The English language debut from Ong Bak director Prachua Pinkaew.
Mercenary Curtie Church (Djimon Hounsou) is hired to take out a notorious Thai sex-trafficking gang by a father whose daughter was kidnapped and murdered by the gang. With the help of a ruthless weapons dealer (Kevin Bacon), Church finds the men he is hired to kill.
But what starts as a paying job turns into an outright war between two rival gangs, and Church finds himself caught between the corrupt world that surrounds him and the truth behind the man who hired him.
It is absolutely disgusting that yearly millions of children are forced into prostitution, not by choice but rather forced into it either by the dependancy of drugs or their parents sold them into the trade for money. The fact that it is still occuring in this day and age and no one is doing anything to stop it is an outrage. In walks Curtie Church a one man killing machine.
Unfortunately this movie was nothing like I had hoped for. The lead actor Djimon Hounsou had no personality or character and at the end you did not care whether he lived to see another day. He had no charisma at all and was so wooden you felt nothing for him. He was void of emotion and the little he did show towards Mae felt robotic and insincere. I actually got this movie purely for Kevin Bacon I find him an amazing actor and I truely wish I had not seen him in this. His 'British' accent was a crime and instead sounded like a very bad Australian accent it was just appalling. He was hardly in the movie at all and when he was he was sleezy and not very likeable.
The added extra of Mae was confusing at first and her Buddist ways was actually pretty infuriating considering all the bad things that are occuring around them and the fact that she keeps insisting that one day they could potentially do right by the world - too little too late! It does all make sense as you reach the end though. It is nice to bring in the beliefs of Thailand and how they feel about the 'dead walking among us'.
This is a watchable movie but I could not watch again. Very slow and drawn out. No character you are physically drawn too but an okay story line although depressing to think about what these poor girls have to go through and then when given the opportunity of freedom would rather return to their captures as dependant on drugs or afraid for their lives just really sad.
i didn't think too much of kevin bacons roll in this movie as he seemed to be a bit of a limp noodle for a gun-running drug-smuggling american ex-special agent. but the performance by djimon hounsou was pretty amazing. on an utterly trivial side note i had to laugh that the front cover shows djimon with a 'landing strip' chinbeard but his face is utterly hairless throughout the entire movie, so no idea why that stock photo was used. the movie is set in Thailand and revolves around the child prostitution economy that seems to be pretty common over there if hollywood and interpol reports are to be trusted. brought in to rescue the missing daughter of some thai chap is soon becomes clear that this job is more than it first appears and eventually becomes something utterly different, with a nice little twist thrown in about 2/3rds of the way through that starts to make all the weird stuff make a lot more sense. with the Thai culture strongly believing in the spirits of the dead being able to walk the earth, it was no surprise to have a little supernatural element thrown in and it really fit in well without the cheese the american market would have demanded or the horror aspect we link to ghosts haunting the world. this movie was quite an interesting one but may prove to be an acquired taste. regardless of that it was indeed a great English-language debut from Prachua Pinkaew especially since this movie doesn't exactly paint Thailand - his home - in a glowing light.
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