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Raging Phoenix

3.9 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A violent gang is abducting and killing women around Thailand. Sanim and his friends, having had loved ones abducted, have joined together to break the gang of kidnappers. In a botched kidnap attempt, Deu (Jija Yanin) is saved by Sanim s crew. After learning their unique martial arts style, Deu helps lure the gang into an epic battle to save the women across Thailand.

About the Director

Produced by Panna Rittikrai, Thai martial arts action choreographer and the man behind Thai action star Tony Jaa (Ong Bak 2, Chocolate, Ong-Bak, The Protector)

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Marc Hoang, Chris Kulanusorstit
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 14, 2010
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003LN0NXC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,893 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Raging Phoenix" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I wasn't expecting much from JeeJa Yanin's original film ("Chocolate"), but her physical talents were showcased in spectacular fashion and won me over despite the shortcomings in terms of scriptwriting. That film grew on me more and more after repeat viewings, but there still was room for improvement in the pacing and storyline elements. Enter "Raging Phoenix", which not only avoids a sophomore slump for JeeJa, but actually surpasses "Chocolate" in total entertainment value.

One way it does this is to allow JeeJa to express her camera presence and charisma. This was surprising to me personally, because her previous role in "Chocolate" was so introverted and robotic that it was essentially impossible to determine whether or not this girl could steal a scene without beating someone's brains in. In "Raging Phoenix", however, she really cuts loose during the opening half as she jokes around, engages in some funny dialogue, and participates in some light-hearted fight scenes involving drunken styles of martial arts. That one-vs-many boat brawl is - now wait for it - a boat-load of fun. JeeJa exhibits a natural likability that her fellow countryman Tony Jaa severely lacks. Don't misunderstand me, because I am a fan of Tony's films, but he has some serious limitations as all of his screen presence is earned through his (phenomenal) physical skills. JeeJa, on the other hand, portrays her character in a way that is very endearing. In other words, I'd love to have her as a younger sister. This charm is a major reason why this film is so entertaining. When the action scenes are bridged by good "non-action stuff", that's a huge plus.
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To sum up the film: Very cool action set pieces; bloody awful story. We knew there was gonna be imense pressure for Jeeja Yanin's sophomore work to equal or surpass her debut film CHOCOLATE and, to be honest, RAGING PHOENIX carries a whiff of trying too hard. Jeeja Yanin in CHOCOLATE played a mildly autistic debt collector and so it makes sense to have her switching it up in this one. She plays Deu, one of those party girls who have too much free time on her hands. The film opens during a spectacularly bad series of moments for Deu. She gets kicked out of her rock band, gets spectacularly liquored up, and then gets abducted by a girl and by - and I guess this is the Thai sense of humor at work - a chubby transvestite. She's saved by a melancholy dude named Sanim who along the way fends off a bunch of goons on pogo stilts sporting wicked sharp blades - this, by the way, doesn't at all seem contrived. Really. Deu ends up joining Sanim's tiny band of inebriated martial artists, and these guys specialize in "Meyraiyuth," a form of drunken Muay Thai boxing which incorporates breakdancing. We learn along the way that Sanim and his friends are seeking an elusive organization of kidnappers. It's not too long before Deu picks up drunken Muay Thai boxing. In fact, it may be best to overlook the inordinately short amount of time it takes Deu to pick up impressive fighting skills. Personally, it's even more challenging for me to buy into Jeeja Yanin's pretending to be this girl who, at the start of the film, can't fight at all.

Likewise, it's best not to dwell too much on the kidnappers' target victims. It all has to do with certain women exuding a particular scent, and these women are taken so that their tears could be extracted and sold as a curative for staggering sums of money.
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I was interested in this film primarily because I was looking for more films by it star, JeeJa Yanin, who blew me away in her first and only previous film, Chocolate. I found Chocolate a few years ago while searching for more films by the producer/director of the film Ong-Bak (Muay Thai Warrior), Prachya Pinkaew, and had been wanting to see more of Yanin ever since. I had been a longtime lover of (mostly Chinese and American) martial arts films, and Ong-Bak was my introduction to Thai martial arts films, and it was just PHENOMENAL, the acrobatic fighting style and skill level of star Tony Jaa was unlike anything I'd ever seen. Pinkaew also created Chocolate, the breakout film for star JeeJa Yanin. Some of the fight scenes and stunts she did in that film were just unparalleled feats of awesome!

Looking for more of her films, I found Raging Phoenix, by a different producer/director, but with the same fight choreographer as Ong-Bak and Chocolate (Weerapon Poomatfon). While the premise of the film was a bit silly, the fight choreography (and execution) was just AMAZING. Poomatfon devised incredibly inventive setups/scenarios for the fights, and some really remarkable cooperative fighting (e.g. 2 people working together to fight one or more others... often swinging their partner around in acrobatic ways to use them as a weapon).

SUMMARY:
This film is DEFINITELY worth the streaming rental fee to watch purely for the incredibly inventive fight choreography. I'd be happy to watch any other film starring JeeJa Yanin or with action choreographed by the unparalleled Weerapon Poomatfon - their work utterly blows me away every time.
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