Trailers for Movies I Like: Chocolate (2008)

by HELEN GEIB

An occasional series. Title self-explanatory.

9 responses to “Trailers for Movies I Like: Chocolate (2008)

  1. Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. This is going to anger a few people but when I originally saw the trailer to this film I found it to be insulting towards everybody in the world, and especially to those who are mentally challenged. Plus, I dislike Ong-Bak, I hate Tom Yum Goong (aka The Protector), and I also hate Ong-Bak 2 and the first 20 minutes (all that I could stand) of Ong-Bak 3.
    I saw Chocolate in-between those other films and have to say that it’s one of worst movies that I have ever seen, even though it’s a martial arts film. As a standalone martial arts film (and I am a big fan of them) I found that it’s terrible because its star is very physically slow. She tries to do what Tony Jaa did but every move that she pulls off is half his speed and so every move of hers looks choreographed. It could be argued that it’s supposed to look choreographed because she’s learned to fight from watching martial arts film, but that’s another reason why I hate the film. The story, as with every other movie that was directed by Prachya Pinkaew is awful or none existent. The actors are terrible (would it kill to find gymnasts who can act?) and the music and special effects suck. I found the film to be uttery condescending and insulting and that syas a lot from a martial arts film.

    Born To Fight (2004) is a good martial arts film from Thailand but I hate everything that Pinkaew and Jaa have done so far.

    He’s why I dislike Tony Jaa as an action star: he’s a gymnast. That’s it. He’s gone to a gymnastics college and he plays soccer for recreation. He’s never studied martial arts and so when watching him fight in films, we can tell that he’s not an actual martial artist (maybe it’s just me because I was a martial artist from a young age). Most of his acrobatic moves are derived from plain gymnastics and Taek Kwon Do, which relies heavily on grounded and aerial kicking. He’s also gone on record announcing that he’s never studied any martial arts. But as a gymnast, I find him to be quite magnificent.

    If you want to know who the real up and coming star is, his name is Jacky Wu (Wu Jing). Want to know why he’s awesome? Not just because he’s studied Wushu from a young age (like Jet Li), but because of what he pulls off without wires in this film, Fatal Contact (2006): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXOuOBIt6GU (just ignore the music).

    He’s acted in films starring Sammo Hung, Simon Yam, and Donnie Yen and he’s a terrific actor as well as a physical performer.

    I will probably never jump onto the Tony Jaa train and it would take a lot to persuade me.

    • “Chocolate” has a simple but serviceable martial arts movie plot flowing from a classic love triangle scenario of hero(ine) / villain / loved one, with the twist that the loved one is a mother and the heroine is her daughter. Mom and Dad get a star-crossed lovers subplot.

      Is this a preemptive strike against Tony Jaa movies appearing in this space? If you’re worried about that, you don’t have to be. There are some good sequences in his movies but overall they’re boring, and as a thespian he has the expressiveness of a rock.

      • He’s not an attractive lead and he sounds like a 6 year old girl. And I hope that I didn’t sound intimidating; I will not argue with others about what they like because it’s all subjective. I just grossly detest Chocolate (the film) and Tony Jaa “as a star”.

        Now, regarding Chocolate’s plot, are the filmmakers claiming that when crossing a Thai woman and a Japanese man their offspring would be metally challenged? Even if I’m wrong, that’s what it felt like to me while watching the film, and watching Chocolate herself get beat up a lot was rather unnerving, too. The filmmakers, somehow forgot that she was mentally challenged. That movie is all kinds of wrong… and it’s an action film!

        How on earth did Tarantino find it to be the second-best movie of 2010?

        • I don’t tell people what they should like either, nor do I (ever) pretend to know what Tarantino is thinking, but I will point out that Tony Jaa is not in “Chocolate” and no one here is arguing that his stardom isn’t one of those great unexplained mysteries of life. :-)

          There’s absolutely nothing in the film to suggest the filmmakers intended to claim that the heroine’s autism was caused by her mixed Thai-Japanese heritage. The movie is 100% in support of the parents’ love affair, which is presented as a grand passion tragically thwarted by an evil and repulsive crimelord. They’re Romeo and Juliet with the yakuza and the Thai mafia taking the part of the Montagues and Capulets. Silly maybe- okay, definitely silly, but the movie is on the side of the lovers not their xenophobic bosses.

          • I watched the movie only once and roughly 2 years ago, but I could have sworn that the parents are only in the first 15 minutes of the film. I may be wrong but I don’t recall there being a story with the parents in any way except that, for a reason that slips my mind (I probably tried to block out the whole film), the mother own gangsters a ton of money and Chocolate wants to defeat the bad guys for her mom’s sake. That’s all that my memory can piece together of a “story”.

            • Mom has cancer and needs money for chemo, there’s an adopted brother/best friend character who plays a pivotal role, and the love affair and villain’s revengeful machinations subplot is a running thread through the movie that builds up to Dad’s big entrance at the action finale. However, since the movie is, like, 70% fighting I can see how the rest of it wouldn’t stay with you. ^_^

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