Jailbreak (2017) - Cambodia
Review by Andrew Chan (FCCA)
The Thais gave us Ong Bak, the Indonesian came up with The Raid and it’s almost timely for the national martial arts pride of Cambodia to unleash with Jailbreak. Whilst the film is not on par with the two mentioned films, it is still one martial arts extravagant that punches and brute from start to finish and most probably the best thing to come out of Cambodia film industry for decades.
Italian expat living in Cambodia, Director Jimmy Henderson does exceptionally well in capturing all the wonderfully staged fight scenes all within a dirty and dangerous prison complex. With an entire cast of former MMA, martial artists and stunts people, Henderson plays to everyone strength and the result is a film light on story, but maximum on action and one smash and hit after another.
All in all, Jailbreak manages to impress in the martial arts arena, but fails to develop its characters, which is a norm in these kind of genre. Whilst the action remains amazing and use of ordinary items as ad hoc fighting tools are creative, there is a genuine lack of care and emotional factor about the film and connections with the audience. Still, as a Cambodian production this is really punching above its weight and with Netflix and others on the distribution channel, Henderson and cast should come up with a brutal follow up.
I rated it 7.5/10