Monday, March 21, 2011

Phil sees CLASH at the Camera 12-March 21, 2011

While attending the SFIAAFF here in San Jose, I realized that I missed out on a lot of films that the festival showed up in San Francisco a couple of weeks earlier. However on Sunday, our good friends at CAAM mentioned that their centerpiece film of the festival CLASH was being shown at the Camera 12 as a regular film release. So today, still riding high from this past weekend, I ventured back to Downtown San Jose to see the film.

Le Thanh Son's CLASH
CLASH stars the sexy, action heroine Veronica Ngo as Trinh (or Phoenix as she is also called), a tough and brooding hitwoman to crime boss known as the Black Dragon. He is holding her daughter captive, so she is forced to do jobs for him. For her "final job," she recruits a motley-looking crew (including her real-life husband Johnny Tri Nguyen who portrays the mysterious Quan) to pull it off, afterwards her boss will release her and her daughter. Soon, it all hits the fan as Trinh and her gang must fight off French mobsters, Vietnamese gangsters, as well as themselves, and of course, the Black Dragon.

Le Thanh Son's directorial debut's tribute to classic Hong Kong martial arts films resonates here, but he updates and infuses it with modern sensibility. Ngo is deadly as she is beautiful, Nguyen is strong and commanding. Together this real life couple kick ass all over the screen, and they make it look so easy. Both were the stars in another feature entitled THE REBEL. Their on-screen personas in this film are entertaining, proud, and, of course, bad asses.

Son's directing is flawless, with quick, precise editing, and solid storytelling makes this an action packed, over-the-top rollercoaster ride. It's been awhile since I've seen an action film that I thoroughly enjoyed. American action films should take notes from this Vietnamese import. CLASH is a fantastic film that really must be seen of the big screen.

CLASH is playing for two weeks only at the Camera 12 in downtown San Jose. To see the times listing visit

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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