One of the persistent criticisms of free-market capitalism is
its alleged failure to provide adequate levels of vital products and services:
so-called "market failure". For example, the critics say, in a
laissez-faire economy, R-rated movies about
Thai marital arts masters gone off to Sydney Australia to rescue
elephants kidnapped by gangsters—and also to avenge the murders
of their fathers—would never be made. I believe Paul Krugman
argued this last year, and since he's behind the Times Select
wall, you can't very well prove that I'm just making that up, can you?
Well, fortunately, that criticism has been ably addressed by this film, and
Krugman and those other critics will just have to shut up now.
The movie … well, even by martial arts standards, the movie
is low in humor. You'd think, with that premise, that there'd be more.
The good-guy star, Tony Jaa, has no acting ability, although he's
absolutely astounding in the fight scenes. But (again, even by
loose martial arts standards) the action and fight scenes are poorly
integrated into the overall plot. It's OK, not great, not awful.
[Before some outraged economist writes in: yes, I know what market
failure really is. And I haven't actually checked to see if this movie
was subsidized by either the Thai or Australian government, although I
would hope not.]
2007-01-28 11:50 AM EDT
Last Modified 2012-10-21 6:42 AM EDT