Based in Bangkok, where they run a taekwondo school and a restaurant, the Moon family is devoted to one thing only, and that’s the martial arts. The patriarch of the clan pushes his progeny along this path with an iron fist, showing particular stubbornness towards his eldest son, who would much rather become a dancer. That’s a source of constant conflict because the father wants nothing more than for his son to succeed where he himself did not, and bring home an Olympic gold medal. The family dynamic, however, is radically rebooted the day the Moons find themselves tangled up in the theft of a priceless national artifact. Finding themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, the Moons clash with a gang of sleazy, violent thieves, upsetting their devious plans with a frenzy of feet in full swing. The criminals won’t let the affront go unavenged. So what happens when one questionable idea (pitting one’s whole family against a gang of crooks) collides with another (challenging a household of taekwondo masters)? You got it — a tidal wave of wicked fights that will have you at the edge of your seat throughout!
Action film aficionados, prepare yourselves for a double dose of delight! THE KICK brings together two of the most spectacular barehanded combat styles in the world, taekwondo and muay thai. Prachya Pinkaew, the man who put Thai action cinema on the map and launched the career of Tony Jaa with the classics ONG-BAK and THE PROTECTOR, is in the director’s chair here. The script and fight choreography come care of Panna Rittikrai, the master craftsman of Thai-style cinematic combat who popularized its painfully dangerous stunts. Among the cast, Jo Jae-hyeon (Kim Ki-duk’s BAD GUY) and Ye Ji-won (Hong Sang-soo’s HA HA HA) represent Korea alongside young taekwondo virtuosos Na Tae-joo and Tae Mi, who display incredible athletic prowess. On the Thai side, there’s superstar Jeeja Yanin (CHOCOLATE) and Mr. Comic Relief himself, Petchtai Wongkamlao (ONG-BAK). Toss in a ridiculously catchy K-pop soundtrack, breathtaking Thai landscapes and a turbo-boosted pace, and you have an idea of how much contagious energy THE KICK contains. For thrilling martial arts action and over-the-top entertainment, you’ll have a hard time finding a better bundle this summer.
— Nicolas Archambault