Force of Five coverIn the last 10 years Thailand has been pumping out martial arts movies like crazy!  This one is another action film that centers around the martial art of Muay Thai, combined with acrobatic stunts and it’s called Force of Five (or Power kids).

The story is about 5 kids who train extensively in Muay Thai at their home. The youngest of these children has a weakened heart, operating at 30% capacity and is awaiting a doner for a transplant.  On his birthday the other 4 kids pull together all of their money and buy him a remote control car – a  particular blue car he’s wanted for some time.

Overwhelmed with joy he decides he wants to race the car, but is not allowed to go out into the outside world in fear of his condition causing him severe harm or death.  So the other kids sneak him out.

Once at the track the car is put on the track to race. An older child bullies the small boy and knocks him over, causing his remote car to crash.  In shock he runs onto the track to retrieve his car but being the extremely young child he is he tramples some of the other cars on the track.  Naturally, the bullies chase him down to beat him up while his 4 older brothers/sister step in to protect him.  He then collapses from all of the running (and due to his heart condition) and is rushed to hospital.

Once in hospital, a donor is found and a heart is transported from a another hospital nearby.  But when a rebel/terrorist group lead by Johnny Nguyen (the actor, he doesn’t play himself!), the heart cannot leave the hospital.  So the four older siblings make their way to the hospital, break in and fight off terrorists and try to find the heart and bring it back to their young, dying brother.

More Action

A kids film…?

This is one of those movies which has you feeling like you’re watching a kids film, until you remind yourself that kids films don’t usually have heaps of blood & violence in the same manner as this – which makes it a little lost in terms of who the target audience is. It’s a little mixed and definitely isn’t for everyone.

The story however is very heartfelt. The story of the youngest boy right up until he collapses is told and you can really feel for his character. The young actor who played him did an awesome job – especially for a child.

The setup really has you cheering for their cause, and of course wanting the worst to come to Johnny Nguyen’s character, who sees their cause as overshadowing his and complicating the situation he has created.  His goals become compromised and he gets more ruthless as the kids become more determined, leading to some pretty cool action.

Fighting against Johnny Nyugen

Action & Martial Arts

These kids have every bit of flashy skill that we see in the older stunt men and martial artists performing.  The flips, fancy kicks and flying knees are all reminiscent of Ong Bak, and create an awesome visual style for the movie.

The only thing that make sit hard to take in is the question – can children really hit adults hard enough to stop them? As a guy who trains Muay Thai I can say I’ve had kids hit pads very hard before, but I still wonder. So naturally I find my belief in their skills a little shaken when watching the fights – but it’s still impressive.

But that’s not what the movie is about, the movie is about he physical performance and the drive behind the fighting these kids do.  With top choreography and talented child actors, this movie pulls off a decent level of excitement and action.

Do I recommend it?

If you like watching a combination of action movies / kids movie, then go for gold.  Many will not like this film while others will.  I’m on the fence as as to recommend it or not so this one is up to you!

On Blu Ray –

Region A (US & Canada)
Power Kids [Blu-ray]

Region B (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Europe etc)
Force Of Five [Blu-ray] [2009]

On DVD –

Region 1 (US & Canada)
Power Kids

Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
Force Of Five [DVD]

More info on Movie Regions here.

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