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on 16 December 2014
The fight scenes are good but the Samurai story apart from being some part of Thai history is not very interesting. The Thai fighters are great. Seeing that it is a story about this Samurai the fun bits are where the Thai Fighters show their skill so the main character is not really driving the movie, his thai boxing skills aren't great and he is too lanky to pull off the fluid like moves of on screen Thai Boxing.
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on 9 June 2017
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on 24 December 2016
A great film to watch
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on 5 May 2012
Martial arts films and samurai films are traditionally very different so the idea of mixing the two in the setting of Thailand made me curious. Apparently based on the true story of a Japanese warrior who joins forces with the Thai's to fight a corrupt official and the Burmese, Yamada blends Muay Thai style boxing, some samurai swordplay, picturesque scenery and lots and lots of exposition about the value or friendship and patriotism. It's the latter that spoils the film. Unfortunately, where there should have been plot development and decent characterisation we get force-fed morality and values. Apparently Yamada finds true friendship with the Thai's and is prepared to die for them despite the fact that they look at him like he's a leper, call him 'white face' and 'nippon' and smash him repeatedly in the face with fists, knees and elbows. I mean, who wouldn't like these people? He is nursed back to health by a pretty Thai girl with enormous ears and no personality and an annoying kid. The master monk is suitably stoic and full of wisdom (which he never stops imparting) and teaches Yamada Thai boxing. Yamada returns to his village and faces the corrupt Japanese in a disappointing showdown ruined by poor CGI (all the blood is computer generated). The Burmese are portrayed as savages and the ninja's in the film can't fight. On the plus side the scenery is nice and some of the bone-crunching choreography is impressive although it is repetitive. There is a good film buried here somewhere but the screenplay is pretty poor and hammers home the nationalistic message of how much the Thai's love their country. If you want a great Thai martial arts film watch Ong Bak. If you want a great modern samurai film watch 13 Assassins. This is not worth owning (2/5).
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on 8 July 2012
As a former martial art performer, I was quite impressed with this movie. Especially the Thai kick-boxing scenes. So much that I bought the DVD. Story might be a little predictable but in whole it is very top. In all it is a very refreshing movie, completely different from other martial art movies.
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on 16 June 2012
Well home alone and this was in the bargain bucket for a fiver - although I was suspicious from the outset when it was described as 'Last Samurai meet Ong Bak'...hmmmm Oh - and don't be put off by all the 'true story' rubbish - yeah 'based' on a true story. Well so were some of Mel Gibson's films... In all honesty, from the DVD box and description, I wasn't expecting too much authenticity.

Pros - some reasonable Thai Boxing fight scenes (the ones that don't include the main character).

Cons - the remaining 80 mins. I love authentic samurai films but this really has no bearing whatsoever to the true 'Way of the Samurai' and should be ashamed for for sporting such a title. There is little exploration of Japanese samurai culture as the title suggests, and it seems that they have simply picked on an historical occurrence, fudged it into a very flimsy plot and then sexed it up for western audience obsessed with violence and the idea samurai swordplay. What you basically end up with is a load of utter b0ll0cks.

There is practically no plot development whatsoever and the film consists mainly of over-cooked gore-fest fights, divided by scenes of cheesy wisdom from the old boy. As with Tom Cruise in the aforementioned 'Last Samurai' where he apparently learns the 'way of the sword' from scratch in just a few months (come on), our hero in this offering takes to Thai Boxing like a duck to water in no time - good enough to bodyguard to the king in fact, although the actor they have chosen is visibly cr@p at it.

Moving on, the enemy boss is of course your run-of-the-mill nutter, a bit like Ming the Merciless meets Doctor Evil, with his endless supply of typically inept henchmen who wear the most ridiculous 'scary' masks and each of whom obviously lasts an average of 0.5 seconds in every fight. Sigh.

I could go on, but if you really want true samurai films that have some credibility, then go for 'The Twilight Samurai', 'The Hidden Blade' or 'When the Last Sword is Drawn' to name a few as a good place to start. Thirteen Assassins is also pretty good and in a similar vein to the classic Seven Samurai.

This rubbish is all style and no substance, and even the style isn't done particularly well. Next time I see a suspicious looking 'Samurai' film in the bargain bucket, I'll try to remember that I really am old enough to know better.
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on 3 April 2013
This is a great movie. If you like you Martial Arts films its a must see. Great mix of styles.
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on 18 July 2014
Brutal and improbable

The real story would be worth telling. This is a weak plot to justify a series of martial-arts displays. The depiction of warfare is wholly unrealistic and the complex politics of the period is ignored.
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on 14 June 2013
trailer was ace so was looking forward to watching this film but it was just disappointing, even fast forward all the slow boring bits, couldn't bare to watch it out, action is okay though.
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on 5 October 2014
i really liked this film it has a very good storyline a lot of good action sequences. i would definitely recommend this for anybody who is it into there martial arts films
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