Movie Review: Jailbreak

THIS campy, over-the-top action flick may appeal to people who are not really looking for substance in a story.

Strangely enough, it is the villains who make it watchable, while the protagonists (who are real-life mixed martial arts fighters) remain two-dimensional throughout.

The movie begins with elite members of a police team sent to escort a recently-arrested gangster called Playboy (a hilarious Savin Philip) who works for the notorious Madame Butterfly (Celine Tran), a shadowy figure behind several high-profile crimes.

Despite Madame Butterfly's best attempts, the team that is made up of Jean Paul (Ly), Dara (Or), Tharoth (Sam), and Sucheat (Dara Phang) manage to get Playboy to prison.

However, Madame Butterfly does not give up and hires one of the top goons in the prison to kill Playboy.

Just as the team places Playboy in his dirty cell, all hell breaks loose as prisoners break out and then proceed to bash up totally-incompetent guards.

Our heroes then spend the rest of the movie showcasing each of their martial arts skills as all routes out are blocked.

Throw in a cannibal inmate who escapes and starts eating anyone he captures; a token black inmate (Laurent Plancel) who is a skilled fighter; and female assassins who tend to pose a lot in tight-fitting outfits – and you get what kind of movie this is.

On the upside, the film has fight scenes utilising bokator, an ancient Khmer martial arts fighting style, which should thrill fans of action flicks.

The villains turn out to be the biggest scene-stealers, especially Philip who provides the comic relief in the movie.

Jailbreak won several awards, including the special jury prize, at the recent The Fantasia International Film Festival 2017 in Montreal, and made its rounds at several international festivals.

For what it is worth, it is what it is and fans of this genre should be happy.