film Review

A movie about assassins fighting a marauding group of warriors? It sounds like the making of an epic action movie. Throw in a bit of time travel and suddenly the whole idea somehow doesn’t seem as exciting.

Although it promises assassins fighting invading warriors, in reality the friction in Assassin Rising comes more from a misunderstanding – the warriors want to pass through the town and are then attacked by the assassins. All hell breaks loose when the warrior’s leader’s brother is killed.

In this, his directorial debut, Preecha Songsakul brings everything you would come to expect from an Oriental film; impressive fast-pace and impressive action mixed with an interesting storyline that explores Asian history and culture. The sets are epic and eye-catching plus the appearance of the token over-the-top camp character, in the form of the interestingly named character Boat, adds another layer of predictable enjoyment.

Although the first quarter of the film plays out as an action-packed historical epic the audience is soon transported to modern-day Bangkok. Unfortunately his is where the potentially great movie loses its potential. Some ropey special effects put a dampener on proceedings and it is soon clear the movie had a budget and some money in it… just not a huge amount.

Ignoring the strange storyline and some of the sketchy special effects this movie does have its positives, too. The acting of the young cast is quite good with camp character Boat often giving the audience a few laughs. Well choreographed and spectacular fight scenes are another positive – the battles are not hugely bloody or drawn out, giving them a decent blend of fast paced action and cinematography.

The story and special effects may be dodgy, but the acting talents of the young cast and the action scenes help the audience to maybe not forget but at least forgive the film’s downfalls. The film is nonetheless a decent first outing for Songsakul.

The movie does sometimes stray towards cheesiness, especially when it is revealed that one of the village’s young male assassins travelled back in time just as his love interest is about to go back to her own time. Perhaps it should have left the audience thinking aww but instead it left them scratching their heads a little.

If you are into your historical eastern action movies with a strange twist then this is the movie for you. If you just want to watch something different and you have a light-hearted approach to movies this can be for you, too.

Worst special effect: The car being transported in time.

Cheapest looking special effect: The cannons going off.

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