Monday, July 20, 2009

Power Kids

Krissanapong Rachata | 2009 | 90 min | Thailand

A rag tag group of young muai-thai students spend the first half hour or so of Power Kids, fighting a drunk meathead American, stealing money from their teacher to buy an RC car, racing said car, and getting their hides tanned. It's all fun, games, and character development until Wun, the youngest of the group, needs an emergency heart transplant. He's very lucky that another young boy in Thailand who had been in a coma (“asleep like a pile of vegetables” according to the film's sometimes iffy English subtitles), passes on, making his heart available for transplant. There's a catch though. The hospital across town that the heart is neatly packed away on ice in is being visited by the U.S. ambassador, and terrorists lead by The Rebel's Johnny Nguyen have decided to take the hospital hostage.

With only four hours until the heart is useless, Wun's muai-thai-for-kids classmates/pals take it upon themselves to go to the hospital to get the heart. Of course it's not quite that easy, and they need to deliver and receive some big fun beatings. Call me sick, but there's something really really fun about watching a child getting kicked across the room into a wall. At the same time though, it's just as fun to watch them deliver flying knees to the heads of full-grown adults.

The film's far from perfect but its flaws are entertaining. The far-fetched plot and intense melodrama enhance the film somehow by unintentionally making the film more fun than intended (though make no doubt it is meant to be very entertaining). Power Kids' solid fight choreography is its strongest element. It never feels like the moves have been simplified for the kids to be able to perform them or softened to keep kids from getting bad ideas upon viewing the film. If you've got kids, watching this will give them lots of really bad (and awesome) ideas on how they could kick your ass when you come home drunk and hit them. So keep that in mind, and if you do show it to them, be sure to replace all of your fluorescent light fixtures beforehand. Your face will thank me later.

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