Born to Fight (2004)
By: Devon B. on August 29, 2010  |  Comments ()  |  Bookmark and Share
Eastern Eye | Region 4, PAL | 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced) | Thai DD 5.1 | 91 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Panna Rittikrai
Starring: Dan Chupong, Nappon Gomarachun, Santisuk Promsiri, Piyapong Piew-on
Screenplay: Morakat Kaewthanek, Thanapat Taweesuk
Country: Thailand
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There was only one thing I needed to now about Born to Fight to make me desperately want to see it: The stunt team behind Ong Bak was involved. A little research revealed that not only is Born to Fight a movie designed to keep stunt men employed, it features one of the most fantastic stunts ever captured on film. The stunt happens in the first scene, so I don't think it's a spoiler to discuss it, and it is THE MOST AWESOMEST STUNT EVER. If you're some sort of anti-spoiler nazi take heed and skip the rest of the paragraph, 'cause there's no way I'll avoid blathering on about this one. The set up is simple: a bad guy and a cop are fighting on a large truck, with another truck keeping pace alongside them. The cop throws the baddie off the truck, into the parallel vehicle, and the bad guy bounces back and nearly under the tyres of the truck he's been chucked off of! Writing that sentence I can tell I haven't done the sequence justice: This shit just has to be seen because it's THE MOST AWESOMEST STUNT EVER. The only stunt that ever impressed me anywhere near this much is the lion stunt in the beginning of the uncut version of Jackie Chan's Who Am I?, and even that's not really comparable. If you're some sort of silly person, you may need more convincing that Born to Fight is worth your time and money, so I shall continue with the review. Just know that I think less of you if you've not run off to your local store to get a copy of the movie simply on the basis of hearing about THE MOST AWESOMEST STUNT EVER.

If you thought Ong Bak had a generic story, you're in for a shock with Born to Fight. The aforementioned cop and his lieutenant arrest a drug lord, but in a wonderfully clichéd "Go on without me moment," the aforementioned lieutenant gets blowed up real good by the aforementioned drug lord. To heal his pain, the cop goes with his sister, an athlete, on a fund raising tour to a little village near Thailand's border. When the tour gets there a group of terrorist descend and (surprise!) they want the release of the captured drug lord. The village and athletes are held hostage, but when the terrorists' master plan is revealed the hostages realise there's more at stake than their lives. Working themselves up to the Thailand national anthem, in a heavy handed bit of propaganda, the hostages revolt and find that they were born...BORN TO FIGHT!

Despite a bit of foo foo time during the set up, Born to Fight is almost non-stop greatness. The movie is brimming with kick ass, improbable action set pieces, and when it's not laying the smack down it's one of the funniest unintentional comedies I've seen in ages. There's plenty to laugh at, such as the unsubtle redemption of the village thug, or the amazing moment where, after the terrorist have shot a bunch of people, the surviving hostages are truly appalled when the terrorists turn over a table. Maybe it's a bit of cultural significance I'm missing, but it's still funny. When the ridiculous and awesome moments combine together in the action sequences, like a soccer kick that would make Beckham jealous, there's a certain magic on display that few other films this side of Monty Python can capture.

The rest of Born to Fight may be ludicrous, but the stunts are simply amazing. It is unfortunate that THE MOST AWESOMEST STUNT EVER comes so early in the film, but the rest of the movie is still spectacular. Bodies crashing through burning walls, absolutely brutal falls, and fights with flaming logs all ad to the proceedings, and there are outtakes during the credits so you can see the danger in a more verite style.

Truck crashes, shoot outs, explosions, limb-severing gunfire, real life Olympic athletes and old people taking on heavily armed terrorists, THE MOST AWESOMEST STUNT EVER... What's not to love?
Born to Fight is a newer movie, but it's still a Thai film. There's a bit of grain, colour saturation, and clarity loss in darker colours, but none of this is really distracting, especially if you're used to Thai movies.
The audio's available in 5.1 or 2.0, but either way it's in Thai and it seems there's always at least one woman in every Thai movie that will make your eardrums suffer. This is no exception. The 2.0 is louder, but flatter, though unfortunately the 5.1 is at times muffled and overall isn't up to Western standards. The track isn't bad, but it's one that should be ripping the listener apart. The English subs are usually good, but there's one line that is inaccurately translated, and a typo or two slip past.
Extra Features
There's a 13 ½ minute making of so you can delve further into the world of THE MOST AWESOMEST STUNT EVER. This bit also explains what the previously mentioned inaccurate translation was supposed to say. The listed "deleted scenes" is actually one 30 second scene extension. There're also 3D animatic comparisons of three scenes, but two are pretty short. The animatics seem to be for a more Anglo film for some reason, as the people look Caucasian and the language is English. Rounding things up are the teaser and full trailer, plus the trailers for Ong Bak, Brotherhood, Silmido, and The Eye.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
If you don't love this movie, donate your eyeballs to someone who can make better use of them. The only thing that could make Born to Fight better would be if it's story was any good, and then it might lose some of its ridiculous charm. The overall movie doesn't matter, anyway. A film with THE MOST AWESOMEST STUNT EVER is automatically a five.

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