The Vanquisher (Review)

The Vanquisher

aka Suay…Samurai aka Final Target

Directed and written by Manop Udomdej

The Vanquisher starts out confusing and just gets more and more incoherent until you give up and go back to that one thing…what’s it called…reading! So just read this instead of watching The Vanquisher. Director (and writer) Manop Udomdej has graced TarsTarkas.NET before with his film Lizard Woman, and a few of the stars from that one make their way into this film. Sadly, the gecko women are not going to pop up and bit random characters. The Thai title Suay … Samurai translates to “Beautiful Samurai”. Because when you think “Samurai”, you think of hot Thai women.

HELP! The slow-motion rain burns!

The Vanquisher‘s troubles began before the film was even edited, when an actress in the film named “Amy” Chotiros Suriwong wore a dress at the 2007 Thailand National Film Awards that was so revealing that the entire nation of Thailand went insane. People couldn’t stop talking about how they were shocked, shocked that women had breasts. The government was overthrown 17 times, riots filled the streets, and Tony Jaa became a monk. So executive producer Somsak Techaratanaprasert chopped her out of the film, despite the fact this film is based on the premise that you will be staring at the breasts of the actresses in it.

It was obvious that this film was made with foreign distribution in mind. The film is mixed with English, Japanese, and a smattering of Thai. Why they bothered, I am not certain, as the English is so awful I can’t believe it was actually written and spoken by anyone who has heard English before. The sentence structure was beyond awkward, and even what I could pick up on seemed to be random statements. I needed the subtitles just to understand what was being said, unfortunately that was no help as the subtitles were autotranslated from either Thai or Chinese and were nothing more than broken sentence fragments. At least until halfway through the flick, when they just gave up entirely on having subtitles. As I have said before at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles. So I made up a story about how all those chicks were lesbians and it suddenly got far more interesting. You would think the white actors who are obvious native English speakers would at least be understandable, but you would be wrong. They must have had no input on the script as to writing sentences that people would actually say, or they don’t care and were just looking for a payday. Payday may be an awesome candy bar, but it made an awful time understanding the film.

I’ll take Psycho Women for $800, Alex

Genja (Sophita Sribanchean aka Sophita Sriban) – Genja is a cop who helps the CIA and gets almost killed for it. Then it is time for revenge! This is Sophita Sribanchean’s first film.
Sirin (“Nui” Kessarin Ektawatkul) – The Thai spy agency/CIA’s lead fighter, as well as non-insane female Nui Kessarin is a former national champion in tae kwon do and was in Born to Fight and Dangerous Flowers
Clare (Jacqueline Apithananont aka Jacqui A. Thananon) – Clare is the crazy as heck CIA lady who is in charge of the Vanquisher project, and is charged will killing all them ladies. She missed one, thus the film has sort of a plot. Jacqueline Apithananont was also in Queens of Langkasuka and The Bodyguard 2.
Mazaru (Pete Thongchua) – Mazaru is some sort of bad guy who is in charge of some ninjas, and is permanently having a scowl on his face. Pete Thongchua was in Lizard Woman.
Hana (Saito Kano) – A Yakuza chick who somehow is wandering around and has a sword. Saito Kana was also in Lizard Woman, as one of the women who take a shower and are then geckoed the frak up.
That’s sexual harassment. And I don’t have to take it!

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Dangerous Flowers (Review)

Dangerous Flowers

aka Chai lai

Directed by Poj Arnon

Charlie’s Angels left a legacy of countless imitators. The original series spawned many copycats, and the recent movies also spawned copies. As the new movies decided to be action comedies, so did many of the copycat movies. And since the new movies decided to not be very good, the copycats decided to one-up them and be even worse! One of those copies is reviewed here today. The 2006 film from Thailand was originally entitled Chai Lais or Chai Lais Angels, and eventually became known as Dangerous Flowers. I wonder what the “Chai Lai” trying to sound like… Charlie’s Angels copies from Asia are vary common, we even reviewed Asian Charlie’s Angels a while back. We get five beautiful Thai women who fight crime, fail at their missions, and blow stuff up. The film begs you to not take it seriously, yet then throws in a few people getting killed violently just to screw with you.

