Chocolate

three stars out of five Martial arts isn’t the film genre closest to my heart, but this is an enjoyable hour and a half to spend, nonetheless, if you overlook the wafer-thin storytelling and just focus on the mind-boggling and often very funny action scenes – some in homage to Jackie Chan.

Such lightweight plot as there is, has the autistic heroine fighting a seemingly endless queue (and they do always wait to fight in orderly groups of 1 or 2 – so polite) of Thai hard men for money that she & her friend Moom believe is owing to her sick mother and that is now needed to buy chemo drugs. The mother’s own rather ‘interesting’ past entanglements with Thai and Japanese mobsters is lightly pencilled in during some opening scenes.

Mostly, the action is well-crafted and watchable. However, one scene where two autistic characters go head-to-head in a fight was pretty unsavoury and lacked any moral justification. It felt a bit exploitative, to be honest (even though the actors are only playing autistic roles).

Don’t miss the end credits outtake shots and the making-of documentary. This is where we got to see the real damage done from mis-placed stunts during the making of the main feature – including a facial injury that kept the lead character off work for a week, as well as a very bad fall that sees another character stretchered off in a neck brace! This was truly fascinating stuff and to watch the very real dangers faced by some of these guys in the name of producing this piece of entertainment was a bit humbling.

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