Chocolate

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The ViewDunedin Review

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Review byMatthew Turner27/10/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 89 mins

Enjoyable thriller with plenty of ass-kicking and a sensational, star-in-the-making performance by young JeeJa Yanin.

What's it all about?
Rising action star JeeJa Yanin plays Zen, a 13-year-old autistic girl who discovers that she has the ability to copy anything she sees (much like Monica in season two of Heroes). A handful of kung fu movies later and Zen develops powerful martial arts skills, which she uses to take on the gangsters who are refusing to pay the money they owe her ailing mother.

The Good
JeeJa Yanin is the textbook definition of an exciting new talent and the fight scenes are nothing short of astonishing. What makes them particularly interesting is that each fight is staged in the fighting style of a martial arts icon, so you get Bruce Lee (high-pitched screams and controlled punches), Jackie Chan (athletic fighting with whatever objects come to hand) and Tony Jaa (including all of Jaa's signature moves), plus several other references aimed squarely at hardcore kung fu fans.

On top of that, the film builds to an action-packed climax that includes twenty minutes of nonstop ass-kicking as Zen moves through buildings, along window ledges and across rooftops, dispatching bad guys as she goes.

The Bad
The plot is perfunctory at best and is really just an excuse to set up the fight scenes, but you don't really expect complex plots in kung fu flicks. A bigger problem is that most of the other characters are indistinguishable, so there are a few scenes where you're not quite sure who's who or what's going on. It's also worth sticking around for the end credits, which reveal the huge number of disturbing on-set injuries. This is quite funny at first, but some of the injuries look really serious and you can't help wondering if the actors and stuntmen thought it was really worth it.

Worth seeing?
Chocolate is a kick-ass kung fu flick that's worth seeing for the debut of future fighting sensation JeeJa Yanin.

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Content updated: 12/12/2017 08:11

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