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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: BKO: Bangkok Knockout

August 28th, 2011

BKO: Bangkok Knockout - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack

BKO: Bangkok Knockout is the latest from director Panna Rittikrai, who has helped make such films as Ong-Bak, Tom yum goong, Born to Fight, Chocolate, etc. as either director or stunt coordinator. Obviously fans of martial arts movies will be interested in seeing this movie, but will they satisfied? Will it have wider appeal?

The Movie

The film starts with the aftermath of something bad that went down. (People are being rushed into a hospital.) When we then flash to the beginning of the plot, where we see an obnoxious American businessman, who is in Thailand looking for a stunt crew to take back to Hollywood to use in some movies. The audition process is down to two teams. After winning, one team celebrates with dinner and drinks; however, the food is drugged and they wake up in an abandoned warehouse / factory. There was no job in Hollywood and the businessman was there to find victims for a reality TV show where there will have to fight trained killers. The show will be broadcast to high rollers, who will bet on the outcomes.

What follows is about 100 minutes of some of the best fights intermixed with some of the worst ... everything else. The gulf between the quality of the action scenes and the occasional attempts at drama or comedy are quite stunning. (Not to mention a decidedly un-P.C. character that's in the movie.) If you are looking for a movie that has a coherent plot with good surprise twists, well-defined characters with strong motivations, acting that is engaging and can draw the viewer in, then run away from this movie. Run far, far away as fast as you can. On the other hand, if you are looking for a lot of amazing fight scenes and displays of pure athleticism, then this movie is a must see. Granted, even with this limited focus there are some weaknesses. For instance, the final climatic battle is a little too chaotic to follow, and there are a few too many clich├ęs. (It's an abandoned warehouse / factory, so where are they getting the glass bottles and pottery to pummel each other with?)

If you are a fan of the genre, it is worth checking out, even if you hit the fast forward button whenever characters start talking.

The Extras

The only extras on the DVD are a 14-minute making of featurette with interviews with the cast and director, plus an 11-minute behind-the-scenes montage.

I don't have the Blu-ray to compare, but the list price is only about 10% more, which is a great deal. On other hand, the price of the Blu-ray on is about 33% less than the price of the DVD, which is fantastic.

The Verdict

This feels like a short review, because there's so little that needs to be said about BKO: Bangkok Knockout. The plot is thin and completely unnecessary, but the action scenes more than make up for that. There are a few fight scenes that you will want to watch again and again, but there are also a few comedic / dramatic bits that are painful to watch the first time around. Given that caveat, I still think fans of the genre will want to own the movie, while the Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack is the better deal over the DVD.

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Filed under: Video Review, Bangkok Knockout