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KHAO CHON KAI (Thailand)


Genre: Drama/Comedy
Director: Withit Kamsrakaew
Starring: Sorapong Chatree, Wasit Phongsopa, Taweerat Julsiri
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2007




Languages: Thai
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Running Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Format: VCD

Distributor: Innoform Media




Khao Chon Kai is a military training camp where Thai boys who apply for military lessons will face the challenges of the training during their senior year of high school. A group of boys meet at the camp and begin their training together, encountering many obstacles during the rigorous training regimes. Despite the hardships, they discover that friendship and true friends are the most precious things they've found in Khao Chon Kai.


Army movies… there are so many of them, especially in the Asia region that it could almost be identified as a genre.

From Singapore, we got the Army Daze the movie to the popular Taiwan franchise of “No Sir” which starred the likes of Takeshi Kaneshiro, Nicky Wu and Jimmy Lin (back in the 80s and 90s) and even the Japanese got their Umizaru movie about Coast Guard officers which technically is not from the military but basically still follows the same formula.

That right, after so different countries had churn up different version of such genre, the formula remains mostly unchanged. The lead character will commence his army life with some worries initially. There likely the early treatment of light punishment to set the right mindset of certain personal who does not understand the mentally of working as an unit yet. There will be some male bonding among the bunch of newbies and at least there will be one who will not play well with the group. The amazing bit of this formula would be that during the rigors training and exercise, at least one of the army boys will have the time and energy to woo a pretty lass. It sure didn’t happen to me during my stint in the military service.

And then there will be the communal bathing, the sissy recruit, the ultra strict officer who actually has a heart of gold. The fist fight among recruits that likely to land them in detention or some kind of punishment such as expulsion or some major form of

There actually nothing wrong with following the tried and proven formulas. It’s winsome and will most likely appeal to guys of all categories (those who have yet to attend their military service, those who are serving and those who don’t mind reminiscing about their sweaty past in field camps). Of course the ladies get their fare share of eye candies and a chance to experience the military life that they are likely not to have the chance to try.

So how does our Thailand friend fare with their dose of army movies?

It definitely lack the star power compared to movies such as No Sir 3, the comedy effect of Army Daze and the male bonding gung-ho that was found in Umizaru (even though it uses plenty of soundtracks sample from Braveheart, it just can’t drum up the same emotions from it). But most importantly, it lacks a strong singular story to see this movie through.

This story of growing came in episodic format, dishing all those military clichés one right after another and there wasn’t much of a link to build the characters up or the story. This film also lacked direction and most importantly a climatic finish for the formulaic payout for staying with this film.

It’s mildly entertaining with some of its comedic moments and there some good looking young Thai guys in it so that’s your cup of tea, perhaps Khao Chon Kai is worth a spin or two. Otherwise there are no good reasons to go down this path again.


Review by Richard Lim Jr


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This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm


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