When I heard that Magnolia Pictures had picked up U.S. distribution rights to Dynamite Warrior, I rejoiced. Magnolia was also behind the theatrical release of Ong Bak and Tears of a Black Tiger, so I thought they would know what to do with a Thai action picture that was bound to appeal to a fringe audience. My anticipation had initially been buoyed by my friend Joey, who sent along a link to the trailer on YouTube last November with a very simple message attached: "SOLD." Indeed, the trailer is filled with wild action: a masked hero riding a rocket, intense gymnastic fighting, explosions and lots of bodies flying through the air. With Dan Chupong, stunt man turned star of Born to Fight, on board, I looked forward to seeing it on the big screen.

I was, therefore, more than a little irritated to learn that the only theatrical screenings in my area would be two midnight screenings at one theater. As with many cities in flyover country, Dallas often has to wait -- sometimes months -- for foreign-language prints to make their way to us, if they make it at all, so I grumbled at the late hour, drank plenty of coffee and bought my ticket last night. Alas, the trailer contains all the highlights of the film. Giddy action sequences are stranded by confusing exposition and needless extended flashbacks. I still enjoyed myself, though, and was glad I was able to see it in a theater -- despite the hyenas who sat in my row, loudly talking and inappropriately laughing at everything. Maybe midnight screenings will again become a viable place to see new, odd little movies that you can't see anyplace else. If you missed the midnight madness, Dynamite Warrior comes out on DVD this Tuesday, July 17.
categories Cinematical