OBJECTIVE: Give Bill twenty bucks every month. Watch the foreign film he brings back without any subtitles. Figure out what the hell is going on.
CHAI LAI ANGELS: DANGEROUS FLOWERS (2006, Thailand)
REMAINING CHANGE: There is no change. There will never again be any change. I ruined the gag because I never paid Bill. My guess is that it would have been around $14.
THE PLOT AS I UNDERSTAND IT:
You know how people try to describe their dreams and they always say they’re in a place but they don’t know how or why they’re there, and then it’s a painful exercise in trying to piece together missing details? That’s what this plot synopsis is going to sound like.
Meet the Dangerous Flowers. I gave them flower names. From left to right, they are: Rose, Lily, Daisy, A Blue Flower, and Tree.
They’re mostly a danger to themselves.
This is their leader, Charlie.
Then why aren’t you dead?
The Flowers are trained in the art of going undercover, then immediately blowing their cover; they mostly do this by stripping out of their disguises as soon as they enter a place where they should be incognito. Their first assignment, and the movie’s opening, finds a few Flowers on a plane to protect a girl from being kidnapped. How do you kidnap a girl on a plane? I told you–everybody is incompetent. While the evil men are totally not kidnapping a girl, they also have a team on the ground swarming the girl’s father at his home. He’s promptly shot. Then one of the Flowers stabs his killer. I think it was Daisy? Anyway, the villain told the girl they were about to murder her father, so that was really dickish.
More importantly, the Flowers are kicking ass up in the plane. A couple of Flowers are disguised as flight attendants, so they get the drop on the bad guys. This is made possible by really lax airport security. During the hullabaloo, Rose bumps into a total cutie and they share a moment. While Rose is working on planting the seeds of a love garden, the other Flowers are incapacitating assailants with time-honored martial art skills such as making a henchman spill a little bit of coffee on his shirt.
“Is there a dry cleaner on this plane? We need a dry cleaner or he’s not going to make it!”
After the Flowers beat down all the bad guys…um, well…nothing happens. Nobody is, like, taken into custody or anything. And I guess they sort of just let the girl out of their protection. I don’t what happened during the rest of the flight or when they landed. Maybe they periodically kicked the villains to keep them from trying anything, or maybe they agreed on “no harm, no foul.”
When the henchmen report back to their leader about how his plan to slowly kidnap a girl over the course of a transoceanic flight didn’t work, he yells at them and throws a wallet-sized photo of the girl at them. But wait! His bumbling girlfriend and her bumbling friend (the Bumblers) have a plan!
I call them Poofy and Doofy.
Meanwhile, the Flowers visit Charlie and he gives them another important assignment: protect the girl from being kidnapped by the people they just let go. In order to do that, they’ll need to go undercover inside the school.
They saw a manatee AND went to Wet n’ Wild? That vacation was off the chain.
After school ends, the girl and one of the Flowers manage to get abducted into a van.
But the Flowers save them in a big car chase! Well, they at least free the stolen Flower. They sort of just forget about the girl. The freshly liberated Flower, who was mere moments ago riding in a van next to the girl she was charged with protecting, then fires a bazooka at the van. You know, the van with the girl still in it. Through a combination of sheer luck and an impossibly slow rocket, the projectile misses the van and hits the vehicle Daisy and Tree ditched at the last instant.
Blarf (I forgot to give the girl a name in my notes, so let’s just call her Blarf) is taken to the evil villains’ headquarters – which is a modest office – and proceeds to fuck everybody up. Then she kinda meekly gives up and lets herself be captured. Again, there’s no real explanation for anybody’s actions in this movie. While she’s locked up in some senior salesman’s office, she sees the discarded picture of herself. Then there’s a flashback to her training with her master martial artist father. Then she sends an email.
“Yahoo! Answers: Seriously, what is going on?”
So, then – and I’m not sure how we got here, but we were definitely here – Poofy and Doofy get massages and they’re ambushed by a few Flowers who are undercover as people also getting massages. Poofy and Doofy manage to escape to a mall where everybody fights in towels. Poofy gets away in a car and tries to shoot Rose’s boyfriend (he’s a cop), and Doofy manages to escape because Lily shoots like this:
OH COME ON!
As of this point in the movie, which is approximately forty minutes, the Flowers and the henchmen have exchanged over a thousand bullets and nobody’s been scratched. In fact, when a character is shot, he dies from shock.
“Get right out of town! I can’t believe it! I guess I’ll die now–seriously, what a shot.”
The movie decides to take a break from all of the plot that isn’t happening to take us on an exceptionally long dating sequence between A Blue Flower and her boyfriend. Well, he was her boyfriend until he proposed and then he was her fiancé because that’s how that works. A Blue Flower comes home so excited that she strips into her skivvies and dances for us. All the Flowers are so happy for her, except Tree looks upset. Tree is upset because a flashback reveals that somebody stabbed her husband through the gut with a katana during her own wedding ceremony. Tree is selfish like that.
This is here. I’m sorry for everything.
