'The Samurai of Ayothaya' - Movie Review

I saw clips of this movie on YouTube and thought it looked at least mildly interesting. And it is in fact based on an interesting bit of history: Yamada Nagamasa was a Japanese man who chose to live in the kingdom of Ayothaya (now part of Thailand) and rose to prominence there, becoming governor of one of their provinces. This movie claims to tell that story, portraying him as a mercenary soldier who is betrayed by his own people and nursed back to health by the peaceful but besieged (and very well trained) people of Ayothaya. Seigi Ozeki is a former Japanese model who's chosen to live in Thailand and try to build a movie career there: he plays Yamada. Unfortunately, the parallels between his story and Yamada's don't seem to have inspired him to the same greatness Yamada apparently achieved. He's a second rate martial artist and a third rate actor. Very good cinematography and surrounding him with a bunch of Thai boxers with wicked moustaches and truly awesome hair isn't sufficient to elevate this weak effort to a good movie. Much time is spent on lingering shots of the lovely Thai scenery, and a great deal is made of how peaceful they all are. And the Hanthawaddy kingdom (currently the Bago region of Myanmar) consists of filthy, talentless, and facially-tattooed warriors - as distinct from the Thai warriors who have tattoos on their bodies, bathe regularly, and who can easily win a fight with 10 warriors against 200 of the Burmese.

Urgh - I love my martial arts movies, but wading through the slush to find the good stuff is a painful process.