From the director of Ong Bak and The Protector, the guy who gave us Tony Jaa, comes a female Tony Jaa and Ong Bak with a girl!
Chocolate is a rather bizarre story of Thai vs Japanese gangs, with an Autistic girl and a fat kid caught in the middle. It's sort of 1 part family drama, 4 parts martial arts action movie.
I really liked the Tony Jaa films, Ong Bak was pretty much by the numbers, but had a certain inventiveness to it, The Protector went slightly overboard, but again had some good bits. What both films gave us is some decent bone cracking stunt work that's not really been seen since classic Jackie Chan. Chocolate continues that trend with some serious injury inducing action (as demonstrated by the end credit outtakes).
As a film, it's not the greatest, the filmmakers can do action, but not so hot on the drama side. It's starts very differently from the Tony Jaa films, with a heavy French influence, echoing something more along the lines of a Jean-Pierre Jeunet film, it soon gets into standard territory though, although the action takes it time before it really kicks in.
Having an autistic girl as the lead is certainly a bold move, and to be fair, it works pretty well, JeeJa also sells it well on both the acting and action fronts, the latter very surprising as despite being 24 now, so probably 22/23 ish while filming, she certainly looks about 13, so being able to pull of realistically kicking someone's ass is no mean feat. She does start off a tad comical, but it's justified within the context of character, but by the 12-on-1 set piece, she's pretty kick ass.
Once it gets going, another entertaining martial arts flick.
Chocolate - 7/10