Thursday, April 15, 2021

Legend of Baron To'a: Sorry about the language, mum

The legend of Baron To'a is a terrific Tongan-New Zealand film with a definite vibe of its own, showcasing a slice of culture that doesn't get nearly enough attention, even here in the South Pacific.

Thankfully, it's more than just worthy, and is loaded up with some balls-out fight scenes, a hugely charming cast of beautiful brown faces and a great bit involving a dog and a fence. And one of the excellent dudes from my local comic shop does some background wrestling during a barbecue, which is always nice to see.

It's also massively sweet at heart for something that is so full of dropkicks and suplexes, which can be seen right from the start, when the filmmakers begin the movie with a short message thanking God, their families and the Tongan royal family for the privilege of making the film, and throw in a quick apology for all the swearing and occasional human nastiness.

When so many films revel in their ability to shock and awe, this small display of humble grace is a ridiculously endearing way to start a movie. Most of them should begin with something as personal as this.

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