronger vehicle than what was served up here.

Video

Presented in widescreen 2.40:1 HD 1080p 24/fps mastered using AVC MPEG-4 compression, the Blu-ray is an attractive package and the color palette is rich in greens and browns, Buakaw Banchamek’s muscles rippling and his ripped development is shown in intricate detail. Watch out for the dental close-ups though.

Audio

Thai DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround and Thai: Dolby Digital 2.0 surround are the soundtrack options, the DTS-HD sound enhances the sound mix and there are some interesting moments when an opponent’s jaw is struck with a fist or a spear is thrust through someone’s abdomen. The musical soundtrack is a lively mix of traditional Thai music. Optional subtitles are included in English for the hearing impaired.

Extras

Well Go USA has released this film as a 2-disc set, the first disc being a Blu-ray while the second disc being a DVD. The extras are light however.

DISC ONE: BLU-RAY

The extras on this disc include the film's original theatrical trailer (1:56) plus a collection of bonus trailers for:

- "Triple Threat" (1:08)
- "Iron Protector" (1:03)
- "Kill Zone 2" (1:33)

DISC TWO: DVD

The second disc is a DVD copy version of the film.

Overall

"Broken Sword Hero" is a slightly above average storyline that detracts from this overall appeal of this film though it is attractively filmed and presented.

The Film: B Video: A Audio: A Extras: D- Overall: C

 


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