Wham, bam, kapow! If you like your fight scenes to be gun free, CGI free and full contact then Chocolate is an eye-watering treat.
Martial arts director Prachya Pinkaew (Ong-Bak) likes to shoot his high-kicking combat sequences without stunt doubles or special effects and the results are wincingly visceral (especially during the closing credits outtake montage, which brings howls of sympathy from the audience).
Autistic Zen (the brilliant JeeJa Yanin) has taught herself martial arts skills by copying what she sees on the TV, especially old Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies. An outsider herself, Zen befriends chubby and bullied Mangmoom (Tapol Pobwandee) who becomes like a son to Zen’s mother Sin (Amara Siripong). When Sin falls ill, it is Mangmoom who persuades Zen they must use their combined talents (his wits, her fighting) to get the money to pay the hospital bills. But an autistic female martial arts expert is bound to attract attention and soon Zen has come to the notice of some very unsavoury characters.
Although the storyline is staccato and difficult to follow, the highlights of the movie are most definitely the fight scenes and the stunning climax shot as the actors grapple with each other on window ledges and neon signs above the city streets is thrilling stuff. Expect a Quentin Tarantino Hollywood remake in the very near future. Dee Pilgrim