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Review Vengeance of an Assassin a.k.a. Rew thalu rew (2014): Missing the mark completely!

genre: action, martial arts

Vengeance of an Assassin is one giant mess and proof of the fact how important good context is to make the action exciting. This film is filmed with incredible action sequences and stunt work but fail to grab you. This is due to incredibly poor storytelling, poor characterization, even poorer dialogue and very bad acting. The melodrama I could have tolerated if they had bothered to give us more than cardboard characters. Dan Chupong as Thee for example barely speaks for god sakes. He stays silent even when people directly ask him a question. Out of the blue this calm and quiet guy feels compelled to take revenge without actually knowing who he should act it out on. But apparently he does know that his parents were killed because of immensely bad and treacherous people. His uncle keeps his mouth shut on what happened since he promised the parents to do that. However there isn't a single scene showing this. Not even a letter or will expressing this wish. It's just his word. For some this might be enough. But it is kind of hard to accept since throughout the film he drinks his ass off and seems to be very irresponsible. The movie however wants to point out that his behavior should be seen as charming. Yeah, guess again. Strangest thing is that Thee never pushes the uncle or other people for the truth. The minute they express that they don't want to talk about it he let's it go. In another scene it is shown how determined Thee is. Then how does that rhyme with not pushing the issue? I was very willing to overlook many of the bad elements but when even the good action doesn't impress then you know something is wrong. 

Just to give you an example of how big of an mess it is. The film starts with one of the weirdest football matches ever. Even weirder than Shaolin Soccer. Apparently all of the players are competing against each other and the idea is that the first one to shoot in the goal is the winner. Sounds normal yes? But here is where it differs from the normal game. Each opponent is allowed to do whatever it takes to disable the others and they are free to use whatever comes on their path. Of course this leads to some nice looking action scenes but all the time I was beginning to question my sanity. What the hell was I watching? Then a young guy wakes up and all of what we saw turns out to be a dream. Now this is a pivotal moment when watching this film since it's sort of indicative of how the film will be. Adequate action with here and there some brilliant moments that will get to you. But unfortunately these moments are rare and don't last long. Then there is the abrupt ending that indicates that all of the events have played out according to someone's plan and that it's far from over. Are you kidding me? Am I supposed to believe that these powers that be knew exactly how the main characters would act? Highly unlikely! Now it is very much possible that the death of director Panna Rittikrai has a lot to do with Vengeance of an Assassin not being what it is supposed to be. Does beg the question why the big studio bosses decide to release such an unfinished product anyway. 

I wish I could tell you that this despite it's flaws is worth watching but truth of the matter is that you really shouldn't. Instead go watch Born to Fight which is a superior action film in every way. 

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