Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fireball in France; sequel and remake in the works?

Fireball was in the Action Asia competition at the Deauville Asian Film Festival, which wrapped up over the weekend in France.

South Korea's The Chaser by Na Hong-jin won the grand prize in the Action Asia category. Wildgrounds has the winners.

Critical reception of the Muay Thai-basketball combat drama was pretty cold. Les in Rocks compared it to a direct-to-video effort by Jean-Claude Van Damme and the Trey Stone-Matt Parker comedy Baseketball, and criticized the shaky cam, as did EcranLarge.com.

Film de Culte stated that Fireball is of interest "strictly to worshippers of knee dislocations."

But Commeau Cinema was more diplomatic, noting the camera work will give you headache, but saying it compares favorably to Ong-Bak and should give action-genre fans what they're looking for -- which makes those cracks about Van Damme and knee dislocations selling points.

And Fireball does have its fans.

EcranLarge.com also interviewed director Thanakorn Pongsuwan, whose previous feature, the karmic action fantasy Opapatika competed in Deauville's Action Asia section last year.

He talked about the blending of East and West, of superheroes and Thai mythology, and of Thai action cinema's strength and uniqueness stemming from the influence of Muay Thai.

Regarding future projects, Thanakorn said that a sequel to Fireball is under consideration, but that Bangkok Film Studio has plenty of other projects as well. "More personally," Thanakorn added, he'd like to try "something other than action, maybe horror or fantasy."

However, a sequel may be a selling point as Fireball makes its next move -- at the Hong Kong Filmart. A report on "buzz titles" by Patrick Frater for Variety, says the "pic is now on course for sequel and remake treatment and will be released in North America by Grindstone through Lionsgate."


  1. And yet you haven't quoted the most violent reviews like "the camera work is a mess, the whole film is flooded with bad music, choregraphy is non-existent it's just rough & deadly boring moves".

    It'll be interesting to know what Thai critics (or anywhere else in the world) will say about it.

    And thanks to you, I've just seen the movie was picked up last month by a french label - and it's not Europa Corp which means no Luc Besson cut o//

  2. Thanks, Michael, for reminding me about Fireball's sales deals at the European Film Market, which included including sales to the UK's E1 Group, Metropolitan in France and Splendid in Germany.

    I wish I could do more to aggregate Thai critical reaction to films, but that's beyond my capabilities right now.


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