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June 2010

Raging Phoenix

cast: JeeJa Yanin, David Bueno, and Marc Hoang

director: Rashani Limtrakul

12 minutes (15) 2009
widescreen ratio 1.78:1
Showbox DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 6/10
review by Sandra Scholes

Raging Phoenix

Deu (JeeJa Yanin, Chocolate) is a feisty young girl in a rock band in deepest, hippest Thailand where if you have connections any thing can happen for you. Pity she has to confront her cheating boyfriend in the middle of a raucously good rock gig. Sad from the break-up from her boyfriend, and fed up of being continually cheated on, she sets about getting sorted out with a new life, one that includes getting the upper hand with men for a change.

Drunk and feeling terrible she staggers around the streets one night and bumps right into the hands of the Jaguar gang. Lucky for her she manages to get away when a young man saves her, but will she fall straight into another trap? It does show a few twists and turns as the main characters show up to make her life that much harder, creating an almost computer game type progression to being beaten up, kidnapped, having to plan an escape and be captured again.

In Raging Phoenix (aka: Deu suay doo) this is an interesting look at anarchic Thailand where trafficking, drugs and violence come all at once for the young girl Deu in this movie, and the struggles of those who are not a part of it get caught up in the violence despite their efforts. Admittedly some of the names in it are a bit unusual but the viewer will soon get the hang of it once they are into the story. It has that gritty and down to earth feel that many martial arts movies are known for and this one takes it that bit further for emphasis on the action. This though makes the general story feel a little underdone in many ways as the viewer will never find out as much as they want to about each individual character.

It's a rough and ready comedy that mixes kung fu kicks with rap music scores throughout. The comedy can get slapstick and superficial but the viewer will be able to tell the actors had a fun time working on this film.

DVD special features include a trailer gallery, an interview section, B-roll action scene footage (trailer gallery, original trailer and UK trailer). There are interviews with the director and cast. There is also an interesting list of DVDs, sleeves and trailers of already released titles: The Shinjuku Incident, The Myth, Ip Man, and The Beast Stalker. There is plenty for those who like to look through the extras menu to see how the movie was made and for those who like to find out what else is available.



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