WHEN an Afdlin Shauki movie comes to the big screen, fans are often guaranteed a no-holds-barred adventure that makes them laugh out loud.
Berani Punya Budak is a first for Afdlin in that he shot the movie as serious Thai action flick Brave in 2007, with an all-Thai cast sans Awie, Sharifah Sofia and himself.
He has added yet another feather in his cap by modifying Brave into the zany and Malaysian parody of Asian action movies Berani Punya Budak last year.
This he did by adding made-in-Kuala Lumpur scenes starring funnymen Nabil Ahmad, Johan Lim, Adlin Aman Ramlie and Riezman Khuzaimi who often plays no-nonsense men.
While Brave has been screened in Thailand, the United States, France and Japan, Berani Punya Budak may follow suit soon.
And Afdlin’s collaboration with top Thai action hero Mike B of Ong Bak and Batman Begins is an entertaining buddy adventure from the start.
For the first time, Thai audiences get to see Awie, who plays a silent gangster named John. However, in the Malaysian movie, he is anything but that because his mind does a lot of talking, in typical gangster kampung fashion.
Jangan Tidur Lagi host Adlin and Edisi Khas host Johan, fortunately, do not play action heroes, but straight talking yet scatterbrained Interpol investigators. Their nabbing and questioning of Mike and Afdlin kick start the movie and form the window to Brave’s Malaysianisation.
As for Mike’s fellow Thai stars, Supaksorn and Sahaschai, their roles as the sexy robbery victim and ruthless gangster boss remain unchanged. Except that Afdlin has dubbed their voices and 48 other Thai actors from the original movie, in Bahasa Malaysia.
The end result is a rib-tickling medley of Malay street lingo, jibes at popular culture and spoofs of famous Malay movie scenes, mouthed by actors who hardly speak Bahasa Malaysia.
Some of the Thai characters talk about top Malaysian actor Rosyam Nor and his gentlemanly ways, express their love for Malaysian rock king Awie, and even sing Anuar Zain’s popular motivational song Bila Resah.
Berani Punya Budak is the story of a restaurant chef Tong (Afdlin) and his ex-gangster brother-in-law B (Mike, Malaysian-voiced by Azman Abu Hassan).
They are caught and interrogated by Interpol detectives Azlan (Johan) and Azman (Adlin) upon their arrival in Kuala Lumpur. Interpol suspects them of being involved with Thai gangsters.
Tong tells them that B recently got out of jail and had decided to put his gangster past behind him. However, the gang leader forces him to do one last job — steal client information from a credit card company headed by Lita (Supaksorn).
To force B to do what they want, the gang members kidnap Tong and threatens to kill him.
B successfully robs the company and saves Tong from a time bomb explosion but they are identified by the police and Thailand’s top mafia boss.
B and Tong meet Lita and inform her that B was not acting on his own. Along the way they get deeper into a web of deceit, and realise that things are not as they seem.
Afdlin and Mike B have the lion’s share of the best lines. The scene where B saves Tong who is strapped to a time bomb is too good to be true. B’s ability to leap across a ravine to save Tong clearly parodies some of the Thai action hero’s movies. Likewise his attempt to rob Lita’s company. In the high-security office, he battles sexy Thai beauties who kick butt better than he does.
Afdlin has clearly done his homework because, in the real world, first-time visitors to Malaysia tend to pick up the latest fads in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysians also put on the accents of the tourists they greet.
Tong and B’s fixation with the Thai suffix “kap” is also a class act. Siakap pops up from their mouths after sawadi kap and so does lokap (lockup).
While Riezman and Nabil do not get much screen time, they open the movie with their Kuala Lumpur scene looks almost like an episode of Johan’s Edisi Khas.
As their characters do not have much time to develop in this movie, it is likely that they will be given more screen time in the all-Malaysian sequel Afdlin will soon work on.
One complaint, though. The female characters, sans Sharifah, are stereotyped. The Thai actresses are mostly dressed sexily and “need their men”. Nevertheless, Supaksorn is a good actress who also does her own stunts, holding her own against the tough guys.
Berani Punya Budak has got to be the best made-in-Thailand Malaysian movie. And it has a solid cast from both sides of the border.
BERANI PUNYA BUDAK
Director Afdlin Shauki
Starring Afdlin Shauki, Mike B, Awie, Adlin Aman Ramlie, Johan Lim, Nabil Ahmad, Riezman Khuzaimi, Supaksorn Chaimongkol, Sahaschai Chumrum, Sharifah Sofia
Duration 145 minutes
Rating PG 18