Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 13th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Thailand, 2009
Director: Krissanapong Rachata
Writers: Nonont Kontaweesook, Napalee, Piyaros Thongdee
Cast: Nantawooti Boonrapsap, Sasisa Jindamanee, Pimchanok Leuwisetpaiboon, Richard William Lord, Johnny Nguyen, Arunya Pawilai, Conan Stevens, Nawarat Techarathanaprasert, Paytaai Wongkamlao
BluRay released: July 5th, 2010
Approximate running time: 76 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: DTS-HD Master 5.1 Thai, Dolby Digital Stereo Thai
BluRay Release: Cine Asia
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: £24.99
Synopsis: When someone close to them needs a heart transplant. Four adolescents sneak into a hospital that has been taken over by terrorists. Will they be able to recover in time, the heart that their dying friend needs to survive?
Force of Five is the latest film from the same creative team that produced Ong-bak, the film which made Tony Jaa a international action superstar and JeeJa Yanin’s first two films Chocolate and Raging Phoenix. Force of Five was also released under the alternate title Power Kids.
The plot like other recent Thai action films is keep very simple with the focus being on the action sequences. The two main plots are, a young boy who needs a heart transplant and a group of soldiers who feel that they have been wronged. Unfortunately both of these are merely used to prop up an anemic plot and a predictably happy ending. The fight scenes which the bulk of this film is centered around are at best good. With the final showdown between the main bad guy and two kids being the only great fight scene.
The one area where this film works best are the moments when comedy is thrown into the mix. Like a scene where three of the adolescent kids needing to raise money to buy their friend a birthday present. They convince a Japanese tourist who wants to learn Mui Thai that they can teach him. At first their scheme appears to being going off without a hitch. Until a drunken Caucasian tourist attacks them. After man handling the Japanese tourist. The drunken Caucasian tourist takes on the three adolescent kids, who use their surroundings to help them take down a much larger opponent. Overall while centering an action film around a adolescent cast is an interesting idea. The end result is a mildly entertaining action film that doesn’t bring much, if anything new to the genre.
Force of Five comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. This is a strong looking transfer. Colors and flesh tones look accurate. Black levels look solid and details look sharp throughout. There are no problems with compression and DNR is kept in check.
This release comes with two audio options, DTS HD 5.1 Thai and Dolby Digital Stereo Thai. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and error free. Both audio mixes sound great. There is good channel separation, everything sounds balanced and clear throughout. Of course these audio mixes stand out during more action oriented sequences which always sounds robust.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (2 minutes 7 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Thai with English subtitles), a behind the scenes segment (5 minutes 14 seconds – 4:3 full frame), a brief making of segment (5 minutes 50 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Thai with English subtitles) and interviews with actors, Nantawooti Boonrapsap (3 minutes 12 seconds – 4:3 full frame, in Thai with English subtitles), Paytaai Wongkamlao (2 minutes 9 seconds – 4:3 full frame, in Thai with English subtitles), Johnny Nguyen (4 minutes 39 seconds – 4:3 full frame, in English with optional English subtitles), actresses, Sasisa Jindamanee (4 minutes 30 seconds – 4:3 full frame, in Thai with English subtitles), Nawarat Techarathanaprasert (2 minutes 29 seconds – 4:3 full frame, in Thai with English subtitles) and director Krissanapong Rachata (6 minutes 18 seconds – 4:3 full frame, in Thai with English subtitles). The ‘Making of’ and ‘Behind the Scenes’ segments are basically extended promo’s for the film that have a few scattered comments and some on the set footage. Topics discussed in the interviews include the characters in the film, the plot, thoughts about the cast & crew and other production related stories. Also included with this release are trailers for Machine Girl (1 minute 31 seconds – letterboxed widescreen), Raging Phoenix (1 minute 43 seconds – anamorphic widescreen – HD), Shinjuku Incident (1 minute 49 seconds – anamorphic widescreen – HD), IP Man (2 minutes 6 seconds – anamorphic widescreen – HD), House of Fury (1 minute 14 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), Kung Fu Dunk (55 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), The Myth (1 minute 32 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), Fist of Legend (1 minute 30 seconds – anamorphic widescreen – HD), Robo-Geisha (2 minutes – anamorphic widescreen – HD), Fatal Move (1 minute 35 seconds – letterboxed widescreen), Robin-B-Hood (1 minute 39 seconds – anamorphic widescreen – HD) and Kill Zone (1 minute 27 seconds – anamorphic widescreen – HD). Overall Force of Five is another first rate release from Cine Asia that is on par with their other BluRay releases.