Dynamite Warrior



Magnolia Pictures

NEW YORK -- A Thai chop-socky Western featuring wall-to-wall fight scenes of the particularly painful-looking Muay Thai variety, "Dynamite Warrior" has enough action to satisfy even the most demanding martial arts buff.

Typically lacking in coherence and credibility, this genre effort directed and edited by Chalerm Wongpim is being given a stateside theatrical release but will find its true home in video stores alongside such predecessors as "Tears of the Black Tiger" and "Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior."

Dan Chupong stars as the titular figure, a good guy named Jone Bang Fai who specializes in retrieving water buffalo that have been stolen by bandits and returning them to their rightful owners. He's looking in particular for the rustler who killed his family years earlier, identifiable by the raised tattoo on his chest.

Opposing Jone is Lord Wang (Leo Putt), who is looking to get rid of the water buffalo so he can fulfill his evil plan to replace them with, uh, expensive tractors. His henchmen include the Black Wizard and a cannibalistic ex-con, but what really makes him distinctive is his vulnerability to, uh, menstrual blood.

Of course, the laughable plot and characters are merely an excuse for the constant battles, which in this case have an added twist: The hero also is an expert on explosives, so he frequently propels himself into action by riding on what are essentially giant firecrackers.

Not all of the fight sequences, which include overly heavy doses of slow-motion, are entirely effective. And the nonstop barrage ultimately proves more wearisome than exciting. But none of these quibbles is likely to detract fans of the genre from becoming excited about this latest giddy exercise in martial-arts mayhem.