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I love Thai martial art films. I havn’t seen them all but I can say I’ve never met anyone who likes them more than I do. They are unyielding, strong, entertaining, and succinct. Straight up foreign and awesome in every way, This Girl is Badass!! is quite a watch. Starring JeeJa Yanin (Chocolate, ‘08) and directed by Petchtai Wongkamlao (Ong Bak and The Bodyguard series) it isn’t primarily martial arts but more comedic while in the same attitude as many of the other Thai martial art films released in the US.
This film held a lot more comedy than usual, playing on funny characters, voices, and dialogue. In fact, there wasn’t a whole lot of martial art scenes. Wongkamlao, starring in all three Ong Bak films, The Bodyguard 1 and 2, and a plethora of comedy stints from his homeland, directs and stars. He is wonderful in every role he stars in, especially because he is hilarious! The film was more of a series of interconnecting stories… and with a title like This Girl Is Badass. I was expecting a badass film. While it was entertaining, the title is misleading. The original title was purportedly Jukkalan, named after the starring role, which would have been sufficient even though the current one is quite intriguing and caught The Gorehound’s attention.
The film follows Jukkalan (Yanin), a messenger getting caught up in managerial disputes and double crossings. Her guardian, Uncle Wang (Wongkamlao), is trying to be a good role model while vying for a truly attractive woman. Many stories intertwine into a conclusive conclusion.
Excellent slow-motion scenes show solid shoe-to-face connections, along with plenty of force applied. One thing I really dislike in martial art films is the inability for the protagonist to be hit prior to final scene. The slow-mo accentuated different parts and worked well. It wasn’t used simply to make something look more intense but we see glass shattering, pots exploding, and direct hits. I believe that fights should be well-balanced, of course with the protagonist holding the upper hand but compared to other films starring the best martial artist in the film industry, Tony Jaa, this film is really only 2/10. I think there were only like 2 knee-to-face hits. Tony Jaa? He be knee-ing peeps in the face like there’s no tomorow.
I watched this on Netflix with delayed subtitles. A little frustrating but not enough to turn it off. Starring at least two very talented people from Thai films, I figured it must be worth the watch. If you’ve never watched a film such as this, this isn’t the one to get started on.
I believe the landmark in this film was an attractive woman. Not that JeeJa Yanin isn’t attractive but she isn’t really portrayed as an attractive woman so you don’t take her for it. Surprisingly she’s like 29! I don’t know the attractive woman’s name because all these names are lost on me. I look at the credits on imdb and none of them have pictures.
Finally, when I refer to Thai films, I’m more referring to martial art films produced by Baa-Ram-Ewe, distributed by Sahamongkol, or directed by Prachya Pinkaew. These include the Ong Bak series, Muay Thai Giant, The Protector, Chocolate, etc. I’ll watch as many of them as I can get a hold of. This Girl Is Bad-Ass!! isn’t a classy film, or the most action packed film around, or rivaling Tony Jaa, but it is entertaining if you’re a fan of other Thai films. Check it out if you will, but I’m giving it a 3/5.