The film has a few quirks in the subtitles, firstly they refer to the girls as “chai Lais”, notice how the first letter of chai is not capitalized. It never is, but the L in Lai is always capitalized. I don’t know what that means, but it probably means something stupid. So we’ll got with it for the entire review. Take that, bad subtitles!

We got five Angels, excuse me, FLOWERS, who we will just hit the Roll Call for now, as well as the peripheral characters. The film is forgettable, unexceptional, and nothing you haven’t seen before. Unless you are blind, in which case you probably aren’t reading this anyway. Or are you?

Kulap/Goolab CODENAME: Rose (Bongkoj Khongmalai) – chai Lai agent, the rich fashionable one. Is dating a guy named Gud, who is pretty good, good enough to become her fiancée. Affectionately known as Tuk, Bongkoj Khongmalai holds the number 10 spot as FHM Thailand’s sexiest lady. She starred in Tom Yum Goong and was embroiled in a naked picture scandal which wasn’t that big of a deal as the actual nudes weren’t released so don’t waste your Google time.
Bua CODENAME: Lotus (Supaksorn Chaimongkol) – Supaksorn Chaimongkol is nicknamed Kratae (which means chipmunk – are there even chipmunks in Thailand?) Voted number 11 on FHM Thailand’s sexiest woman list. So we only have numbers 10 and 11 in this film? Totally lame!
Chaba CODENAME: Hibiscus (Jintara Poonlarp) – The ugly chai Lai. We aren’t calling her this, the film treats her like it’s an amazing achievement she gets a boyfriend. Totally lame, Thailand. Jintara Poonlarp is a famous luk tung singer. In fact, she’s my favorite luk tung singer. And that’s not just because she’s the only luk tung singer I know.
Pouy-sian CODENAME: Crown of Thorns (Kessarin Ektawatkul) – Every other flower name the subtitles translate into common names, but as Pouy-sian’s flower’s name is Crown of Thorns, the subtitles opt for laziness and leave her as Pouy-sian. Lame. Kessarin Ektawatkul is Thailand’s former National Tae Kwon Do Champion, also starred in the remake of Born to Fight.
Na-wua CODENAME: Spadix (Bunyawan Pongsuwan) – Bunyawan Pongsuwan is the only one of the five chai-Lais to not rate a Wikipedia page. Or hardly any Google links. So she is a mystery. I’ll start a rumor that she refuses to eat spinach because she worships it. And if she ever gets a Wikipedia page I’ll just edit that in. No longer a mystery, are you, Pongsuwan?
Tony Jeng (Petchtai Wongkamlao) – The chai Lais’ handler is the Bosley guy of our group, probably named Tony Jeng but I’m not 100% because these subtitles were wack. The Charlie he works for is probably named Mr. Somsak, which also sounds lame and he’s only voiced in like once, so what’s the point? Tony Jeng wears a different wig in every scene he’s in, which might be a weak attempt at a running gag. Petchtai Wongkamlao is better known as Mum Jokmok, but of course you knew that.
King Kong (Wanasak Srilar) – More than meets the eye, if you catch my drift. If you don’t catch my drift, she’s got a wang, you dolt! King Kong ain’t got nothing on me! ‘Twas beauty killed the beast.
Miki (?????) – Daughter of the Keeper of the Pearl, kidnapped by Dragon because she knows the location of the pearl. Eventually joins the chai Lais thanks to the lack of minor labor laws in Thailand. But it beats being sold into sex slavery.
Ms. Mei Ling (????) – married to Miki’s father despite keeping her Chinese last name and also being evil. I dunno if she was still married but it looked like it in the beginning. So do a background check on your wife, people. She may be an evil henchwoman looking for a magical pearl that only you know the location of.
Dragon (???) – The evil boss who gets mad all the time, dresses in suits that were only in style around 1985, and has a son with Downs syndrome that doesn’t even factor into the plot about trying to find a valuable pearl. Talk about your missed opportunities to give him motivation.
Kathleen (Salani Chachacha?) – Crazy assistant to King Kong, cross-eyed and bad aim. Dresses like a blind hooker in Paris Hilton’s retro closet. Secretly a good agent, because the script said so. Or something. I don’t care.

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