Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
A detective is convinced to hunt down a group of demons called Opapatikas. The only catch is that you have to be one to know one, and to be one… you have to die from your own hand.
Is it good movie?
I have to admit, visually, the Thai action thriller Demon Warriors is incredibly well shot. Director Thanakorn Pongsuwan has a really terrific eye when setting up some pretty stellar looking images. But a pretty movie is not always a good movie. In fact, this pretentious art flick wannabe is littered with beyond lame dialogue (whether listening to the dubbed version, or reading subtitles) and extremely drawn out fight sequences. I had such a hard time sticking with this dull story. It all feels like a bizarre commercial with this ridiculous script. Sure there is a lot of blood and slashings, but it is never exciting, it is purely a cold, lifeless and empty piece of celluloid. There is a whole lot of explanation as to what these Opapatikas are, but they seem to forget that the story could be interesting if they decide to get on with it and tell it.
Basically, when some chosen group of men kill themselves, they become demons (or Opapatikas). Once they do, each of the chosen ones develop some special gift, such as immortality or the power to read peoples mind. When some detective is asked to hunt these demons, he must first sacrifice his own life. So he does… people shoot at each other… some get stabbed… but it all boils down to nonsense. They speak of a war against the humans and the Opapatikas, but we never really know why (or care for that matter). But they don’t like each other so they fight a lot. Actually, it is more like one human that seems pissed off at these guys. Yet it is not a human that is the real bad guy here, it is one of these demon fellas and he has really icky skin. Why does he want this detective to find four Opapatikas? Yeah, you find out, but if you still care by the end, I’m impressed.
This massive case of style over substance is so in love with itself that it takes itself much too seriously and as good as the actors are, they can’t make this dialogue sound truthful. One of the worst offenders is the lone woman in the film, Pran (Kemapsorn Sirisukha). She wanders around and all the demon dudes hang out while she plays the piano. Don’t get me wrong, she is attractive and seems natural in the role, but the lines she spouts are utterly ridiculous. The rest of the cast is mostly good, but again, you can only go so far when the director is more interested in a cool looking film than one that is actually good on the inside. While this might partly be a “lost in translation” thing, I did manage to find a few statements on philosophy and such, but did it have to be so damn boring. When the action sequences put you to sleep, you know you’re in trouble.
Video / Audio
Video: This 1.78:1 Widescreen transfer is good. It aids the only real selling point of the film, and that is how strong visually it is.
Audio: The Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1 is good here also. The gunshots and bloody slashings are all good and nasty sounding.
The special features here are pretty bland. It really is only a Making of Demon Warriors and it includes a trailer and the cast and director talking about the film. Now the way they make this movie sound, it seems like it could’ve been terrific. But alas…
Finally we have Trailers for “Mutant Chronicles”, “Surveillance”, “Big Man Japan” and some HDNet ad.
Talk about style over substance. Demon Warriors feels like a bad poetry reading with its beyond pretentious dialogue and overly long action sequences. Yes, it looks pretty good as do the special effects, really, there are some amazing shots here. But the inside is so damn empty and cold, that it is very hard to give a crap about the freakin’ Opapatikas.