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Film / Raging Phoenix

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She's back...with a vengeance.

Raging Phoenix is a 2009 Thai action film starring Yanin "Jeeja" Vismistananda. It is directed by Rashane Limtrakul and features martial arts choreography by Panna Rittikrai.

Deu, a travelling musician, has been abandoned by her family and kicked out of her band after attacking her cheating boyfriend. After the split up she's nearly kidnapped, but is saved in the nick of time by Sanim and his unique style of fighting.

Deu's kidnappers are revealed to be a violent gang of human traffickers, who have been killing and abducting woman all around Thailand. Sanim and his crew- Pig, Dog, and Bull- have had loved ones kidnapped or killed by the gang, and have been working together to take them down.

After blackmailing the group into training her in their art of Meyraiyuth (by threatening to destroy all their bottles of booze) she joins in with the ass-kicking, all the while uncovering more secrets about the trafficking and about her new companions.

Raging Phoenix provides examples of:

  • Action Girl:
    • Deu develops into one over the first act of the film. By the end she's capable of taking down an entire gang by her lonesome, and defeats the trafficker's boss in a fierce one-on-one battle.
    • The leader of the trafficking ring, London, is revealed to a muscular woman who easily takes down Deu in their first fight.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The trafficking ring is taken down and Sanim's girlfriend Pai is saved. However, it's at the cost of Sanim's life.
  • Boss Subtitles: When the main characters are introduced, the action pauses and their name flashes up on screen. Averted with Bull, whose name isn't revealed at first to keep his connection to Pig and Dog a secret.
  • Confusion Fu: Dog and Pig explain that this is the reason they get drunk before kicking ass. Being drunk causes them to move around erratically, which in turn confuses and disorients their opponents.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Most notably, drunken Muay Thai dancefighting vs. drunken kung fu.
  • Cross Counter: In the climactic battle, Deu and London both leap into the air and knee the other in the face. Deu is able to recover slightly quicker, which allows her to win the fight.
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • Sanim's girlfriend, Pai, was kidnapped by the trafficking ring, and saving her is Sanim's motivation for taking them down.
    • Deu nearly became a damsel when the trafficking ring attempted to kidnap her. Sanim saved her in the nick of time, and afterward she takes a level in badass and becomes an Action Girl instead.
  • Dance Battler: The protagonists' fighting style, Meyraiyuth, is loose and incorporates dance moves into it. This is most obvious in the fight where Pig and Dog are introduced, as their battling syncs up to the BGM.
  • Darkest Hour: After Sanim dies, London manages to re-capture Deu after Pig, Dog, and Bull are beaten by her goons. The film seems to head for a sad ending, but Deu's determination is rekindled and she's able to take down London.
  • Drunken Boxing: The fighting style of Meyraiyuth is what you get when you throw Muay Thai, Capoeira, and alcohol into a blender.
  • Gargle Blaster: A drink so bad that just smelling it can sharpen the senses. Later in the film, everyone takes a swig of it as a way of apologising to each other.
  • Heroic BSoD: Deu loses all will to fight and becomes lifeless after Sanim dies and London effortlessly defeats her. Fortunately, she recovers herself in time to take on and obliterate two Elite Mooks and London in sequence.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Near the end of the film, Sanim sacrifices himself and falls to his death so that Deu and Pai can continue living.
  • It's Personal: Sanim, Dog and Bull want to bring down the trafficking ring because their girlfriends were killed/kidnapped by the traffickers.
  • Little Miss Badass: Deu is a tiny girl with a pixie-like appearance and an energetic personality, but after learning Meyraiyuth she's capable of wiping the floor with her larger opponents.
  • Rule of Three: The main gang, minus their leader Sanim, are known as Dog-Shit, Pig-Shit, and Bull-Shit.
  • Swiss-Army Tears: The reason why the women were kidnapped is because their tears of sadness are used in a perfume that makes a man desire sex.
  • Waif-Fu:
    • The protagonist is a delicate young woman who learns the dance-battling style of Meyraiyuth, which she uses to take down men that are much bigger than her.
    • Averted in the climatic battle between Deu and London. Not only is London a clearly muscular woman, but their fight is one of the most brutal and aggressive in the film.