From the action genius Prachya Pinkaew who created many action films in Thailand and recently broke out and tapped the Western market with films such as Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior and The Protector comes his newest film. After a fallout with fellow actor Tony Jaa over disputes over directing Ong Bak 2, he decided to raise a new Muay Thai machine. With this he provides an even greater twist; it's a girl.
A member of the Yakuza elopes with a traitor and creates an autistic offspring. Like most autistic children, this one is a tad bit special. Upon growing up, she finds an uncanny love in three things; her mommy, chocolate, and martial arts films. While watching these films, her brain develops and allows her to memorize every single move, turning her into an unstoppable killing machine.
Bone-crunching scene after bone-crunching scene, our female star crushes every opponent. Her skills are unmatched in terms of combat. Being a female, she is naturally nimble which allows her a lot more flexibility than predecessor Tony Jaa. Pinkaew doesn't scorn the idea of keeping his inspirations intact, which allows for some of the characters viewing pleasure to be The Protector and Ong Bak. So while she is jumping around she makes note to even imitate Bruce Lee's "Hwaa!" The choreography at hand, is simply stunning. Many injuries occurred on set and were even welded into the film which gives it that realist aspect.
Like most of Pinkaew's films, the stories are ridiculous, over-the-top, and a bit flat. It seems that Pinkaew is doomed to suffer the same fate as many action directors; too much of a good thing bogged down with a deadpan storyline. In regards to the plot, it isn't the characters, it's the events. A mother who is stricken ill and whose autistic daughter goes to collect money from past debts only to get entangled in the mafia doesn't really scream autuer work. Pinkaew's older Thai films had a lot more spirit.
Chocolate in a nutshell is The Protector adopting Mercury Rising. The autistic elements are driven well in the story line. The lead character is cute, dangerous, and extremely terrified of flies, which gives her this existing innocence. This film does lack the gold that Bruce Willis endows with each film that he graces his presence with. Chocolate is indeed as sweet as it sounds. I cannot recall action as vicious as this. Imagine watching a mentally handicapped female take on the entire Yakuza. That's Chocolate.