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reviewer : Paul Devine
Rated: 15(UK)
DVD /Blu Ray Release Date: 21 March 2011
Director: Lek Kitaparaporn
Cast: Gary Stretch, John Rhys-Davies , Cindy Burbridge, Yoe Hassadeevichit


Got this one sent to me last minute over the weekend and after the disappointment of watching my football team loosing a cup final I was in the need for some cheering up. THE KING MAKER ended up making me laugh not at the humour in the movie but how bad overall the movie really was.

Set in the Ayutthaya Kingdom in 16th century Siam The King Maker follows the story of Fernando (Gary Stretch) a Portugese Mercenary shipwrecked then captured by Arab Slave Traders then rescued by the beautiful Portugese woman living in the country called Maria (Cindy Burridge).She lives with her father who is in service to the King  played by none other than out favourite dwarf from The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy Gimli John Rhys Davies and not long after introductions the pair take up arms  in the name of the king. Before you know it Fernando is quickly assigned as one of the Kings personal bodygaurd due to his brave fighting skills on the battlefield as well as preventing several assassination attempts and from this he hunts down the the possible culprit only to discover the guilty party is a little to close to comfort for the King, his own wife Queen (Yoe Hassadeevicht) who is determined to get her young lover installed onto the throne.

The King Maker I beleive was Thailand’s first movie consisting mostly of English speaking actors though this doesnt gaurantee you international success overnight. The movies main problem is qaulity control as its aspirations seems to exceed its budget of $ 15million dollars (£12 million) which is micro budget in Hollywood and merely pocket money for a A-Lister though in Thai terms this could be seen as a blockbuster. The actual production seems to get bogged down with too many constraints and when the movie was actually trying to be serious it just made me laugh with special effects/cgi that reminded me of low budget movies/ television  from the 1980’s which is bad considering this was made 2005! Giving the director the benefit of the doubt the cgi effects were bad but you could see what he was trying to do if her had the proper dosh which is a shame as this had a potiental of been better especially as the grand locations for the movie in Thailand were just spectacular at times.

We all love going on Holiday alot of British, Irish like to head to the sun especially destinations like Turkey and if you’ve been before you know if you dont buy gold or Turkish delight you always come back with the genuine fake designer good The King Maker feels like one those imiations, a Thai imitation of a Hollywood Blockbuster which fails miserably due to overacting and bad production.  As the old saying goes too many cooks spoil the broth well in the movies case too many plot lines spoil the story leaving the movie with no sense of direction along with too many plots with unfinished business leaving you with the feeling of “is that it?!” The actual story which we beleived the movie was a about was Fernando’s hunt to search out and revenge his father’s death with the killer been Phillipe (Rhys Davies) which gets overtaken by the Kings battle with his enemies, this story should either been scrapped or developed more instead of leaving half the story out.

I dont know what it is with film studios persistance in casting sports/ex sports stars as actors as alot of them are not great actors and Gary Stretch been a ex-boxer is not a good actor. There is a few exceptions like Dwaye The Rock Johnson though alot of his movies have been of a sub standard, alot of the wrestling superstars maybe ‘great’ actors in the ring but soon as they go behind the camera they are very poor.My friends nephew is a massive WWE and I was 20plus years ago when I was a teen and any time I was around visiting my friend he would tell me the latest wrestler’s on the injury list when in reality majority of them were making some crap straight to dvd movie but he denied that was the truth. I think when it comes to casting The King Maker would benefited on not having a big name like John Rhys Davies in the movie maybe having also the movie in thai with some English with a lesser but big name direct to dvd actor would have helped the purpose as the cast did feel out of their depth alot of the time.

The King Maker actually wasnt the bad a movie it had its moments and the poor special effects did keep me amused especially the etch- a -sketch crocodile  which nearly had our main star as a early snack was crazy. Overall the movie been plagued with too many problems you couldn’t put the movie on par with similar themed bigger movies but more on par with generic tv style movies similar to Movies 24, Syfy or even your cheesy Channel 5 afternoon movie. There was one thing the movie did possess and that the greatest line I’ve heard in a long time – “There’s Something funny about your cock!” classic Carry On style double  innuendo, magic!

Movie Rating: 2/5