If you are looking for a two-word film title that pretty much tells you everything you need to know, The Kick certainly scores high in that category.

A martial arts opus that – yep, you’ve guessed it – contains plenty of kicking, this is a fast-paced, comedy-laced flick that, while never attaining the heights it clearly set out to reach, definitely registers on the entertainment scale.

After a pre-credits sequence that shows a pair of Korean taekwondo stars competing in what appears to be a world championship, the film then jumps forward 20 years to Thailand.

Those two martial artists are now husband and wife, running their own dojo in Bangkok, with their gaggle of talented, high-kicking kids.

That all sounds pretty serene, but things take a turn for the worse when some of the family stumble upon a gang of criminals stealing a priceless Thai artefact (The Kris Of Kings).

Sure, foiling the heist makes them heroes in the eyes of the public, but certainly not in the eyes of the gangsters, who for the rest of the film set about plotting and carrying out their revenge.

This all leads to a series of stunning action sequences, hardly surprising considering the talent that has been amassed for the project.

For starters, The Kick is directed by Prachya Pinkaew, a veteran of this sort of stuff having served up the likes of the excellent Chocolate, the brutal Tony Jaa-starrer Ong Bak and plenty more.

And Pinkaew has put together a stunning cast this time around, featuring Chocolate star JeeJa Yanin, Jae-hyeon Jo, Ong Bak veteran Petchtai Wongkamlao and others of note.

The action sequences are certainly where the film scores highest – sure the fight scenes are more Jackie Chan slapstick than Tony Jaa bonebreaking, but visually they are incredibly impressive – most notably a triple female showdown on some building foundations late on in the movie.

But the film takes too much time throwing in scenes of family melodrama, with a subplot featuring the son’s desire to break away from taekwondo and become a pop star doing nothing other than drag the film down (and guess who turns out to be the best fighter of the bunch come the film’s conclusion?)

The acting is all perfectly fine, in fact probably better than most films of this ilk considering it aims to be as much family drama as action flick.

And, at 94 minutes, the film barely rattles along, especially in a slam-bang final 20 minutes where everything comes together.

The Kick is far from Pinkaew’s best work considering what he has served up in the past, but there is still plenty to enjoy for fans of the genre.

EXTRAS: Trailers

VERDICT: [rating=3]

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.