Precisely zero time later, bad guys bust into the Flowers’ mansion with A Blue Flower’s injured boyfriend. Ah, then they pretty much let the Flowers beat them up. Then the Flowers escape through a secret tunnel in their pool. The tunnel leads to a castle where they keep their weapons. The Bumblers are already waiting there. Doofy brings along a new Bumbler with her. There are also a few enemies with actual traits there to fight the Flowers. The Flowers beat them, but Doofy manages to capture them by dropping a giant bird cage– a cage that she must have suspended above that exact spot earlier– onto them. Then Rose, who was left behind during all this, rolls up in a bona fide tank. Her boyfriend fires the cannon and misses the giant horde of bad guys. The trapped Flowers pinch Lily’s butt and boobs until she gains super strength and bends the cage bars. The Flowers pretty much watch and do nothing as A Blue Flower’s boyfriend is captured again. That was all fifteen minutes long.
The Bumbles return to the villain and he gets upset when they tell him that his plan to catch the Flowers in a bird cage didn’t work. He cuts off Doofy’s finger and sends it to A Blue Flower with her fiancé’s ring on it. Nobody is fooled. The Flowers go to Charlie’s office and get their next assignment from an iPod. Blarf holds a lighter near paper currency to reveal a secret treasure map to the villains and ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, BILL?
Ed. Note: I don’t make the movies, I just find them.
Ok, so the Flowers are sunbathing near treasure island and then the bad guys come and the bad guys get a treasure chest from the ocean. Then they get away. They always get away.
The master villain has a luxury soirée to auction off the treasure, a clear orb that I’m pretty sure he called the “Queen of Diamonds.”
Not even close.
The Flowers are done being in disguise. Nobody gives a shit anymore. The bidding starts on the eye of Sauron and gets to $200 million before it’s interrupted by BLARF’S TOTALLY NOT-DEAD FATHER!
I was actually excited by this. I have been surprised endlessly in this movie, but only because I’ve been dumbfounded by how stupid everything is. This was the first surprise that actually had context. Blarf’s dad is then shot and killed (for real this time) almost immediately.
Cue the incompetent chase scene. Everybody goes off in wacky different directions, which is the perfect microcosm of this narrative. The master villain whisks Blarf away in a car, but she elbows him in the throat and escapes. Poofy is stopped by A Blue Flower, and she pretends to release A Blue Flower’s boyfriend, but then she shoots him in the back. A Blue Flower responds in kind by shooting Poofy in the face.
Who hasn’t had a double date like this?
Tree finds the master villain on a helicopter pad and shoots bullets into his brain. Doofy finds Blarf, but Doofy’s new friend shoots her a bunch of times because Doofy’s friend is cross-eyed and useless. Hardy har har. A happy ending.
Charlie tells the Flowers they did a good job despite completely sucking at everything, and then he introduces the two newest members of the Flowers: Blarf and Doofy’s friend. The next scene shows Blarf dumping the crystal ball and her father’s ashes into the ocean, then the movie concludes with a battle scene of the whole crew together. Blarf, an approximately nine-year-old girl, mows down men with a .50 caliber machine gun.
THE “OKAY, YOU LOST ME” MOMENT:
Although every second of the movie was a question of how the action was happening, there was really only one scene that I couldn’t understand why it was happening. Shortly after Blarf is captured, Poofy and Doofy stage a weird ploy to make it seem like Poofy was trying to help Blarf. Doofy and the head honcho sold the performance by slapping the shit out of Poofy. That’s, uh… that’s it.
HOW MUCH I ENJOYED WHAT I THOUGHT WAS HAPPENING:
Let’s start with the positives: the choreography wasn’t bad, and I enjoyed spotting some funny budgetary problems like the visible rope towing a car during a crash scene and the blatantly malleable cage bars. Also, the music was two notes away from a lawsuit by the owners of the James Bond theme.
Unfortunately, this movie is lazy. It was infuriating to see the Flowers idly watch the henchmen abduct a character, especially because it always happened right after the Flowers had cruised through a crowd of baddies dealing death and destruction. Even if there is dialogue that attempts to explain why it happens, it still shouldn’t happen. Even worse, every operation by the villains and the Flowers was profoundly ill-conceived. I think Charlie asked his couch for advice on the mission and then misheard the couch’s response. Even Wile. E. Coyote had a moment that seemed like his plan might actually work.
And now, Cinemanaut Bill ranks James on his ability to comprehend the film.
- Nailed it: Congratulations, you figured out that this movie is stupid.
- Failed it: As a matter of fact, yes, the Flowers are all named after flowers, but they’re Rose (solid guess!), Lotus, Hibiscus, Spadix, and Crown of Thorns, which is apparently a kind of shrub or small tree, so holy shit, one of them was sort of named Tree. Damn, you’re good. Most of the rest of this idiotic movie isn’t even fun to explain, but that trinket they were trying to steal back? It’s the Pearl of Andaman, which “balances the ocean,” and we later discover that an unbalanced ocean WILL EXPLODE AND DESTROY THE CITY. Lastly, I was hoping you caught the Flowers saying his name in unison, but their assignment at the end of the movie is to kill Osama bin Laden. Fun!
- Improved it: Boob- and butt-pinching is the source of every woman’s strength, James.
FINAL GRADE: B
BONUS ROUND: It’s a real shame that you missed out on some of this sizzling dialogue.