Kunpan - Legend of the Warlord (2002)

Directed by
Well, I don't recommend *not* watching
Reviewed by Simon on 2012-05-25

Kunpan - Legend of the War Lord is a legend about a warlord named Kunpan, happily enough. As a child, Kunpan's father is killed by the somewhat vicious king, and Kunpan would be killed too if his mother didn't whisk him away and hide him in a monastery. At the monastery, Kunpan is educated in the arts of war by an elderly monk and grows to be a good looking young monk himself. But then he falls in love with a gorgeous local girl and quits the monastery to marry her. To everyone's surprise and disappointment, he turns out to be something of a bastard who is led through life by his dick.

At least, that's how the first half of the movie presents him, since it lavishes far too much time on his bedroom antics, though since several extremely attractive young actresses are also involved I cannot complain too much about this attention. Well, actually yes I can - it was frankly rather dull, beautiful as the ladies may be.

So the first hour of the movie is pretty much a bust, but then things come out of the bedroom and the movie starts to take a different and altogether darker route. Kunpan is pretty unlikeable in the first hour, but in the second he turns downright evil. Still totally unlikeable, but altogether more interesting.

The second half of the movie is pretty cool, full of violence, evil and black magic. Less shagging, more war. It's still not classic cinema, but it's much more engaging.

The movie seems very similar to some other Thai movie I can't put my finger on, at least thematically. It may have starred the same lead actress even, as I've certainly seen her before (did I mention she was cute?). It's another movie where the men are all immature bastards but it's the women who suffer as a result. Kunpan is a dark hero, which sometimes makes it difficult to really be concerned by his problems. It's only because his enemies are that much worse that you want him to prevail.

Kunpan isn't a great movie, and for some of its runtime it outright sucks. It has some great moments to compensate though, and is overall quite watchable. The Thai DVD is pretty lousy - washed out non-anamorphic image that is much too dark, but ok sound and subtitles at least. It doesn't get very high recommendations, but I don't recommend *not* watching it either


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