With its star Jeeja up for awards in Asia, Chocolate opened in the U.S. over the weekend for a token limited theatrical run ahead of today's release on DVD and Blu-ray, and a few fresh reviews have come in.
Nathan Lee, writing for The New York Times, is unimpressed:
Risibly sentimental even for a genre not known for its emotional sophistication, Chocolate follows Zen as she collects on debts owed her ailing mother in order to pay for medical care. (You hope her targets have paid up their own premiums.) All of which is pretext -- barely -- for a series of unexceptional brawls.
Rope of Silicon's Brad Brevet notes the film's R rating:
The film indirectly asks an audience member that has seen a Tony Jaa film to draw comparisons and while there are many to be had there are certain differences between the [Jeeja] and Jaa. Jaa is a powerhouse when it comes to delivering blows and [Jeeja]’s are more precise, but she doesn’t hesitate to introduce her knee or elbow to a combatants head, both options making for a satisfying ending. While the film did earn an R rating from the MPAA it is extremely tame in comparison to what Jaa brought in [Tom Yum Goong]. The one true similarity between the two films is the excessive volume added to the sound effects ensuring every punch that is dealt out is heard and almost felt by the audience, it can become a bit overbearing but it also adds to the fun.
And then there's another Lee, Maggie Lee from The Hollywood Reporter (via Reuters), who recognizes the value of Chocolate-covered corn:
Bursting with topsy-turvy action and corniest camp, Chocolate is as energy-boosting as a late-night Mars bar [...] The script, strewn with wild improbabilities and soapy melodrama, is beyond ridiculous. However, like [director Prachya] Pinkaew's last two films, it carries its own internal logic as the protagonist is driven by a single-minded impulse that sweeps the audience along with propulsive vigor.
The HD Room previews the Blu-ray of Chocolate, which includes a making-of special feature. Both the DVD and the Blu-ray are at Amazon.
Finally, there's a U.S. trailer, which is just plain nuts, with its tagline, "A special-needs girl ... with a special need to kick some ass." The version on YouTube is embedded below, but hit IGN for a better quality version.