Risibly sentimental even for a genre not known for its emotional sophistication, “Chocolate” follows Zen as she collects on debts owed her ailing mother in order to pay for medical care. (You hope her targets have paid up their own premiums.) All of which is pretext — barely — for a series of unexceptional brawls.
“Unexceptional brawls” (?!?!)
I seem to live in a universe that parallels Mr. Lee's. I saw some remarkable fight sequences and relentlessly-paced action.
At TIFF, I saw a crowd that oohed, ahhed, whooped and generally had a kickass time.
Is Jija Yanin Vismitananda (Zen, the autistic martial arts savant) going to win an acting award? Is the screenplay a work of cinematic literature? No and no. But so what? It's a martial arts movie!!!
You can't judge such films by those criteria. The one true test is this: Was it exciting to watch? On that score, Chocolate ranks right up there with Ong Bak, SPL, Flashpoint and Banlieue 13.
You can see the trailer here. Here's a snapshot:
Nope, nothing to see here, folks. Move along.