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“Packs all the mayhem demanded by genre fans and delivers more emotional clout than regular chopsocky fare” - Richard Kuipers, VARIETY
Director: Kongkiat Khomsiri
Screenplay: Kongkiat Khomsiri
Cast: Akara Amarttayakul, Sonthaya Chitmanee, Saengthong Gate-Uthong, Prawit Kittichantheera, Phreeta Kongpetch
Producers: Thanit Jitnukul
Distributor: Five Star Productions
Three young boys, growing up poor in a remote Thai fishing village. One is the son of a whore, the second the son of a gambling-addicted fisherman, the third the son of a muay thai boxer. Bonded together by a childhood accident that leaves one of them crippled, as well as a shared love of boxing, the trio have a connection that runs deeper than family. But there is no future in their tiny village, so the three eventually move to the big city, hoping to make it big in the ring. And between the skills of the cool tactician and the hot-headed brawler, it seems likely that they will do just that. But the ring is a dirty place, and false accusations of throwing matches will split the group, setting them on a collision course—one staying on the straight and narrow, the remaining pair using their skills as gang enforcers and battling it out in illegal pit fights…
There’s no denying Kongkiat Khomsiri’s debut as a solo director, after being part of the gang behind ultra-gory ART OF THE DEVIL 2, will strike many as familiar on more than one level. MUAY THAI CHAIYA follows one of the most popular structures in Asian action films—John Woo’s BULLET IN THE HEAD is the classic of the type, though there are many more—but it’s popular because in good hands, it just flat out works, and Khomsiri’s hands are good indeed. Capably written and performed, laced with strong action scenes and a fantastic sense of period detail courtesy of art direction from CITIZEN DOG and TEARS OF THE BLACK TIGER director Wisit Sasanatieng, MUAY THAI CHAIYA adds some much-needed narrative depth to the world of Thai action films.