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STUDIO: Magnolia Home Entertainment
RATED: R for violence and some language
RUNNING TIME: 102 minutes
A Thai Charlie’s Angels ripoff.
Writer: Poj Arnon
Cast: Kessarin Ektawatkul, Bongkoj
Khongmalai, Salani Chachacha, Supakson Chaimongkol, Bunyawan Pongsuwan,
Jintara Poonlarp, Krit Sripoomseth
fail to protect a child from evildoers, then try again.
Chai Lai Angels: Dangerous Flowers is a Charlie’s Angels
ripoff from Thailand. It stars five women who play five characters, I
guess. Their characters’ personalities are so ill-defined that they all
blur together. They’re lady secret agents, tasked with protecting a
child for some reason. Apparently it isn’t a good enough reason, because
they fail and the child is kidnapped by a non-descript organization of
villains. We the audience spend most of the movie wondering why they
want the child, and the villains seem to wonder as well; there’s
something about how the child knows the secret of “the Andaman pearl,”
but we don’t learn until the third act what the pearl does (and neither
do the villains). The villains just want to sell the pearl (at auction, no less; evidently they’ve lined up quite a few buyers interested in acquiring a secretly magical pearl), so basically the logline for this is “Generic female spies chase middlemen across Thailand. And whine. A lot.”
It’s obvious that a good bit of money was spent
on this tiresome bit of business. It’s one of the glitzier Thai movies
I’ve seen. (My Thai cinema knowledge is pretty limited though, so what
that means is it’s glitzier than Ong-Bak 1 or Sars Wars: Bangkok Zombie
Crisis, about equally glitzy with The Protector, and less glitzy than
Ong-Bak 2.) But the plot is kind of aimless and doesn’t make sense. The
comedy is never funny. The action set-pieces are pretty inept, (this is
one of those action/comedies that seems to believe that its action
scenes don’t have to be good because it’s not a “serious” movie) to say
nothing of how without some basic narrative thrust to hang them on, said
setpieces generate no excitement whatsoever.
Can’t make a self-consciously “wacky” action-comedy without a scene where a child fight grownups.
The only good
(read: unintentionally funny) scene in the movie is a climactic rooftop
showdown between one of the angels and the lead villain. She finally
reveals that the secret pearl keeps all of the world’s oceans in
balance, and demands that he give it back. He won’t, so they shoot him
or something. Then the pearl-controlling little girl joins up with the
Chai Lai Angels, and they take on the Taliban. I am a journalist and I
would not make these things up.
“Lifeless” is perhaps the worst
crime either an action movie or comedy could commit, and Chai Lai Angels
is a repeat offender.
transfer. A 13 minute making-of featurette, which is the best thing on
the DVD, being full of people saying ridiculous things. Director Poj
Arnon informs us that the movie is actually about “Teaching the audience
about respecting coral and tropical fish and not exploiting them like
pets from the ocean. That’s how we want to teach the audience, because
there’s a crystal which turns to pearl, when it stays in a very hot
place it will actually explode and destroy the land across a broad area,
several kilometers. This pearl is supposed to be under the ocean, so it
represents that everything should be left where it belongs.” Also,
Bongkoj Khongmalai, who plays “Rose,” regales us with stories of “a
scene where I’m disguised as a black woman…and painted my body in a
tan color. … I had to wear lipstick the way a black woman might do.”
There’s also some trailers and a couple of embarrassing music videos.