First Impression: Hua Jai Patapee

This week’s theme is all about less well-known lakorn elements and genres, so today I am going in search of something rare, a real diamond in the rough. Today, I seek …a good action scene. I decided to try my luck with Hua Jai Patapee subbed by neko and Nash👍. And…

I got nothing.

Episode 1 of Hua Jai Patapee (2015) turned out to have a lot of the same problems that plague action lakorns in general. Here we have the same style over substance, bad action sequences that don’t make sense, that are boring, or typical, and that don’t add anything to the drama or characters. Take one scene, for example, in which there is all these moves, six different bad guys against The Lone Ranger. When it comes down to the last bad guy, he fights hand-to-hand with one of the heroes, but as he’s losing, he pulls out a gun. I mean, really? It was so stupid. There is another scene where we see one of the heroes, Purin, do all sorts of fancy moves on a training course with paper targets, and he’s wearing sunglasses for no reason that I can fathom except to look cool.

And when you think about it, it’s even more disappointing because outside of their romantic comedies, some horror films, internationally Thailand’s action movies garner the most attention.

Chocolate by director Prachya Pinkaew

Basically,  Thailand needs to use their experts, people like Prachya Pinkaew, pay them some money, and have them work on action scenes in lakorns. I think you also need to have people who know how to film action sequences, and training. The way people in lakorns handle guns, their postures, all of it could be so easily improved, I don’t know why they don’t do it, I know they do some training, but it seems to vary. It’s not just Thailand lakorns of course, Asian dramas in general seem to really falter in action sequences. This has always been a pet peeve of mine as I’m a fan of action films.

Hua Jai Patapee (2015) synopsis: The story is about Forest Conservation. The main lead are special agents from the National Forest Ranger Department.

But let’s get back to the lakorn Hua Jai Patapee (2015). Episode 1 starts on an action scene of course in the forest. Por Tridsadee stars as Pasu, fending off a bunch of criminals with his team in a gunfight. We learn he is part of a special unit that deals with the forest and stopping those who use the forest for nefarious reasons, cutting down trees and so on. Pasu soon gains a partner, a martial arts expert named Purin (played by Mike Angelo).

Along with Purin, Pasu has a team and they try to figure out the identity of the mysterious Nai Yai, the leader of the group of tree cutters. They learn he will be at a party and so the two leads get to play dress up and spy. Along the way, they encounter a masked figure in black, who turns out to be a woman. Who is she and what part does she play in the criminal group?

They do find a clue, the lady in black turns out to have talked to a guest at the party, Khun David, but he is supposed to be one of the good guys, fighting for forest conservation. They confront him about it, but is he really Nai Yai?

I think Por is a solid actor, but Por is not really believable as an action hero, and Mike? Uh, no. I really think you need people who are actually trained and even better, are experts at whatever action scenes you’re doing (Jet Li and Jackie Chan come to mind). Several things did catch my interest about the first episode. Number one, I was surprised to see that one of the main girls is in the enemy’s camp, so questions started to swirl immediately, is it true, what will happen later, will main leads fall in love, that made it more interesting right from the start.

Is it love?

Another thing that caught my attention was the mention of dark powers by one character. I didn’t know this before, so is there going to be a fantasy element to the drama? If so, that might be interesting. Neko and Nash subbed this here.

In conclusion, my search for a good okay action scene, just one, continues…. Maybe Maturot Lohgan?