Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 26th, 2007
Theatrical Release Dates: Thailand, 1986
Director: Panna Rittikrai
Cast: Panna Rittikrai
DVD released: May 15th, 2007
Approximate running time: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: BCI Eclipse
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.98
Siafong a lawyer for Yang family is forced to go into hiding after discovering that Tung Seung has been stealing money from the Yang’s. Tung Seung has hired the deadly green Dragon gang to silence Siafong forever and destroy all trace of his involvement in any of the above crimes. Tong a former Thai cop has been brought in to help find Siafong and bring him in alive before the assassins knock him off.
Born to fight was directed by famed Thai stunt man Panna Rittikrai who also stars in the film as a former Thai cop named Tong. The films actions sequences and many jaw dropping fights were all designed by Panna Rittikrai. The story for Born to Fight starts off with a bang as we are given a lot of info via a voice over and with in a few minutes the action begins. The bad guys in this film often show up in black ski masks or wear women’s stocking over their heads. They mean business and no one is safe even children.
Ironically the first glimpse we get of Panna Rittikrai is a scene where he is showing off his fighting prowess to his younger siblings who eagerly watch his every move. His character Tong is a reluctant hero who is forced by a former college to take on the job and the end consequences prove to be too high. The films final showdown is a combination of the films best action and most heart wrenching moments. Fans of action cinema will thoroughly enjoy the films inventive and often mind blowing fighting sequences. Ultimately what Born to Fight lacks in plot it more then makes up for it with its spectacular actions set pieces.
Born to fight is presented in a full frame aspect ratio. The image looks cropped in some scenes more then others with most of the action scenes not being affected that much. The transfer which was most likely taken from a VHS source starts off really ruff before settling in after a few minutes to a more stable image. Colors look washed out and the image is soft through out. Noticeable print damage is present in almost every frame with the amount varying though out. This source material is in bad shape which is shame since this might just be the best materials still available for this film and hope of a better looking release is highly unlikely.
This release comes with two audio options Thai and English. Both audio options are presented in a Dolby Digital stereo. Surprisingly both audio mixes sound clean and free of any major audio defects. Both sound mixes are more then adequate and get the job done. Removable English subtitles have been included.
Extras for this release include sixteen minute interview with Tony Jaa & Panna Rittikrai. Jaa discusses how he got into the business, working with Panna Rittikrai and he even shows off his athletic abilities. There is also a four minute interview with the films producer Chokchai Melewan who talks about action cinema in Thailand and working with Panna Rittikrai. Other extra include a thirteen minute comedy spoof of the film Ong Bak and a Thai television spoof of Ong Bak. The commercial is the funny of the two spoofs. The main extra is a thirty five minute documentary about stunts in Thai cinema titled “Fearless Maniacs”.
This release comes with an interesting array of extras and it is shame that a film as important as Born to Fight doesn’t have better source material then what is presented on this DVD release. Born to fight is one of the best action films to ever come out of Thailand and now nearly twenty plus year’s later action cinema in Thailand is finally catching up with films like Ong Bak and Tom yum goong.