Ok, so I usually review cult horror and sci-fi, but having just taken my first-ever Muay Thai kickboxing class, I thought I’d check out this martial arts adventure from Thailand, where Muay Thai is the national sport.

Safe to say, Force of Five kicks ass and the very young cast really put my meagre efforts at the gym to utter shame as they punched, kicked and elbowed their way against the odds in a brave bid to save one of their kind.

The story concerns two brothers and their friends who have grown up under the tutelage of a Muay Thai master to become highly skilled martial artists. Instead of getting fat sitting on their backsides fiddling with computer game consoles, these mini Muay Thai marvels spend their waking hours honing their skills.

But kids being kids, a fight with local bullies puts the gang’s youngest member in hospital and in desperate need of a heart transplant. When a viable organ becomes available, all seems ok. But before it can be transferred, a gang of rebel soldiers take the hospital hostage.

With no time to lose, these real-life Power Rangers move in and take down the rebels in a thrilling, action-packed, martial arts showdown.


This really is The Karate Kid for the 21st-century, though I wonder how some conservative parents might react over the level of violence used in this film – especially as the youngsters get a real bashing from their adult adversaries (there’s certainly no CGI to be found here).

Still, I for one was screaming at the screen every time one of those amazing kids landed a spinning heel kick, a curving knee strike or a double-elbow chop on their assailants. I do hope I get to practice these at my next kickboxing session.

Released 5 July