13: Game of Death – Film Review
13 Game of Death is a Thai film that had me from hello. The story revolves around Puchit, a struggling music instrument salesman who is about to have the worst day of his life. He is broke, his car get repossessed, a work college steals a lucrative contract and to tie it all together he is fired.
This is where the fun steps into the film. As Puchit contemplates is bleak outlook his accepts a call that offers him the chance to win 100 million Baht. At first he feels this is someone playing a very bad taste practical joke on him until he does the first challenge of swatting the fly in front of him. Once the fly is dead he is informed that his bank balance has been credited 5000 Baht, from here he accepts the game and moves on to task two, eating the fly. The phone operator gives him more challenges for more money which and the tasks grow more extreme. The rules that Punchit has to follow to stay in the game are: finish the task, don’t ask who is running the game, don’t let anyone else know about the game and he is free to quit at anytime. If he quits or breaks the rules the game ends and he loses all that he has gained.
The challenges are increasingly violent and morally objectionable but the film makers have made sure that it is also portrayed in a dark comedic style. The challenge of making three children cry at the playground is bad taste but also hilarious and the music helps bring out the craziness of the situation. The actor playing Puchit (Krissada Terrence) not only gives an extremely funny performance but also knows how to show genuine terror once the challenges get out of hand. While Puchit is initially unsure about continuing the game, the organizers make sure that the further that he gets in, the more trap and outside the law he has become. This is beautifully played once bodies hit the ground and they give him an additional prize of plane tickets to leave the country.
This film isn’t for the weak of heart. There is gore, there is violence and it all ties up into a bloody and violent conclusion that maybe leave you a little shellshocked. The film swings back and forward from over the top comedy to blood extreme violence with us as the audience on the edge of our seat wondering what sort of hell Punchit will have to do next. It also asks how far would you go to get yourself out of a similar hole. The idea of being on the outside of economic freedom is more apt a theme now than when it was first release in 2006. It isn’t hard to see why the Weinstein’s have already optioned it for USA remake and if done well and in the next 12 months could possibly do very well at the box-office.
I personally hadn’t had so much fun in a film since I saw Crank. It’s fast, fun, gory and over the top. My description I walked away from watching the film was; cross Crank with Saw and make Michael Douglas do this Game (David Fincher film) and you could almost come close to the visual and emotional insanity you will witness.
Madman Entertainment have released this title in Australia and the Weinstein’s have released the original USA (Buy now from Amazon). I fully recommend that you grab some pop corn and few mates and take this fun and insane ride.
Cover art & stills Â© 2005 Sahamongkol International Company Limited
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