Thursday, November 08, 2007

Opapatika - Thai Film Review


Thailand
Director: Thanakorn Pongsuwan
2007


There are films like this in which they should hand over a pair of aspirin with the ticket. Or maybe just a brain transplant. Or electroshock. Loud, pointless and witless, this has a body count that could fill a football stadium on Super Bowl Sunday, but not one of these myriad of corpses would evince even a slight care from you – just fodder for the threshing machine of CGI death. Before the film begins the producers are kind enough to put up a place card that informs the audience that the filmmakers in no way advocate suicide as a form of recreation – but how about as a way to stop watching this film? Unfortunately, my shoe laces were not long enough.

Dripping in self-absorbed melancholy and ennui, the Opapatika live among us humans. The only way to differentiate them from us is that they all dress really well, look like pretty boys and seem to be clinically depressed (o.k. so that might describe much of Hollywood as well). Oh, they also have various types of superpowers and are really hard to kill. That’s not too surprising since they already are dead. Or perhaps somewhere between life and death. Or perhaps somewhere between bad acting and bad writing. You, like them can join the Opapatika by simply committing suicide and as far as I could tell no membership fees are required. By doing so it brings out the hidden powers within you – telepathy in the case of Techit who has been investigating the Opapatika and decided to join them because it looked like so much darn fun. He is mentored by another Opapatika, Sadok, who requests that he track down the other Opapatika’s in the world and turn them over to his right hand man Thuvathit, who will then use his million man private army to kill them. Good luck.

Among the Opapatika is one who is immortal and bored, another who kills at night and feels guilty during the day, another Bruce Banner type who can project a monster like the Hulk, another who can foretell the death spot of his victims which seems a bit unfair if you are an assassin. Thuvathit constantly unleashes his endless army on them, but one can only hope they have lots of life insurance because before you can blink most of them are dead. You would think it might have dawned on a few that there were better ways to make a living and that the chances of killing a dead man aren’t good. So the film basically turns into a number of set pieces in which the Opapatikas are surrounded by the army and then easily kill them all. In between set pieces they brood a lot and dally with a mysterious woman in white who flits in and out of their lives like a bad dream - or a bad movie.

Note to Readers: I in no way advocate suicide as a manner of discovering what your inner super powers are – though I do wonder what mine might be – hopefully sleeping through films like this.

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