Film: Fireball ***
Release date: 18th January 2010
Running time: 90 mins
Director: Thanakorn Pongsuwan
Starring: Preeti Barameenat, Khanutra Chuchuaysuwan, Kumpanat Oungsoongnern
Genre: Martial Arts
Tai, released from prison after his twin brother raises the appropriate bribe money, discovers that his savior is now in a coma. It turns out that he’d raised the money taking part in a Fireball tournament – a cross between run-of-the-mill basketball and barbaric street-fighting.
Posing as his twin, Tai is recruited by Boss Den, an ambitious upstart wanting to gain respect with his peers. Tai and his team-mates are forced to bond quickly. They have the individual talent but can they work together to win the tournament, let alone survive...
Despite some unexpected twists, Fireball plays out just like you hoped it would. In fact, after twenty minutes, you almost know exactly what you're going to get. This isn't a criticism, far from it - its the almost that packs an emotional punch. The action may be a bit too frenetic for some (at times difficult to work out who the person you're rooting for actually is) but for the most part the set-pieces are a joy to behold.
A love triangle slows things down slightly, and the final reel would've been best placed just before the final act (a sequel will suffice), but other than that, if you fancy leaving your brain at the door, immersing yourself in some high-octane action, Fireball leaves most recent Hollywood attempts back at the baseline.