If Barry Levinson's "Rain Man" had a massive orgy of unprotected sex with the entire Jackie Chan film library..........9 months later.........you would get "Chocolate." It breaks down like this......Thai gangster Zin falls for Yakuza member Masashi, but Zin is already spoken for by gang overlord #8. #8 is pissed when he discovers the affair..... treats Zin like #2. then promptly shoots off his own toe because that's what Thai gangsters do when they're mad. Fearing for her life, Zin tells Masashi to go back to Japan and that they are never to see each other again lest they incur the wrath of #8 and his transexual minions. Fair enough, but I'm not really sure why Masashi couldn't just use his mob influence to get both of them out of the country. Maybe Yakuza and Thai are not supposed to mix it up due to some traditional bullshit. It doesn't matter.........the important thing is that Masashi leaves Thailand and unknowingly........a pregnant Zin.
Zin gives birth to Zen. Zen is an autistic savant, only instead of being good with complex mathematics, she can watch and replicate (with deadly efficiency) the movements of martial artists she sees in movies and training next door at a kick boxing school. This comes in handy after Zin is stricken with cancer and cannot afford her treatments. When Zen's adopted brother Moom comes across a list of people who owe Zin gangster backpay, they visit each one to get them to pay up.....or get beat up. It's not too bad a story as far as this kind of crap goes, but once Zen unleashes her fury on the bad guys, you will be treated to a display of fight choreography and stuntwork that rivals any American action film. That's really no surprise because these are the same filmmakers and stunt teams that vaulted Tony Jaa to stardom in "Ong Bak." If you have seen that flick, you know that this team does stuff on film that is TRULY death defying and the climactic duel with #8 does not disappoint.
Bodies are fighting and dropping from several stories, sliding under tables, and contorting into positions that would give a yoga master fits. I'd be curious to find out how many people were severely injured during the making of "Chocolate." They make all the chaos look easy and I'm sure it's anything but. Why no American big budget or independent studio has attempted to make an action movie like this baffles me. I guess we can't have Brad Pitt jumping off a building for insurance purposes, but isn't there anybody on our home soil with a little parkour, or stuntman ability to at least compete and put on a good show for us homers???? For now I guess we'll just have to admire the amazing efforts from afar.
Overall a dizzying, dazzling, beat em up that gets my highest recommend. The only low mark is the title. Perhaps it was lost in translation, but I could never figure out why the hell the movie is called "Chocolate." No matter......I'll gladly have another piece.