Dynamite Warriors

Set in rural areas, Dynamite Warriors is a remake of the popular 1975 action film Tabunfire Talaipherng about a young man Ziang in 1920s in search of doing a revenge for his parents who was murdered by a mysterious man during his childhood. The only thing he remembers about the killer is the tattoo on his chest. Ziang wanders around the northeastern region until he finds a tattooed cattle rustler Sing. Ziang tries to use his martial arts ability to fight against Sing. But he can’t beat Sing who is in fact a warlock of immense power. Later, Ziang is introduced to Dam, Sing’s classmate who is spelled under Sing’s magic and can not spend live outdoor since then. The two, plus an unknown man who claimed that Sing also killed their parents, join in together to destroy Sing’s power. But when the times come, Ziang happens to know that he is in fact tricked by Dam and the unknown man who is disclosed himself as Phraya Waeng, a rich man who wants to sell the tractor. Ziang has only one mission now – help Sing gain the power back.   

In this remake, director Chalerm Wongpim smartly employs the Chinese swordplay fighting arts, to be blended with Thai northeast culture in the cowboy-lookalike setting. All of set components are adapted from the wellknown northeastern ways of lives. Rockets are used as the protagonist’s weapon. Instead of the shooting as seen in the western, the protagonist Ziang rides on these flying rockets, plus the actor Dan Choopong’s authentic stylistic kicking and punching arts. Characters sometimes are flying, like Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Dan Choopong, Tony Jaa’s protégé wisely combines his own skills in this mixing of northeastern and Chinese fighting arts. The setting is a reminiscent of the American western. Like John Ford, Ziang is in fact an existialist – no father and no mother. Only revenge is in his mind.

But there is not only Dan Choopong. This time, the action is doubled by his own trainer Panna Rittikai, the man behind the success of Tony Jaa and Dan Choopong. Panna was used to be a B-grade actor-cum-director before turning to be only a choreographer for recent internationally-hit Ong Bak, Born to Fight or Tom Yam Goong. After a decadence of behind-the-scene works, he turns to the major screen again for the first time.Ex-national boxer Samat Phayakarun also joins the action as the good ruster Sing.

Dynamite Warriors, well if only you ignore the story, is a good mix of local action style in the international form. It is an Isan (northeastern) spectacle with all northeastern experience – music, costume and etc. No surprise, Magnolic Pictures immediately picks up the international rights last year.

Anchalee Chaiworaporn
Film Director: Chalerm Wongpim
Year: 2006
Running time: 103'
Country: Thailand