Review: Born To Fight (2004)

Directed by:

Distributed in Australia by:

From the production team that brought you the film Ong Bak, comes Born To Fight, a tale of athletes, terrorists, guns, Muay Thai, and a small nuclear threat. Whilst not a sequel, Born To Fight does have much the same feel as Ong Bak, making it instantly recognisable to fans. The stunts are similar in that neither wire-work or computer graphics are used, and many of the more impressive stunts are played in slow motion to allow the audience to take it all in.

Unfortunately, Born To Fight and Ong Bak share a common problem: the plot. Whilst Ong Bak had a rudimentary yet believable plot, Born To Fight feels as though it was written by a group of prepubescent teenagers all trying to beat each other in game of “try to come up with the coolest plot device”. It’s actually quite ridiculous as each new plot device is revealed, especially when finally confronted with a nuclear threat from the terrorists. What makes these aspects of the plot ridiculous is that they are never really explained, and seem to exist only to provide justification for many of the fight scenes. Mind you, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

However, that’s enough of the film’s failings. If you’re able to get past the rather thin plot, then you’re in for an action-packed treat. As with Ong Bak, Born To Fight involves a great number of fight scenes. However, unlike Ong Bak, the fight scenes combine both traditional Muay Thai and sporting skills. Thus the soccer star spends his time kicking grenades back at terrorists and the rugby player simply ploughs through a group of foes. There are number of sports stars each with a different fighting technique making Born To Fight a far more entertaining action film.

As for the stunts, it is difficult to describe just how good they are without reducing their impact. They are just that good. So much so that, just as you reach the end of the film convinced that they must have wires or other special effects for the stunts, the credits roll alongside a series of ‘making of’ scenes detailing what goes into each of the incredible stunts. Some of this footage is painful: for example, we see an actor fall off a moving truck onto the ground and not get up.

As a final note, I should warn that this film is incredibly violent, on par with Ong Bak. However, what sets Born To Fight apart is that some of the violence is of villagers being massacred, which can be quite difficult to watch at times.

Overall, Born To Fight is an incredible film. Whilst lacking somewhat in the plot area (making it comparable to many Hollywood films), it certainly delivers on jaw-dropping action and stunts.

8 elbows to the head out of 10.
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