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The King Maker

1.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

John Rhys-Davies (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) and Gary Stretch (World Trade Center, Alexander) star in this epic adventure set in the Thai kingdom of Ayutthaya, a Thai kingdom that existed from 1350 to 1767. Fernando De Gama (Stretch), a Portuguese mercenary, sets sail for the Orient in a bid to find the man that murdered his father. When his ship capsizes, Fernando washes up on a tropical beach only to be captured by Arab slavers and taken to Ayutthaya where he is sold into slavery. He is rescued from slavery when a beautiful young Portuguese woman buys him from the Arabs and restores his freedom. Not surprisingly he falls for Maria, much to the chagrin of her father. Her father, as it turns out, is the man who killed Fernando's father and thus sets Fernando on a lifetime quest for revenge. When the King of Siam declares war on a Northern renegade pretender, Fernando is pressed into military service. His skill in battle gains him favor with the

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A visually sumptuous period piece from Thailand, The King Maker is also, for better or worse, an old-fashioned adventure movie, complete with exotic locations, royal intrigue, and plenty of swashbuckling and derring-do. Former UK boxer Gary Stretch (Dead Man's Shoes) is top-billed among a largely Thai cast as a 16th-century Portuguese man of action who sets sail to find his father's killer, but instead finds himself in the employ of the king of Thailand. Treachery involving the queen and a manipulative Portuguese ex-pat (John Rhys-Davies from The Lord of the Rings) soon puts Stretch's life and romance with Rhys-Davies' daughter (former Miss World Cindy Burbridge) in serious jeopardy. The Thai locations are gorgeous, and director Lek Kitiparaporn doesn't shy away from battle scenes or action set pieces, but the Asian actors struggle mightily with their English dialogue (this is only the third Thai film shot in English since the '40s), which is frankly purple enough to cause problems for those who call it their native tongue. The script as a whole is too sudsy and mawkish to keep action fans happy, and those looking for a historical romance will be turned off by the vigorous violence. The King Maker is perhaps best enjoyed by those with a taste for films with an Asian setting, or viewers looking for diversion and little else. -- Paul Gaita

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Stretch, John Rhys-Davies, Cindy Burbridge
  • Directors: Lek Kitaparaporn
  • Producers: David Winters
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2007
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 1.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MNOX8K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,065 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The King Maker" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brian E. Erland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 15, 2007
Format: DVD
`The King Maker' released in '05 is a Thai film possessing a grandiose vision burdened with an immensely uneven and convoluted delivery. There's definitely a lot of noticeable shortcomings to this movie yet it still works fairly well as an exotic period piece on 16th century Siam.

Negatives:
- The film labors over one of the worst scripts ever written, it's stiff, unnatural and highly predictable.
- The inclusion of flying ninjas, battling samurai, Thai kickboxing and European sword fighting exudes a comic book effect and erodes whatever semblance of realism the movie is trying to maintain.
- The soundtrack is boring and quite forgettable. Most of it sounds like bad opera.
- Yoe Hassadeevichit in the role of the evil Queen Sudachan brings to the screen one of the most laughable, melodramatic, over-the-top performances I've ever witnessed. I'm not sure what was worse, the way she heartlessly ordered the death of countless innocent people to gain sole possession of the throne of Siam, or the manner in which she continuously butchered the English language.

Positives:
- The cinematography is at times alluring and Cindy Burbridge is not only lovely to behold but provides the most honest, heartfelt performance of the film.

If you're looking for a poor man's `The Curse of the Golden Flower' here it is. My rating: 2 ½ Stars.
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Format: DVD
THE KING MAKER will doubtless be a success in Thailand where the similar (but superior) 'The Legend of Suriyothai' set box office records. The film directed by Lek Kitaparaporn after a screenplay by Sean Casey based on historical fact in 1547 Siam has some amazingly beautiful visual elements but is disarmed by one of the corniest, pedestrian scripts and story development on film.

The event the picture relates is the arrival of the Portuguese soldier of fortune Fernando de Gamma (Gary Stretch) whose vengeance for this father's murderer drives him to shipwrecked, captured and thrown into slavery and put on the bloc in Ayutthaya in the kingdom of Siam where he is purchased by the beautiful Maria (Cindy Burbridge) with the consent of her father Phillipe (John Rhys-Davies), a man with a name and a past that are revealed as the story progresses. There is a plot to overthrown the King and Fernando and his new Siamese sidekick Tong (Dom Hetrakul), after some gratuitous CGI enhanced choreographed martial arts silliness, are first rewarded by the King to become his bodyguards, only to be imprisoned together once Queen Sudachan (Yoe Hassadeevichit) reveals her plot to kill the king and son to allow her lover Lord Chakkraphat (Oliver Pupart) to take over the rule of Siam. Yet of course Fernando and Tong escape and are condemned to fight each other to save the lives of their families (Tong's wife and children and Fernando's now firm love affair with Maria) with the expected consequences.

The acting (with the exception of John Rhys-Davies) is so weak that the film occasionally seems as though it were meant to be camp. The predominantly Thai cast struggle with the poorly written dialog, making us wish they had used their native Thai with subtitles.
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Format: DVD
The costumes and setting are good to very good. The music is very good to superb. However, the acting is mostly poor to average with some going into above average to good. Even John Rhys-Davies knows it. The action choreography is dated and sometimes hilarious as you see people rising up with "invisible lines" on their backs.

I think there was a lot of love in this project at first but somewhere along the lines it all got lost at the expense of the characters and story/plotting.

OVERALL GRADE: C plus.
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