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!

Clare is an evil CIA agent, who works with another, hotter CIA agent named Sirin. Clare is in charge of the Vanquisher program, a program that I gather recruits hot chicks who also fight, sends them on a top secret mission, then kills any of them that survives. Also there is possible lesbianism that I made up. The last Vanquisher mission before the program is shut down has a recruit named Genja in it, who is a local cop. Their mission is to take down the Islamic terrorist Massif (or Marcel, if you believe the subtitles. But making him a crazy French terrorist is sort of fun so let’s just go with it!) Marcel’s plot to bomb the US with stinky cheese and then instantly surrender is stymied by the fighting fems of Team Vanquisher. This assault takes place in the dark in the rain in slow motion with Team Vanquisher armed with swords. But then they all get blown up by Clare! Except Genja survives and washes up on a beach somewhere, while Sirin sort of acts concerned but not really.

The director likes motorcycles, trees, and guns

Here is an example sentence from the CIA briefing Clare gave right before the raid: “Look at the river. It is actually not a river, because it is short.” Now, why would this be confusing to the audience? Or even in the movie?

Seriously, you’re getting sued like $10 million for that sexual harassment, boss!

It is now two years later and Bangkok is in terror mode as a Muslim Thai group is being evil, led by some guy named Kasem, but there is also a black dude in the group named Zaifuddon Ibrahim, who is also an undercover agent. Some random Japanese CIA agents pop up, who are armed with swords as well for reasons unknown. I am guessing because of Thailand’s anti-gun laws, but then that is an answer that makes sense. The Vanquisher doesn’t make sense, so the real answer must mean that the swords represent the male phallus that is hunting down our lesbian sisters who must avoid getting stabbed by the patriarchy. The male Thai person who shows up with them a scene later named Mazaru does get to use a gun. I’m not sure how that fits in, but it does. The only Japanese CIA agent who you should remember is Hana the female as she doesn’t die by the end of the next paragraph.

Genja was saddened that there were no Thai Pilgrims on the Mayflower

Genja is also doing freelance work taking down terrorists. Because women who are left for dead by a giant shadow agency would be doing highly visual work like that. Zaifuddon is murdered under orders of Kazem, and there are now ninjas running around. Not real ninjas, ninjas dressed like video game ninjas with matching stylized ninja costumes. I think they work for the CIA as Mazaru is leading them. Genja is there, in a biker uniform on a motorcycle, which she strips out of in a way where the camera spends a long time zooming down her cleavage. I laughed out loud at how blatant it is, especially when combined with the dismissing of Chotiros Suriwong for her cleavage dress.

Sorry, even I don’t know what I am doing in this film as a samurai guy…

Genja gets into a fight with the CIA agents, using swords of course! In the aftermath of the battle, Clare shoots a local cop because he knows too much. There is also a longer-haired Japanese guy who fancies himself some sort of Samurai Sensei or something who is involved in the situation in a capacity I cannot understand. The CIA ninjas chase after Genja, who fights them in an office building, even slamming a keyboard across the face. Sirin and Hana are busy fighting Muslim women with swords. There are more swords in Thailand than a LARP convention. Sirin picks this moment to realize Clare is nucking futs, and goes her own way, fighting off Hana who is told to kill her. As Muslim women are experts at the katana, Hana is then killed by them, meaning Hana only made it to a third paragraph before checking out.

These gloves do fit! I guess I can’t acquit…

Genja fights more ninjas and that long-haired Samurai Sensei guy, but Mosaru just shoots him and ties to shoot her. I guess we will never know who Samurai Sensei was. More fighting between Genja and the Mozaru/ninja squad.

The plot of the movie right here…

At some point the film just gets crazy, as there is running, Genja runs from a guy on a motorcycle, kicks him off, jumps onto the motorcycle, drives a bit, jumps onto a speeding bullet train that is also containing like 20 cars full of explosive chemicals, runs along the speeding train as it starts exploding as it was being shot at by other bad guys, then jumps off the exploding train and over some girders on a bridge as the rest of the train explodes. I have no idea what happened, but I laughed almost out of my chair.

I can hear you now

So it’s final battle time, the evil Clare and Mozaru and their ninjas close on Genja, but then Sirin arrives with some other guys in black body armor named the Black Tigers or something, and soon everyone is shooting and fighting each other. Who the crap are the Black Tigers? Never mind, because they’ll all be dead in a few seconds. Sirin and Genja fight for a while because they are too dumb to realize they are on the same side
until ninjas show up to kill them both. So now they fight together.

When pedicurists go bad…

Clare activates a bomb and kills Mozaru when he realizes she’s crazy. Clare is like Taylor Swift, except when Taylor Swift is done with boyfriend she writes terrible songs, and when Clare is done with coworkers, she kills them. Sirin and Genja fight Clare in a battle that involves a lot of flipping and jumping, but in the end the just leave Clare to die by her own bomb. Poor Clare. Why is it always the crazy ones who blow themselves up?

The coolest action scene….EVER!
The dress that destroyed Thailand!

Rated 2/10 (This would have made the film awesome if he was running around, Al Thai-da!)

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2 thoughts on “The Vanquisher (Review)

  1. You actually give it credit. If you take out the male and female leads, along with their parts it would almost be entertaining and maybe make more sense. Paint drying has more personality. What’s with the permanent scowls of the two main character’s-(Mazaru & Genja) I’m tough don’t mess with me. The supporting cast almost pull this off, Hana, Claire and Siren at least they are likable, almost human, have some personality and they almost seem athletic and capable of doing their own stunts- not that clumsy blocking and posing routine followed by the inevitable scowl. Plus didn’t anybody tell them don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, all the gun play while our heroine is dancing around punching, kicking and killing all the bad guys with her bare hands and THAT SCOWL. The only redeeming grace of this, is the Extra- making of, behind the scenes footage that tries to make you believe some care and forethought went into this, Why didn’t they even talk to Saito Kano, Then I might have almost liked this Quick buck, not yet ready for prime time diaster. Sophita Sriban must have some revealing photos, information, or promised billons to have been cast as the Main.

    • I imagine the behind the scenes video is nothing but the director going “DuuuuUUUUuRRRuuUUURRRRRRRR!!!!” and running into a wall while staring at the chests of the starlets. Saito Kano seems to be a Manop Udomdej regular, and this will probably sell enough copies based on the DVD cover art alone to fund his next project, so maybe they’ll get to interviewing her then. If they scrape the director off the wall in time.

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