Mar 17, 2008

Tears of The Black Tiger

I first heard of this movie by way of a trailer and immediately thought, "I have GOT to see this." I mean, how can you go wrong with a violent cowboy shoot 'em up made in Thailand? Well, in some respects, the movie fell short of my expectations. It is not all crazy western gunslinger action; the film's primary story is an almost overwhelming romantic tragedy. That does not cut it for me (not a word from all you "Lonesome Dove" fans out there). However, mixed with Rumpoey's despair over her lost love, there is a bit of insane gunfighting.

A group of bandits named the Tigers is the bane of law and order where the film takes place. The Tigers do as they please, including shooting people, much to the frustration of Captain Kumjorn. He sets out to destroy the bandit horde. Unfortunately, the Tigers have two secret weapons. One is a cache of M72 rocket launchers. The other is the Black Tiger, a gunfighter with no equal. The police are defeated in a furious battle that includes machineguns, grenades, submachine guns, and the aforementioned rocket launchers. The bandit's leader orders the Black Tiger to execute the captured police captain. Instead of killing the young officer, the Black Tiger lets him go, and there is a reason why (but I am not going to tell you).

The Black Tiger is a man named Dum. Years ago, he fell in love with Rumpoey, daughter of the local governor. Unfortunately, Dum made a mistake while trying to protect Rumpoey's honor from three bullies. Boys should avoid making mistakes that embarrass their fathers. Almost drowning somebody's daughter is one of those things. The bloody caning administered to Dum as punishment made him wary of women. Rumpoey, on the other hand, became hopelessly smitten with her guardian angel.

Years later, Dum came to Rumpoey's defense again when the same three bullies tried to assault her. His trouncing of the men ensured he was kicked out of college. Dum's travails (avoiding Rumpoey would have been a good idea, she seems to bring Dum bad luck) eventually resulted in his becoming a member of the Tigers.

The final battle between the government and the bandits is fought at the Governor's mansion. It is everything you ever wanted in a crazy Thai western shoot 'em up. There are bandits with submachine guns, a policeman hit by a rocket (yikes), and even a final face off between Dum and the second best gunfighter in the Tigers.

Something I failed to mention is that the musical score often seems terribly out of place and rather amusing. A composer trying to create Thai music with a southwest flavor is not a stress-free composer, nor a sane one.

Thi movie Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger, read more this review

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