“Broken Sword Hero” is an entertaining historical/martial arts film based on Thailand’s noble hero, Phraya Phichai. How a troublemaker teen would become a well-renown fighter but also how he would become the loyal general of King Taksin the Great. Fast-paced and a lot of fun to watch, “Broken Sword” is recommended!
TITLE: Broken Sword Hero
FILM RELEASE: 2017
DURATION: 122 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16:9 widescreen), Thai DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English
COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: October 31, 2017
Directed by Bin Bunluerit
Produced by Somsak Techaratanaprasert, Tanit Jitnukul, Bin Bunluerit
Buakaw Banchamek as Thongdee
Phutharit Prombandal as Taksin
Somsin Maneewan as Ramyong
Nantawut Boonrubsub as Cherd
Vannapoom Songsuparp as Boonkerd
Chutirada Junthit as Mauylek
Phutarit Prombandal as Rueang
Jaran Ngamdee as Khru How
Buakaw Banchamek is a Thai welterweight and Muay Thai kickboxer. First film role was in Muay Thai Warrior (2010) directed by Nopporn Watin.
In Thailand, Phraya Phichal Dap Hak is a national hero that served under King Taksin and helped repel the Burmese and reuniting Siam (Thailand). Known for his boxing style who was unafraid to take anyone on, the heroic character’s life is the main story of “Broken Sword Hero”.
Starring Buakaw Banchamek, the Thai Welterweight Muay Thai kickboxer, the film marks Buakaw’s first major lead role in a film (his fourth film overall). The film also stars Phutharit Prombandal, Somsin Maneewan, Nantawut Boonrubsub, Vannapoom Songsuparp, Chutirada Junthit, Phutharit Prombandai and Jaran Ngamdee.
And now the film will be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Well Go USA in October 2017.
The film begins with a young man named Joi (portrayed by Buakaw Banchamek) being pursued and running for his life, meanwhile cracking a smile while being chased.
The film then goes back to when Joi was a boy and being chased by a group of kids. A boy named Cherd is the son of an important leader and often Joi is bullied by the kids, but he is not afraid to fight back.
One day he goes to his uncle to teach him Muay Thai but the uncle tells him to go to his father, who is a championship fighter but Joi explains his father won’t teach him. We then see Joi’s father comes to him and is upset at his child and he takes his child and his family to pray for Joi because he gets into a lot of trouble.
We then see Joi finding a training area and starts to train on his own and then he starts throwing rocks towards Cherd and his friends, which prompt him to be chased again. And as they try to fight and beat up Joi, Joi manages to outfight them. And when he goes to fight a young Cherd, he punches him and Cherd falls back and hits his head on a rock and starts bleeding.
We then learn of the troubles that Joi gets into and as a teenager, the same situation. And once again, he causes trouble for Cherd (portrayed by Nantawut Boonrubsub) and we see them chase after Joi, who once again beats up Cherd. But now Cherd goes to his uncle and his men to go capture and punish Joi.
Not wanting to cause problems for his family, Joi leaves home and finds hopefully a new home where people are trained to fight Muay Thai. And as Joi learns, everyone in the village has black teeth (from eating Betal Nut) and because Joi has white teeth, he is given the name Thongdee.
Meanwhile, Cherd and his uncle and his men go to the village where Thongdee is training and they ask for Joi. The village leader tells him there is no Joi and immediately Cherd’s uncle starts threatening the village. But Thongdee comes out to let himself be captured but on one condition, they leave the people and the village alone.
But when the uncle doesn’t, he has his men burn the village down and this leads to Thongdee and the villagers fighting for their life.
While Thongdee and the villagers are able to turn Cherd and his uncle away, they vow revenge and want Thongdee dead.
Meanwhile, Thongdee plans to visit another village to be come a better fighter. While walking, he sees a family and their guards being terrorized by Burmese. Ramyong (portrayed by Sornsin Maneewan) fights for her life to protect her mother and her brother, while many of their guards are being slaughtered by the Burmese. And as it looked as if Ramyong is about to be killed, she is rescued by Thongdee who takes out many of the Burmese, who then escape.
Greatful to Thongdee for saving her life, this chance meeting with Ramyong would set Thongdee on his mission to become a better fighter but also a path that will set his destiny.
And as Thongdee is trained and takes on even more powerful fighters, he is joined by a young man named Boonkerd (portrayed by Vannapoom Songsuparp) and Mauylek (portrayed by Chutirada Junthit) who follow Thongdee who learns a lesson of determination, courage, loyalty, life and what his true destiny may be.
“Broken Sword Hero” is presented in 1080p High Definition (16:9). Picture quality is fantastic, close ups show great detail. A lot of the shots are outdoors, so the film has great vibrancy, detail during closeups and more. The film looks great in HD and I didn’t notice any artifact or banding issues.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Broken Sword Hero” is presented in Thai 5.1 DTS-HD MA. Dialogue and music is crystal clear, as with action sequences which utilize the surround channels quite well.
Subtitles are in English.
“Broken Sword Hero” comes with no special features.
When I first saw a trailer for “Broken Sword Hero”, I automatically thought it would be another martial arts film.
Afterall, most Thai films brought to the US are martial arts driven and I was expecting something banal. After watching “Broken Sword Hero”, I quickly discovered that this film was much more and much better than I expected.
The first half of the film no doubt packs a lot of action but also a lot of humor. But then I started to learn than this film was so much more and that it revolved around the history of Thong Dee Fun Khao, who would become the loyal soldier of King Taksin the Great and that he would become a noble hero, who remained loyal to his king and would be known as Phraya Phichai Dap Hak.
The film details the story of how a troublesome boy named Joi would become Thongdee and later Phraya Phichai but it’s the journey that will captivate people.
With the main protagonist being portrayed by popular Muay Thai fighter Buakaw Banchamek, we see amazing fight choreography and magnificent fight scenes full of punches, high kicks and more!
But watching how this film evolves and how Thongdee evolves around the people around him.
As a person not so familiar with Thai culture, I thought it was interesting to see how many villagers had black teen and led me to spend the night researching Thai culture, Phraya Phichai and King Taksin. But also discovering what the title “Broken Sword Hero” meant. The title which revolves around Phraya Phichai who fought with a sword (dap) in each hand until one was broken.
While one can’t expect fighter Buakaw Banchamek to become a talented actor overnight, fortunately the film doesn’t have to rely on Buakaw’s spoken dialogue but mainly Buakaw the fighter. Using his skills to take on various challengers. And because Buakaw is a true fighter, no need for a stunt actor, ever kick and punch looks convincingly natural and it helps to have a talented fighter in this action film.
Picture quality and lossless audio are great but there are no special features, so this is a barebones Blu-ray release.
Overall, “Broken Sword Hero” is an entertaining historical/martial arts film based on Thailand’s noble hero, Phraya Phichai. How a troublemaker teen would become a well-renown fighter but also how he would become the loyal general of King Taksin the Great. Fast-paced and a lot of fun to watch, “Broken Sword” is recommended!